Tempered aluminum is known as cast aluminum. It is lightweight and is able to withstand high operating temperatures. The ability to cast complex shapes with low machining need is the major advantage of casting. Aluminum is preferred over steel and iron due to its superior mechanical properties. However, the high price of aluminum makes it necessary to mix it with magnesium, iron, and copper. The corrosion resistant properties of aluminum make it extremely useful to make cans and vessels, which can be used to store food & beverages.
One of the major driving factors for aluminum casting market growth is the lightweight property of aluminum that contributes toward major cost savings in the automobile and aerospace industries. It is also used in construction, industrial, electrical, kitchenware, and many other sectors. A major challenge hindering market growth is the high cost of aluminum coupled with the cyclic rise and ebb of the automotive industry.
Aluminum Casting Market Taxonomy
On the basis of casting process, the aluminum casting market is classified into:
- Die Casting
- Gravity Die Casting
- High Pressure
- Low Pressure
- Permanent Mold Casting
- Sand Casting
- Squeeze Casting
On the basis of end-use industry, the aluminum casting market is classified into:
- Transportation & Automotive
- Cars & LCV
- Other Transport
- Building & Construction
Die casting process is used for high volume production of aluminum. Great finish can be obtained by this process, hence requiring minimum machining. Aluminum molded in permanent mold casting is stronger than sand and die casting processes. Whereas, sand casting is economic for small quantities.
The automobile and aerospace industries are the largest end users. Aluminum’s lightweight and high strength properties make it a prime commodity in these industries.
Aluminum Casting Market Outlook
- Asia Pacific is the largest market for aluminum casting. This is due to the presence of some of the largest aluminum producing countries in this region. China, Australia, UAE, and India make up four of the top five aluminum producing countries in the world. The burgeoning automobile sector and proximity to the source have boosted the aluminum casting industry. Furthermore, there is currently a dearth of technical expertise in the aviation sector, but robust technological innovations in China is expected to boost the aviation market as well. For instance, in May 2017, China launched its first homemade jet known as C919
- Europe and North America are the next largest markets due to the presence of lucrative automobile industry and major airline manufacturing companies such as Airbus, Boeing, Cessna, and Bombardier in these regions. Raw material aluminum is mainly imported from Asia Pacific and engineered as per needs on site
- Latin America aluminum market has shrunken in recent years due to the slowdown of the economy in the region. Moreover, rising power costs has forced companies to invest elsewhere. According to the International Aluminum Institute (IAI), the regional production rate has halved from 2.70 million tons a year in 2008 to 1.33 million tons in 2015
- In the Middle East, the UAE and Bahrain are the major aluminum mining countries. The largest aluminum producer in the Middle East region, Emirates Global Aluminum plans to list the company on the local stock exchange in order to raise funds. The company is valued at US$ 15 billion and seeks further investments to reduce the dependency of the kingdom on hydrocarbon revenue
- Africa is a nascent market for aluminum with lower production as compared to other regions. The largest producer in the region is Guinea. Consumption in the region is low and most of the manufactured aluminum is exported
Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (CHALCO) agreed to buy 40% shares in Chinalco Shangai in 2017. This acquisition further consolidates its position in the region. It is the third largest alumina producer in the world.
- In January 2019, Endurance Overseas Srl (manufacturer of aluminum die casting parts for automotive market) acquired Fonpresmetal Gap SpA, an Italy based manufacturer of aluminum die casting parts. The acquisition will help Endurance to increase its production capacity of aluminum die casting parts.
- In October 2018, Sundaram-Clayton Limited ( India based manufacturer of aluminum castings for automotive industry) opened its new foundry in Chennai, India. The plant has a production capacity of 8,000 tones and will produce machined castings for automotive market. The new plant will help meet growing demand for Sundaram-Clayton’s products from automotive industry.
- In May 2019, Sundaram-Clayton Limited opened its first overseas production facility in South Carolina, U.S. The plant will produce 1,000 tons of casting in first year and in five years will scale capacity to 10,000 tons per annum. The overseas facility will help Sundaram-Clayton to increase its ability to serve its customers in North America, its major export market.
Some of the major players in the aluminum casting market are Alcoa Corporation, Aluminum Corporation of China Limited, Ryobi Limited, United Company Rusal, Arconic Inc., China Hongqiao Group Limited, Gibbs Die Casting Corp, Rio Tinto, Dynacast Charlotte, and Nemak S.A.B. de C.V. among others.