The Surge in the Industrial Radiography Market

The industrial radiography market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 6.45% during the forecast period to reach US$939.316 million by 2027, from US$606.399 million in 2020. 

Industrial radiography is a type of non-destructive testing technique that ionizing radiation for the inspection of materials and components to track down and quantify abnormalities and degradation in the material characteristics that can cause the failure of structural components. It is extremely critical to the science and technology that are required to ensure the quality and reliability of the product. This modality exploits the characteristics of X-rays, neutrons, and gamma rays to penetrate numerous amounts of materials. Industrial radiography finds usage in a broad range of applications right from the maintenance of aircraft to food inspection, casting parts, counterfeit drug control, welding, composite piece inspection, and coating thickness measurement, among others. The burgeoning demand for industrial radiography in sectors like manufacturing, automotive, power generation, and aerospace is projected to drive the market growth substantially. The industrial radiography market landscape is segmented into various applications, types of imaging techniques, and geographical regions.

Growing demand for industrial radiography methods in a plethora of industries to drive market growth

Non-destructive industrial radiography methods are increasingly being employed and thus, have progressively evolved as a critical tool owing to their versatile range of applications in a wide range of industries.  From quantifying, qualifying, and inspecting malfunctions and anomalies for the access of internal and external geometric features, industrial radiography has a plethora of applications based on the size, type and also, the inspection criterion for the materials. Examples of these applications include preproduction qualification during manufacturing, structural integrity analysis and packaging in the packaging industry, ballistics in the automotive sector, and stints in medical devices. The rising number of nuclear power plants is also a factor contributing to the inclining demand for industrial radiography. In accordance with the Nuclear World Organisation, there are around 441 operable nuclear power reactors across the globe, as of May 2022. Furthermore, approximately 53 reactors are currently under development, while 325 more are currently under proposal.

The strategic developments undertaken by key players to meet the soaring demand for the industrial radiography market and improve their brand presence are further catalyzing the growth of the market. For instance, North Star Imaging in June 2020, relocated its X-ray inspection business to a new and larger site in California. The new site was reported to be equipped with a huge space and warehouse, and also, an X3000 and two X5000. The latter two devices aid the new facility in scanning objects, from micron-sized objects to objects that are as huge as a 50-gallon barrel. Another example of this is the launch of a high-energy CT scanner in December 2020, by Wagayate Technologies, which is a global leader in inspection solutions. This CT system, Phoenix Power Scan HE, could scan and detect internal attributes of very high-density critical components. The 9 MeV machine measures about 2 meters in diameter and height.

North America and Europe are expected to hold a dominant share of the market

Geographically, this market is segmented into North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa region, and the Asia Pacific region. The robust growth of the aerospace and automotive industries promises high demand for industrial radiography in the regions. The growth in the North American and European regions can primarily be attributed to the presence of some of the largest aerospace segments in the United States and the United Kingdom. Further, Mexico and Germany are known to house a large number of automotive giants. The rising concerns regarding the environment and the strict rules and regulations being deployed by the governments in order to decrease the consumption of non-renewable resources are some factors contributing to the rising demand for industrial radiography techniques in power plants. This further adds fuel to the growth of the industrial radiography market in these regions. The growing developments in some countries like China, India, as well as Japan are rapidly propelling the growth of this market in the Asia Pacific region. The presence of industry giants like COMET Group, FunjiFilm Holdings, and General Electric in the above-mentioned regions is further expected to drive market growth.

Factors restraining growth

Factors like high deployment costs along with the risk of extremely high radiation exposure associated with the growing use of industrial radiography are likely to slow down the growth of the market. Further, the lack of skilled human resources is anticipated to be another factor that could impact the industry unfavourably. Owing to the high technical requirements, it is a challenge to find and train people that are well suited for employment, thus posing a constraint on market growth.

The impact of COVID-19 on the Industrial Radiography Market

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic affected the industrial radiography market very negatively. Most of the manufacturing industries across the world had to temporarily close down due to the nationwide lockdowns that were mandated across multiple countries.  Further, the surge in the number of active cases and the social distancing measures resulted in reduced staffing, which led to a reduction in productivity. The recession in the global economy caused due to the pandemic forced many companies to pause all their ongoing projects. Due to all these factors, the demand for the industrial radiography market went down because of the outbreak of the coronavirus.