Metal Matrix Composites: The Global Market

Published - Feb 2009| Analyst - Calvin Swift| Code - AVM012D
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for metal matrix composites consumed 4.1 million kilograms of materials in 2007 and 4.4 million kilograms in 2008. This is expected to increase to 5.9 million in 2013, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9%.
  • The ground transportation segment has the largest share of the market and used 2.4 million kilograms of materials in 2008. This should reach 3.2 million kilograms in 2013, for a CAGR of 5.5%. 
  • Electronics/thermal management applications have the second largest market share and used 1.4 million kilograms of MMCs in 2007. This increased to 1.5 million kilograms in 2008 and is expected to increase at a CAGR of 6.5% to reach 2.1 million kilograms in 2013.



The goal of this report is to provide a detailed and comprehensive multi-client study of the global market for metal matrix composites (MMCs) as well as potential business opportunities in the future. This report’s objectives include a thorough coverage of the underlying business issues driving the MMC market, as well as assessments of new and potential products that companies are developing. Social, political, and other issues are also covered, as are international markets. The emphasis, however, is from a North American viewpoint.

This technology/marketing report starts with an overview of MMCs, including a history of MMC development and the overall composites marketplace. The report then moves on to processing technology trends and secondary processing and fabrication methods before proceeding to a detailed assessment of markets and product applications in ground transportation, electronics, commercial and defense aerospace, industrial and defense, and recreational equipment. This assesses the market growth, materials, production, status of commercial development, barriers to entry, and market leaders. A comprehensive analysis of the industry structure is provided and ends with profiles of the leading MMC companies. 


It has been several years since BCC Research’s last technical market study on MMCs. There was a flurry of activity at that time with research institutions expanding frontiers of the current knowledge, new business ventures, increasing interest on the part of larger, more established companies, and over 15 years experience with the technology in defense and niche commercial applications.
While the military aerospace market remains an important target for MMCs, opportunities have emerged in other industries. The push for better fuel economy and lighter vehicles has opened the door to expanded usage of MMCs in automobiles. Increasing performance in microprocessors has resulted in heat-generating challenges, which have elicited increasing interest in thermal management applications for MMCs. In addition, companies in the business are working to create new market opportunities for their composite products in industries that 15 years ago had never even heard of MMCs.
As a small yet strategic global market, MMCs are a critical and essential element in many advanced technologies. The present state of the MMC business, however, is changing. A global recession and September 11 particularly affected commercial aerospace and other end-use markets for MMCs, and led to diminished demand. At the same time, new entrants and expansions by existing producers resulted in additional capacity. In turn, this led to lower operating rates for many producers, and a more competitive market, and pricing pressures. These “drivers” will continue.
Use of MMCs has recovered and in the long term will continue expand, as a result of technological advancements, both in the area of new methods for producing MMCs, as well as in evaluating MMCs various applications. With the rapid changes in the industry structure and in the accelerated rise of new, expanding applications, a technology/marketing report update with a unified view of materials and applications is needed.
In addition, realistic market data (including time series) for MMCs have proven elusive, especially on a global basis. Because product innovation is important, the industry is relatively secretive, with no central reporting organization as is found in the plastic resins and textile fibers. A paucity of company information also exists as many companies either are small privately held organizations, or if part of a larger company, represent a relatively small part of the operations and are usually integrated into the final product organization.
The technical data are dependent on the accuracy of the manufacturers and technical sources that helped to make up the BCC Research database.
This study provides the most complete accounting of MMC developments currently available in a multi-client format. It provides the most thorough and up-to-date assessment that can be found anywhere on the subject. The study also provides extensive quantification of the many important facets of market developments in MMCs. This, in turn, contributes to the determination of what kind of strategic response suppliers may adopt in order to compete in this market.
Audiences for this study include marketing executives, business unit managers, commercial development directors, and other decision makers in the MMC companies. Technology suppliers, fabricators and assemblers, suppliers of competing and ancillary materials, end-use product manufacturing companies, and other companies peripheral to this business also represent a key audience.
The scope of this report is comprehensive, covering the present status of and future prospects for MMCs in North America, Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world (ROW). Basically, the scope of this report includes diverse metals such as aluminum, titanium, beryllium, nickel, and others. These are analyzed in detail as well as technology developments, market conditions and opportunities, and 5-year forecasts. The role of new technologies is reviewed. This BCC study analyzes the current global market in detail and identifies the most promising market opportunities. The ultimate end-use markets—ground transportation, electronics, commercial and defense aerospace, industrial and defense, recreational equipment, etc.—are examined in detail, as is the global market for MMC systems.
Two types of composites—cemented carbides such as cobalt-tungsten carbide and electrical contact materials such as silver-cadmium oxide—were specifically excluded from this study. While these materials can certainly be classified as MMCs, they have been produced commercially for well over 50 years and have established, mature markets. It was the intent of this study to explore new market opportunities for reinforced metals and alloys that have more recently entered into commercial production.
In order to generate the information necessary to construct a reasonable future market for MMCs, it is necessary to undertake an examination of the advantages and disadvantages of the various types of materials and technologies. In addition to various MMCs, it also covers the many issues concerning the merits and future prospects of the business, including corporate strategies, technologies, and the means for providing these products and service offerings. It also covers in detail the regulatory and economic issues that so many regard as critical to the industry’s current state of change. The report provides a review of the MMCs industry and its structure, and the many companies involved in providing these materials and technologies. The competitive position of the main players in the market and the strategic options they face are also discussed, as well as such competitive factors as marketing, distribution, and operations.
The values presented in the forecast tables represent the value (in millions of dollars) of the sales of MMCs to the end-use product market in North America. All growth rates mentioned in the tables and in the text are based on the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2008 through the year 2013. The compounding method of calculating growth rates is used. Historical data from 2004 through 2008 are presented and data prior to 2004 are available. Market share estimates are for the year 2008.
The research methodology was qualitative in nature and employed a triangulating approach, which aids validity. Initially, a comprehensive and exhaustive search of the literature on MMCs was conducted. These secondary sources included journals and related books, trade literature, marketing literature, other product/promotional literature, annual reports, security analyst reports, information from trade associations, and other publications. A patent search and analysis was also conducted.
In a second phase, a series of semi-structured interviews were conducted with marketing executives, engineers, business unit managers, engineers, and other personnel at the MMC companies. Other sources included academics, systems integrators, technology and materials suppliers, technical experts, trade association officials, government officials, and consulting companies. These were a rich source of data. Subsequent analysis of the documents and interview notes was iterative.
The author has over 25 years experience in competitive intelligence, industrial market research, planning and marketing at major corporations, market research consultancies, and think tanks. He advises and briefs management about economic and industry conditions, strategic developments, and the effects of proposed developments in plastics, metals, and other materials. The author has employed scenario analysis to investigate and research the future of industry to identify the impact of globalization, consolidation, demographics, changing industry structure, and technological innovation. His particular interest lies in the interaction of strategy, economic and industry developments, and innovation. He holds a BA and a MS degree in industrial economics, and has completed other studies in business administration.

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Published - Oct-2005| Analyst - Calvin Swift| Code - AVM012C

Report Highlights


  • The overall metal matrix composite (MMC) market will rise at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 6.3% through 2010 to 4.9 million kg.
  • This growth represents an acceleration from that experienced between 1999 and 2004.
  • The industry is relatively small, with only $185 million in global revenues and consisting of less than 100 companies competing at varying levels, but most of which are specialized.
  • Geographically, the most rapid growth in MMC consumption will occur in China.
  • Both electronics/thermal management and industrial MMC markets will experience the strongest growth.
Published - Jul-2000| Analyst - Mindy Rittner| Code - AVM012B

Report Highlights

  • Supported in large part by a number of medium- to high-volume automotive applications for metal matrix composites (MMCs) and the production of value-added composite parts to dissipate heat from high-power semiconductor devices, the 1999 world market for MMCs reached 2.5 million kg valued at $103 million. BCC projects that the total world market for MMCs will rise to 4.9 million kg, valued at $173 million during the next five years, corresponding to a 14.1% average annual growth rate (AAGR) from 1999 through 2004.
    The ground transportation market segment consumed, by far, the largest volume of MMCs in 1999. By 2004, the ground transportation market will be even further ahead with a full 70.3% (3.4 million kg) of the market, due primarily to increasing incorporation of MMC components into specialty lightweight/high fuel efficiency vehicles.
    BCC expects the industrial market segment to increase at an 11.2% AAGR during the next five years, reaching 130 thousand kilograms in 2004, or 2.7% of the total market.


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