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Global trivalent chromium finishing market share is set to register significant growth over 2021-2027, on account of the increasingly stringent regulatory mandates promoting the replacement of hexavalent chromium. Trivalent chromium refers to a method of chrome plating that is considered to be a more environmentally safer alternative to hexavalent chromium plating. It demonstrates similar characteristics to conventional hexavalent chromium finishes, including corrosion and scratch resistance.
One of the major trends propelling trivalent chromium plating industry growth over 2021-2027 is the escalating environmental concern regarding hexavalent chrome finishes. Hexavalent chrome has been used as a component in aluminum chromate conversion parts processing for several years. However, the plating type generates hazardous byproducts such as barium sulfate and lead chromates and has been heavily regulated by authorities like the EPA due to its carcinogenic nature. This has generated lucrative opportunities for the trivalent chrome finishing market, given the increasing use of the product as a more sustainable and safer alternative to hexavalent chrome. Trivalent chromium uses chromium chloride or chromium sulfate instead of chromium trioxide as the main substance for plating, which makes it less toxic and more user- and environment-friendly than its conventional counterpart.
With respect to application, trivalent chromium finishing market share from the functional segment will exhibit commendable growth through 2027, given its extensive usage in the renovation of worn-out components to enhance the lifespan of the product. Trivalent chromium coatings are applicable in various applications like packaging steel substrates, in order to provide superior corrosion resistant in the event of exposure during can-making deformation processes.
Regionally, the North America trivalent chromium finishing market is expected to amass hefty proceeds by 2027, owing to the rising concerns in the region regarding the usage of hexavalent chrome. Governments in countries like the U.S. are making targeted efforts to curb the use of hexavalent chrome coating, which could contribute to greater demand for trivalent chromium coating solutions in the region. For instance, the CARB (California Air Resources Board) is working on developing a new rulemaking aimed at encouraging manufacturers to transition from hexavalent chromium plating to trivalent chromium finishing solutions for functional and decorative plating.
Major players operating in the fragmented trivalent chromium finishing industry include MacDermid Inc., Ronatec C2C, Atotech Deutschland, Chem Processing Incorporated, Kakihara Industries Co.Limited, Sarrel Group, Columbia Chemical, etc. These entities are involved in various strategic activities like product launches, to boost their portfolio and presence across the global business landscape. For instance, in January 2021, Columbia Chemical introduced its new Tricol Reclaim, designed to enhance trivalent chromium plating, and subsequently reduce processing costs by 40-60%.
Despite a gradual turn towards recovery in 2021, the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic have disrupted the intricate global structure of stocking, logistics and manufacturing. Across the industrial spectrum, component and raw material shortages have slowed the pace of the industry, raising cost and mitigating output in crucial markets like the automotive industry. Since the trivalent chromium finishing industry is reliant on the automotive industry for its application in plating and finishing, the onset of the pandemic may have impeded growth to a certain extent. However, in recent months, there has been a significant movement towards the adoption of more sustainable solutions, particularly from industries like surface treatment which involves hazardous chemistry and metals. This, alongside the gradual phasing out of hazardous substances from surface treatment applications could improve trivalent chromium finishing market dynamics over the years ahead.