Titanium sponge is porous titanium that is produced by Kroll process. The properties of titanium sponge are corrosion-resistant, fire and shock resistance, lightweight, and recyclable. It is used in the production of titanium alloys, ingots, and alloys. The other applications of titanium sponge includes in aerospace, armor, oil and gas, power generation, marine, chemical processing, medical, and sporting goods sectors. China, Russia, Japan, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine are few major titanium sponge producing countries.
Titanium sponge is majorly used in air and space vehicles in air frames and engine parts. Growing aerospace industry is one of the major factors driving growth of the global titanium sponge industry. According to India Brand Equity Foundation, domestic and international aircraft movements grew by 14.40% Y-o-Y and 9.40 % Y-o-Y during 2017-2018 in India, which in turn is expanding the aerospace industry thereby, fuelling growth of the titanium sponge market.
Growing demand for titanium sponge from energy sector including oil & gas and power generation is aiding growth of the global titanium sponge market. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, world energy consumption was 575 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2015, which is estimated to reach 736 quadrillion Btu in 2040.
Availability of substitute products is hindering growth of the global titanium sponge market globally. For instance, in applications where high strength is required, titanium sponge can be replaced by zirconium alloys and specialty steels among others.
- North America held significant market share in 2017, in the global titanium sponge market. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 2018, the consumption of titanium sponge in the U.S. was 31,200 tons in 2015, which increased to 37,000 tons in 2016.
- Growing demand for titanium sponge is attributed to growing aerospace and defense industry in North America. For instance, according to Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the aerospace and defense industry in the U.S. generated US$ 872.1 billion in sales in 2016.
- Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing titanium sponge market during the forecast period (2019-2026), owing to increasing demand from China, India, Japan, and South Korea. In 2011, titanium sponge plant was set up in Kerala, India to cater demand of titanium sponge from the defense and aerospace sector in the country.
- Expansion in aviation, defense, and marine sectors is supporting growth of the titanium sponge market in Asia Pacific. According to International Trade Administration, in 2016 China's civil aviation transportation was 96 billion tons km and increased by 12.8% from 2015.
- China is a major producer of titanium sponge and produced 160 thousand metric tons of titanium sponge in 2015, while the production increased to 170 thousand metric tons in 2016, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
- Key players operating in the global titanium sponge market include Tangshan Tianhe Titanium Industry Co., Ltd., Zunyi Titanium Industry Co., Ltd., Western Metal Materials Co., Ltd., Baoji Yongshengtai Titanium Industry Co., Ltd., OSAKA Titanium Technologies Co., Ltd., Toho Titanium Co. Ltd., Luoyang Sunrui Wanji Titanium Co., Ltd., Baoti Huashen Titanium Industry Co., Ltd. and Pangang Group Vanadium Titanium & Resources Co., Ltd.
The global Titanium Sponge market is segmented into:
By End-use Industry
- North America
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- South Korea
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Latin America
- Rest of Latin America
- Middle East
- Rest of Middle East
- Northern Africa
- Central Africa
- South Africa
- In October 2018, the Sylvain Gehler, chairman of Ust-Kamenovgorsk Titanium & Magnesium Plant JSC (UKTMP) of Kazakhstan, analyzed the global titanium sponge capacity and supply trends. According to his analysis, global titanium sponge capacity was estimated at 255.3 kilo tons, with China rapidly expanding its supply with increasing its production capacity (93 Kilo tons as of 2018). Lower inventory could lead to higher demand for titanium sponge and also increased sponge production – he added.
- In October 2018, Nobuhiro Arimoto, (GM - High-Performance Materials Department, OSAKA Titanium Technologies Co., Ltd.) announced an investment of US$ 10 million for a new titanium alloy powder plant, which will be derived from titanium sponge and will have a production capacity of 100 tons. The titanium alloy powder facility is expected to start operations by 2020.
- In September 2018, Boeing Company announced that Chinese Airlines will buy 7,690 new airplanes worth US$ 1.2 trillion over next two decades to keep up with high air travel demand in the country. This will positively influence the global demand for titanium sponge market.