Metal process oils are process oils used in metal processing for lubrication, cooling, and anticorrosion purposes. Metals need to undergo several mechanical processes such as casting, forging, cutting, drawing, and hardening for usage in a particular application. However, significant amount of heat and friction is generated during these processes. This causes overheating and wear of worked metal, tools, and machine tools. Metal processing oils are used to control high temperatures and lower wear and tear of tools, machine tools, and forging machines. Metal processing oils are largely employed in manufacturing processes such as machining, cold and hot drawing, forging, broaching, quenching, heat treatment, rolling, grinding, and cleaning.
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Rapid industrialization and expansion of the manufacturing sector are expected to drive the metal processing oil market across the globe. Increase in proclivity toward efficient and effective manufacture of metal parts by lowering the operating costs is anticipated to boost the metal processing oil market in the near future. These oils increase the durability of tools and dies by reducing friction and heat, ultimately lowering the tooling and die manufacture costs. Furthermore, growth in the automotive industry is estimated to fuel the metal processing oil market in developing countries such as India, China, Brazil, and South Africa. Volatility in prices of oil and gas affects the prices of metal processing oil, as crude oil is the precursor to their production. Decrease in prices of crude oil has led to a fall in the prices of metal processing oil. This volatility is also estimated to hamper the market of metal processing oil in the near future.
Based on type, the metal processing oil market has been segmented into straight oils, also known as neat oils; soluble oils, also known as emulsifiable oils; semi-synthetic oils; and synthetic oils. Neat oils or straight oils are mineral based oils and occupy significant share of the metal processing oil market. These oils are used for heavy duty operations such as cold drawing and rolling, hobbing, and machining. Based on feedstock, the metal processing oil market can be divided into Group I, Group II, Group III, Group IV, and Group V. Group I base oils are widely used feedstock source for manufacturing metal processing, oils as they are cheap and easy to obtain. However, manufacturers of Group I base oil are shifting toward the cleaner Group II and Group III feedstock sources due to the high sulfur content. In terms of application, the market can be split into machining, forging, heat treatment, drawing, and finishing operations. Of these, machining accounts for substantial market share due to the extensive use of metal processing oil in operations such as cutting, turning, milling, and drilling. This segment is followed by metal drawing application, especially cold drawing operations.
Based on geography, the metal processing oil market can be segregated into Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is one of the key consumers of metal processing oils, as countries such as India and China are manufacturing hubs. The region is also a prominent manufacturer of automobiles in the world. This is boosting the metal processing oil market in Asia Pacific. It is followed by the market in Europe and North America, as these regions also have strong automotive market. Thus, the manufacturing sector in these regions accounts for significant share of metal processing oil. The metal processing oil market in Latin America is also projected to expand at significant pace in the near future, due to the rapid industrialization in countries such as Brazil and Mexico.
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Key manufacturers of metal processing oil include Exxon Mobil Corporation, Castrol Limited, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, and United Oil Company.