Scandium Market to Register a Significant Growth!
The Scandium Market is estimated to grow at the Compound Annual Growth Rate of 14.27% to reach a market size of US$299.791 million in the year 2026.
Scandium is a metallic element that is also known to be a rare earth element. It is soft and silvery-pure and white in appearance with high density. It is applicable in many ways. With relatively low-density Scandium has a very high melting point which is why despite its limited source it is preferred as an alloy. Scandium is used as an additive alloy to aluminum. Adding 2% of scandium with aluminum a metal sheet or plate is made. This sheet is lightweight but strong. The alloy is also known for its corrosion resistance property. These scandium aluminum alloys are used in the manufacturing of aircraft majorly. They are especially used in fighter jets and missiles. Scandium aluminum alloy is used in the manufacturing of windmills and sports goods such as baseball bats, bicycle frames, and golf clubs.
Aerospace to Takeoff the Scandium Market
The unique feature of a scandium-aluminum alloy of being lightweight and durable, it is majorly used in aerospace. The weight of a metal sheet is reduced by around 20%. This is attributed to the rise in the demand for scandium in aerospace industries. This demand is estimated to continue till the manufacturer gets an alternative to the scandium. And thus, it has been observed that aerospace dominates the scandium market. Moreover, due to the increase in the movement of immigration intercountry, urbanization, growing per capita income, increase in population, and modernization has increased the demand for airplanes. Many developing countries have started projects for new airports as well. This has built a way for the increasing demand for airplanes in the future. Thus, with an increase in the number of airplanes, the demand for scandium-aluminum alloy also is projected to rise. This is augmented to propel the scandium market growth during the forecast period.
Rising Demand for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells to Boost the Scandium Market
Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) are the devices that converse the electrochemical which helps in electricity production directly by the combination of oxidants and fuel across the iconic conducting oxide electrolyte. They use solid oxide materials. These materials help to conduct negative ions from the cathode to the anode. Due to the covering of special inks over the anode and cathode, Solid Oxide Fuel Cell does not require any corrosive acids, metal, or molten material. As the requirements, the materials in this are subjected to high temperature, which can lead to degradation of ceramic electrolyte which can add the maintenance cost and the capital. However, scandium can help the system to work at lower temperatures compared to SOFC. This has helped lower the SOFC’s cost. Thus, this has facilitated the widespread use of scandium in the power generation field.
With the hike in electricity costs, there is increasing demand for sustainable power generation methods. This has paved a way for growth in the solid oxide fuel cell market which has increased the importance of scandium in the power generation industry. The SOFC which contains scandium has unique properties such as high ionic conductivity, high fuel cell’s operating life, and cell efficiency, which have shown satisfactory performance compared to other conventional SOFC. SOFC is widely applied in the areas without the availability of grid connections, industrial equipment, transport, cooling, and majorly in the power generation sector. It has also been projected the increasing demand for solid oxide fuel cells in the conventional energy source field such as coal and natural gas will boost the application of scandium in SOFCs. Which eventually rise the scandium market in upcoming years.
Obstacles in the path of the scandium market
Being a rare earth metal, Scandium is found in very limited areas. It is found in minerals such as bazzite, wiikite, and thortveitite. Sometimes it is also found as a byproduct of uranium refining. As it is not produced but found, its availability is entirely dependent on the mining. While growing demand for scandium has created scarcity in the metal market. The lack of reliable sources in the market is another weakening factor for its supply and its scarcity. This has been estimated to affect the scandium market in the future. Growing the demand or requirement for aerospace and scarcity in scandium will somehow force the manufacturer and researchers to find out an alternative to the scandium-based aluminum alloy.
Additionally, due to its high cost, the use of scandium is limited to the big scale industries such as aerospace and sports. And due to its scarcity, the costs are expected to remain the same or rise in the future restricting its applicability in other areas or other industries. This is projected to restrict its growth in the present and future as well. Moreover, due to a lack of knowledge of its application in manufacturing and its importance, the scandium has not reached widely in the industrial sector. This is another factor to curtain the scandium market growth during the forecast period.
North America to Hold Remarkable Market Share in Future
North America has numerous end-user industries which regularly make use of scandium. Due to this key factor, North America is projected to dominate the scandium market. With the largest in the electronics market and aerospace industry, the United States is expected to be at the top in terms of the scandium market. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the overall active general aviation is projected to reach up to the total aircraft of 211,575 in 2039.
Whereas Asia-Pacific is projected to grow at a faster pace compared to other regions. The prime reason behind it is China has the largest reservoir of scandium. Due to the China government imposing restrictions on several trading exports, China is projected to grow its market share. Further, the high preference given to the defense and aerospace industry is also estimated to grow the scandium market.
Due to the forced shut down of businesses, supply chain, industrial activities, and mining activities, the Covid-19 period has severely impacted the scandium market. Thus, the scandium market slowed down during this period.
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