Welding consumables are filler materials that are used to fuse metal and thermoplastic components. Metals, metal alloys, and minerals are employed as raw materials in the manufacture of welding consumables. These consumables are incorporated on the base metal or thermoplastic surface by use of a heat or pressure source during the welding process. Stick electrodes, metal rods, solid wires, flux-cored wires, shielding gases, and SAW wires and fluxes are the commonly available welding consumables in the U.S. These consumables are used depending on the type of welding technology. Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), gas metal arc welding (GMAW), submerged arc welding (SAW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) are the key welding technologies. Flux-cored wires are the preferred consumables employed in FCAW, while others such as solid wires and metal rods are employed in GMAW applications. Welding consumables are primarily used in core end-user industries including building & construction, automobile & transportation, marine, power sector, and oil & gas. Industrial repair & maintenance and aerospace are some of the other end-users of the welding consumables market in the U.S.
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Demand for welding consumables in the U.S. has been driven by the building & construction industry since the past few years. This trend is anticipated to continue in the near future, owing to the revival of building & construction industry in the country (post the 2008 financial crisis). Increase in consumption of steel as a sustainable material for construction of green buildings is estimated to be the primary factor driving industrial growth. This, in turn, is likely to propel the demand for welding consumables in the U.S. during the forecast period. Automobile & transportation and power sector are another major end-users of welding consumables that are expected to augment the welding consumables market in the U.S. during the forecast period.
Flux-cored wires was the largest product segment of the welding consumables market in the U.S. in 2014, due to key factors such as high deposition rates, capacity to withstand varying atmospheric conditions, and strong weld ability. This product segment constituted more than 30% share of the welding consumables market in the country in 2014. Furthermore, the flux-cored wires segment is projected to witness the fastest growth by 2023, led by its performance enhancing attributes vis-à-vis other product segments.
In terms of volume, building & construction held more than 20% share of the welding consumables market in the country in 2014. Welding consumables are extensively used for fabrication of infrastructure components for various constructions such as bridges, railways, tunnels, residential buildings, and commercial complexes. Automobile & transportation accounted for significant share of the total welding consumables market in the U.S. in 2014. However, others segment which includes end-users such as repair & maintenance and aerospace is anticipated to provide lucrative market opportunities for welding consumables in the country during the forecast period. The others segment is likely to witness the fastest growth due to significant requirements of welding consumables for repairing industrial pipelines, transmission lines, power utility components, storage vessels, and ship hulls.
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The value chain depicts high degree of forward integration in the welding consumables market in the U.S. The Lincoln Electric Company, The Linde Group, voestalpine Böhler Welding GmbH, ESAB, Illinois Tool Works Inc., Hyundai Welding Co., Ltd., Kobe Steel, Ltd., and Air Liquide S.A. are some of the key players operating in the welding consumables market in the U.S.