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The global ultrasonic testing market size was valued at $2,297.2 million in 2019 and is projected to grow from $1,954.4 million in 2020 to $3,671.9 million in 2027, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.43% during the 2020-2027 period.
Due to the negative demand shock from the COVID-19 pandemic, the global ultrasonic testing market declined hugely by -14.9% across all regions in 2020. However, as the pandemic subsides and demand returns to pre-pandemic levels, our market analysis shows ultrasonic testing will rebound at an accelerated 9.43% CAGR between 2020 and 2027.
Ultrasonic testing (UT) is primarily involved in service defect monitoring of industrial equipment, machinery, aircraft spare parts, and components. It is a technologically advanced technique that transmits ultrasonic waves through a testing material to penetrate a material’s thickness. The UT methodology consists of high-frequency sound waves, which are transmitted into several materials, such as aircraft metal structures, metal components, and industrial equipment, to identify material cracks.
Slower Growth in the Aviation Industry amid COVID-19 Pandemic to Hamper the Market
According to a pre-pandemic report of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), around 4.25 million air-passengers were carried around the globe. The air-passenger count has been hampered owing to the ban on international traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aviation industry faces major challenges due to the COVID-19 effect, such as economic recession, declining air passenger traffic, and fluctuating oil prices.
The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Financial Outlook Report (2020) estimated a USD 84.3 billion loss for the global air transport industry. Total revenue fell by 20 percent during the financial year of 2019-2020. Airbus, for instance, registered zero orders in the first quarter of 2020. The UT methodology is a prime technique to identify damages to the aircraft mainframe and other components. The declining deliveries of fixed-wing commercial aircraft will inevitably hamper the ultrasonic testing market growth in the financial year 2020-2021.
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Increasing Procurement of Technologically Advanced UT Equipment to Drive Market Growth
The ultrasonic testing method includes the dimensional measurements of an aircraft component, leak detection in fuel engines, aircraft mainframe structure analysis, and flaw detection. The efficiency and adaptability of technologically advanced UT equipment, such as industrial scanners, tube inspection systems, and imaging systems, are fueling the market growth. In June 2020, for instance, Eddyfi launched the M2M Mantis PAUT flaw detector. The Mantis is a robust and lightweight flaw detector, providing an ideal solution for applications such as high-speed corrosion mapping and butt weld and long seam weld inspection, commonly up to 5 to 30 millimeters, or 0.25 to 1.25 inch, thick composites.
Strong Demand for Ultrasonic Testing in the Aerospace Industry to Boost Market Growth
The aerospace industry maintains the highest quality standards regarding material, structure, and strength. The technique is based on the ultrasonic methodology and is also called non-destructive examination (NDE), non-destructive evaluation (NDE), and non-destructive inspection (NDI). The failure in strength, surface, and development of cracks may lead to several risks in the form of fatal accidents and the subsequent loss of lives.
UT is majorly used in the aviation industry to inspect the composite parts of an aircraft. The technique is used to maintain the aircraft's flying safety by analyzing the destruction of several aircraft parts, such as landing gear, aircraft mainframe, and aircraft engine. The transition towards the Internet of Things (IoT) is a new opportunity in the aviation industry to analyze the avionics component's health, such as autothrottle, collision avoidance system, and flight management system.
Rapid Expansion of Railway Infrastructure to Augment the Demand for UT
The increasing demand for affordable transportation through railway infrastructure is a major factor driving market growth. According to the World Rail Market report on behalf of the European Rail Supply Industry Association, UNIFE has estimated average growth of 2.6% worldwide from 2021 to 2023. The Middle East & Africa and Latin America regions are projected to grow the fastest at 5.1% and 4.8%, respectively, annually.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration report of the U.S. (2019), accidental events had been mainly caused by railway track defects in the U.S. The leading causes of track defects include bending, thermal stress, residual stress, and corrosion. The transportation infrastructure is heavily dependent on the railway system, monorail, speed trains, metro-rails, and bullet trains. Ultrasonic inspection plays an important role in examining track flaws, track cracks, and uneven structure, leading to tragic rail accidents occurring worldwide. Thus, the rapid expansion of railway infrastructure in the U.S. and Asia Pacific will fuel the demand for this ultrasonic type of testing in future years.
High Cost of Ultrasonic Equipment May Impede Market Growth
The UT method is highly dependent on the most sophisticated technologies and instrumentations. The machinery and instruments are an expensive set of equipment due to several sensors, components, and high-quality parts integrated into them. This Ultrasonic type of testing is primarily involved in service defect monitoring of industrial equipment, machinery, and several systems in which conventional methods are utilized. The major key players are also experimenting with new methods, such as using nanorobots, which are in-built with UT capacity for defect monitoring and inspection process. The nanorobots are majorly used for the inspection process of pipeline systems in the oil & gas industry. High costs are involved to maintain these robots with the help of the Internet of Things (IoT).
UT methods and techniques have different sizes and a variety of machinery is involved in the process. Therefore, service providers need rental types of machinery, equipment, and accessories for better evaluation by testing. This factor is expected to limit the future growth opportunities of the ultrasonic testing market.
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Phased Array Segment Dominated the Market in 2019
Based on type, the market is classified into time-of-flight diffraction, phased array, immersion testing, guided-wave testing, acoustography, and others. The phased array segment held a dominant share of the market in 2019 due to the increasing use of phased array types to inspect more complex geometries, such as aircraft engines and landing gear.
The time-of-flight diffraction segment is projected to register a higher CAGR by 2027. This growth is owing to the increasing use of (TOFD) time of flight diffraction for weld inspection. TOFD is one of the most reliable non-destructive testing (NDT) methods in testing welds for in-service aircraft inspections.
Immersion testing is majorly used in the oil & gas industry. This method offers an efficient inspection of large components, such as corrosion mapping of steel sheets, pipes, and weld inspection of heavy-weight ex-situ process piping.
Guided wave ultrasonic testing is majorly used to inspect piping systems. It is used to analyze the cracking and corrosion damage of heavy-weight pipes.
A series of epoxy carbon fiber developments were initiated by the composite wing development program of Airbus and BAE SYSTEMS by using acoustography. Acousto-optic (AO) sensors are primarily used to inspect aircraft components in real-time.
The others segment consists of conventional UT methods to penetrate the thickness of aircraft components.
Transducers & Probes Segment to Register a Higher CAGR
Based on equipment, the market is divided into flaw detectors, thickness gauges, transducers & probes, industrial scanners, tube inspection systems, bond testers, imaging systems, etc. The flaw detectors segment is expected to hold the largest share of the market during the forecast period. The dominance is due to the increasing use of flaw detectors in the aviation industry to identify aircraft engines' hidden cracks and identify discontinuities in the aircraft wing and other components.
The transducers & probes segment is projected to register a higher CAGR during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the increasing use of transducers & probes in the manufacturing industry. These devices are used in a wide range of applications in materials research and medical diagnostics.
A thickness gauge is used to test several engineering materials, including plastics, rubbers, and internally corroded materials. An industrial scanner is used to inspect corrosion mapping of industrial machinery. The tube inspection system is majorly used in the oil & gas industry to test long-distance hydrocarbon transport pipelines using the ultrasonic phased array technology.
Bond testers are majorly used to identify aircraft wing cracks, composite laminates in aircraft structures, and aircraft flaps. Imaging systems are extensively utilized in the medical industry for laser scanning, wide-field imaging, and OCT imaging systems to access the human body's internal optomechanics.
The others segment consists of portable eddy current flaw detectors used in the aviation industry to detect subsurface cracks in the aircraft mainframe.
Increasing Use of Inspection Services in the Aviation Industry to Aid Market Growth
The market is segregated into inspection services, equipment rental services, calibration services, and training services, based on service. The inspection services segment is anticipated to hold the largest market share between 2020 and 2027. Its growth is owing to the increasing use of inspection services in the aerospace industry. These services are used to inspect the internal defects in aircraft components with high-end accuracy.
The equipment rental services segment is expected to register the highest growth during the forecast period. This growth trajectory is attributed to the increasing demand for an extensive fleet of rental/hire equipment services in the aviation industry for UT applications.
Calibration services are used to discover the exact margin of error in light sensors, temperature sensors, wheel speed sensors, and airbag sensors, while training services are used to perform ultrasonic tests in compliance with the relevant standards. These services provide personnel certifications in UT to meet the requirements of international standards.
Manufacturing Segment to Growth the Fastest Backed by Rising Demand for UT for Industrial Applications
Based on vertical, the market is segmented into manufacturing, oil & gas, aerospace, public infrastructure, automotive, power generation, and others. The public infrastructure segment is likely to hold the largest share of the market during the forecast period. This growth is on account of the adoption of UT in railway bridges, flyover inspections, nuclear waste storage, and decommissioning.
The manufacturing segment is projected to register the fastest growth during the forecast period. This growth is because of the increasing use of UT to identify defects in engineering components. In the manufacturing industry, the growing need for UT to maintain the quality of industrial goods & services is accelerating market growth.
The UT method is used in the oil & gas industry to inspect industrial pipes. In the aerospace industry, UT is used to inspect cracks in the aircraft engine, aircraft components, avionics components, and other complex structural parts of the aircraft.
In the automotive sector, this testing technique is used to inspect the quality of automotive spare parts and components. In power generation, this technique is used to inspect wind turbines. In the other segments, this technique is majorly used in the healthcare, marine, and textile industries.
North America Ultrasonic Testing Market Size, 2019 (USD Million)
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The market size in North America stood at USD 893.7 million in 2019. The dominance of this region is attributable to the increasing use of the UT technique for railway inspections across the United States and Canada. The presence of key market players, such as Amerapex Corporation, Applied Technical Services, Inc., General Electric, and Mistras Group, drives the market in the U.S.
Europe is envisaged to register significant growth in the ultrasonic testing market share. This growth is attributed to the growing demand for the UT method from the robust automobile industry in Germany and the growing aerospace vertical in the U.K.
The market is expected to grow and to register the fastest growth in Asia Pacific during the forecast period. This growth is due to the expanding manufacturing industry in China and the exponential growth of the public infrastructure vertical in India. In addition to this, the domestic automotive industry in Japan is also boosting market growth.
The rest of the world is also expected to register remarkable growth during the review period. This growth is owing to the increasing spending on UT in the oil & gas industry of Latin America and the Middle East & Africa.
General Electric Holds Leading Position Supported by Continuous Innovation of Ultrasonic Testing Products
General Electric provides digital solution services for various industries, including oil and gas, power generation, aerospace, metals, and transportation. The offerings include sensor-based measurement, ultrasonic testing and inspection, market dynamics, turbine, generator, and pipeline integrity solutions. The company also offers eddy current flaw detector software. It is used in conjunction with most eddy current flaw detectors and is able to transfer information via USB.
General Electric is a leader in the market and provides advanced solutions through large investments in R&D activities, collaborations and agreements with government organizations, and providing cost-efficient solutions to customers.
An Infographic Representation of Ultrasonic Testing Market
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The ultrasonic testing market research report provides an in-depth analysis of the market and majorly focuses on key aspects, such as market segments, and the growth of the market across verticals, such as manufacturing, oil & gas industry, aerospace, public infrastructure, automotive, power generation, and the healthcare industries. The report also assesses the COVID-19 impact on the market, along with factors driving the market and the research methodology of the UT market analysis. Besides this, the report offers the latest market trends and highlights key industry developments. Moreover, the report provides multiple factors that will contribute to the market's growth during the forecast period.
Value (USD million)
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 2,297.2 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 3,671.9 million by 2027.
In 2019, the North America market value stood at USD 893.7 million.
Growing at a CAGR of 9.43%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).
The flaw detectors segment is expected to be the leading segment in the market during the forecast period.
The increasing use of UT in the aviation industry is propelling the growth of the market.
General Electric, Mistras Group, and Olympus Corporation are the major players in the global market.
North America dominated the market share in 2019.
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