Global Superconducting Wire Market: Overview
Superconducting wires are made up of superconducting materials which, when cooled below a certain temperature (transition temperature), exhibit zero electrical resistance. The superconductor material used is usually in the form of filament and theoretically allows the persistent flow of electric current across any loop of superconductor wire. Superconductor magnets find extensive applications in MRI/NMR machines, mass spectrometers, and in particle accelerators as beam-steering magnets. Recent applications of superconducting wires include their use in smart grid, transformers, power storage devices, and electric motors.
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Second-generation high temperature superconducting wires, with significantly higher transition temperatures, are mainly made up of rare Earth compounds such as yttrium, samarium, and neodymium. Allowing competitive cost-benefits and multi-functionalities, the demand for these materials is rising rapidly in the making of various electrical power equipment and medical equipment, opening up a spate of promising avenues in the market.
Global Superconducting Wire Market: Key Trends
The global market is primarily driven by the burgeoning demand for superconducting materials in high-voltage transmission applications and in making MRI systems. The increasing demand for high-temperatures superconducting materials in numerous areas such as energy, medical, defense, electronics, and industrial applications is expected to boost the market. Advances in computer chip designing technology are expected to spur the demand for superconductors with high critical current capacity and enhanced power performance.
High manufacturing cost involved in making superconductors and dearth of standard testing facilities are likely to restrain the superconducting wire market to some extent. On the other hand, continuous scaling efforts by manufacturing units and intensive advances in R&D technology are expected to expand the commercial applications of superconducting wires.
Global Superconducting Wire Market: Market Potential
Bruker Corporation, a U.S. based manufacturer of scientific instruments for materials researches and industrial analysis, announced at the end of 2016 that it was planning to acquire Oxford Instruments Superconducting Wire LLC (OST). The deal was finalized by Bruker’s subsidiary, Bruker Energy and Supercon Technologies (BEST), for an aggregate sum of U$17.5 million. BEST pioneers in low temperature superconductors for being used in MRI, NMR, and fusion energy researches. Post finalization of the buyout deal, the manufacturer made efforts to expand its technology portfolio with the Rod Restack Process (RRP) conductor technology from OST. The technology is especially in demand for various high-energy physics applications that require considerably high magnetic fields.
The deal marked a strategic acquisition for BEST as it strengthened its position in the low-temperature superconductors (LTS) market. The company already enjoys a sustained position in LTS segment and has made numerous investments in the past to boost capacity automation and quality control.
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With the integration of the OST technology, BEST hopes to emerge as a world-leading LTS provider with a broad product portfolio that will house superconducting wires with advanced conductor performance and quality. Furthermore, with such strategic buyouts in place, Bruker Corporation hopes to consolidate its positions across prominent regions such as the U.S. and China. These developments are poised to expand the potential of the superconducting wire market.
Global Superconducting Wire Market: Regional Outlook
North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific are the prominent markets for superconductor wires. Europe is expected to offer lucrative growth avenues to manufacturers and vendors of superconducting wires. The substantial growth in the regional market is expected to be driven by increased commercialization of high-technology superconducting materials and extensive R&D investments in developing second-generation superconducting wire technology.
Asia Pacific is anticipated to show impressive growth over the forecast period; the growth is attributed to significant advances in semiconductor technology leading to the wide use of LTS electromagnets in making magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear magnetic resonance magnets.
Global Superconducting Wire Market: Competitive Analysis
Leading players are making substantial investments in R&D in order to launch advanced products made with cost-effective technologies. Several players are making technology integrations to expand their expertise in the manufacture of superconducting wires. Major players vying for a sustained share in the superconducting wires market include American Superconductor, Bruker Corporation, Fujikura Ltd., Superconductor Technologies Inc., Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., Japan Superconductor Technology, Inc., Supercon Inc., and Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.
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