Metal cleaning chemicals are used to wash off extraneous organic and inorganic materials from the surface of metals. They are used to remove unwanted substances, oil, grease, particulates, corrosion oxides, and other impurities to prevent damage and maintain performance efficiency. Usage of cleaning chemicals protects metals from corrosion caused by lubricating oil, corroding substrates, hard water, etc., that are deposited on the surface. They remove fouling caused by organic materials (such as algae, microbes, denatured protein residues, animal fats, and hydrocarbons) and inorganic materials (such as carbonates, hydroxides, oxides, sulfides, sulfates, silicates, and phosphates). Metal cleaning chemicals are employed to clean equipment and heavy machineries used in industries such as manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, and transportation.
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A wide variety of chemicals are used in the cleaning process depending on the nature of metals. Selection of metal cleaning chemicals also depends on various factors such as surface condition and impurities to be removed. Metal cleaning chemicals are broadly classified into two groups – aqueous and solvent – based on application method. On the other hand, based on chemical composition, they are segmented into two categories: acid and alkali. Alkaline chemicals are used to remove organic impurities such as oil, grease, and soil from metal, whereas acidic chemical cleaners are used to remove inorganic substances such as scale, lime, and smut from the metal surface. Inorganic mineral acids such as sulfuric acid, nitric acid, phosphoric acid, hydrochloric acid, and hydrofluoric acid are used as metal cleaning chemicals. Strong acids such as sulfuric acid, nitric acid, and hydrochloric acid are broadly used to clean stainless steel. Mild acids such as phosphoric acid and ethylene glycol monobutyl ether are used to clean the surface of iron and steel. Equipment that are used in the metal cleaning process include spray, soak, electroclean, and ultrasonic.
Heavy machinery and equipment used in manufacturing and transportation industries require regular maintenance to sustain performance efficiency. Thus, substantial growth in aerospace, automotive, manufacturing industries drives the metal cleaning chemicals market. Major growth in these end-user industries in Asia Pacific is expected to boost the market in the next few years. However, stringent environmental regulations in developed countries regarding usage of non-toxic chemicals is anticipated to hinder the market growth in the near future. Therefore, emergence of bio-based and environmentally sustainable chemicals is likely to create new opportunities in the metal cleaning chemicals market during the forecast period.
Metal cleaning chemicals are used in numerous end-user industries such as manufacturing, transportation, metal & mining, automotive, aerospace, oil & gas, and pharmaceutical. As a result, the global market for metal cleaning chemicals has witnessed significant growth in the past few years owing to rising demand from end-user industries. Asia Pacific dominated the market for metal cleaning chemicals in the past few years. Growth in manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, metal & mining industries favored the progress of the metal cleaning chemicals market in Asia Pacific. Developed countries such as China, countries in ASEAN, Japan, and India generated strong demand for metal cleaning chemicals in the past few years. Hence, Asia Pacific is projected to experience the fastest growth rate in the next few years. However, North America and Europe are anticipated to witness sluggish growth during the forecast period. Latin America and Middle East & Africa are projected to be lucrative markets for metal cleaning chemicals in the next few years.
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Key manufacturers of metal cleaning chemicals include Hubbard-Hall Inc., Houghton International Inc., ICL Performance Products, Modern Chemical, Inc., PCC Chemax Inc., Quaker Chemical Corporation, Spartan Chemical Company, Inc., and Stepan Company.
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