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The role of piston rings is very crucial in automotive as it reduces the risk of gas leakage during combustion by sealing the cylinder, stopping thumping of the piston on to the cylinder walls, and releasing the heat created during ignition. It also helps in controlling the amount of lubricant released. Generally, there are three automotive piston rings in each cylinder. One ring is for oil scraper piston ring and other two are compression piston rings. Increasing adoption of ICE and rising awareness related to the importance of reducing carbon footprint are the key factors providing significant growth opportunities for the manufacturers operating in the global piston rings market.
What are the advancements seen in global piston ring market?
Increasing interest in green engine technologies is considered as the key factor driving demand in the global piston ring market. The use of piston rings helps in power trains which has led the demand in this market. Moreover, there is an efficient technique known downsizing of internal combustion engine (ICE) used to decrease gas emission from automobile. The use of steel helps in manufacturing thinner rings which provides numerous benefits in power trains thus, leading the growth in this market. it also helps in forming a stronger grip against the groove and provides better strength due to smaller radius. These factors has reduced consumption of oil and resulted in reduced emission of volatile particulate matters. With these technological advancements employed in power trains are expected to provide a significant growth in the global piston ring market.
Piston assembly is a heart of the IC engine. The piston assembly is composed of five basic components which are piston, piston rings, gudgeon pin, connecting rod and bearings. The piston in general is casted out of aluminium alloys and has the responsibility of take all rigorous forces. The piston is connected to crank through connecting rod pivoting around the gudgeon pin. The piston rings are split rings assembled into the grooves on the outer diameter of the piston. The piston rings is a combination of three rings serving specific purpose in running engine. The top most groove ring is known as compression ring or pressure ring which provide sealing above the piston and prevents the gas leakage from the combustion side. The second or intermediate ring act as lubrication control ring and provides enough lubrication to the compression ring and prevent scuffing. The third ring is known as oil ring or oil control ring, these rings controls the amount of lubricating oil passing up or down the cylinder walls. Also, the piston rings act as a medium to transfer heat generated while combustion and provide overall support to the piston in the cylinder.
The piston rings are essentially split rings made through gray cast iron or alloy steel and can have different shapes involving rectangular ring, taper faced ring, internally bevelled or stepped ring, keystone ring, and L-shaped compression ring. The piston rings being an essential part of piston assembly is used in almost all type of IC engines equipped in two wheeler, cars, heavy vehicles, locomotives, marine engines, compressors, generators, military vehicles and all other type of gasoline and diesel engines.
There are over 1.5 billion on road vehicles around the world which creates substantial aftermarket opportunities for the piston rings manufacturers. Also, over 110 million vehicle are produced annually among which over 70% are equipped with multi cylinder engines. The global automotive market is growth at a pace ranging between 3.5% - 4.5% annually. Growing automotive sales coupled with growth in population and affordability is anticipated to play a key role in the growth of global piston rings market. Also, piston rings are among the essential components which have the direct influence on the vehicle performance, engine power and efficiency, hence required frequent monitoring as they contribute to around 24% over all friction generated in the engine.
Growing environment concern and depleting fossils has shifted the automotive industry focus for developing electric vehicles which runs on motors and doesn’t employ a piston cylinder assembly is creating restraints to the growth of automotive industry. Also, several legislations and political initiatives to support green technology is another factor anticipated to structure the global automotive market. Moreover, the significant opportunities in the automotive aftermarket attracts huge bunch of local manufactures serving counterfeit parts in the local markets which impacts the OEM sales and brand image of the OEM suppliers.
The piston rings are available in different sized based on the engine specification and design requirements. The piston rings market can be classified under the following categories
The piston rings in general are sold in a set of all three type of rings and market is majorly dependent on the vehicle production and automotive aftermarket. On the geographic concern, Asia pacific leads the global market in terms of both vehicle production and vehicle parc. Wherein China and Japan are the largest automotive markets. Europe is considered to be the second largest market followed by North America. At country level, China followed by U.S, Japan and Germany are the top automotive producing nations.
On the market participants basis, the global piston rings market can be categorized into two categories viz. OEM and aftermarket. The OEM market for piston rings is estimated to be highly consolidated by few large players holding major share. Whereas, the extent of consolidation is relatively less in case of aftermarket. Some of the key player serving their products in the market are MAHLE Aftermarket GmbH. TPR CO.,LTD, Federal-Mogul Burscheid GmbH, Riken Corporation, Rheinmetall AG, Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd., Hitachi Automotive Systems, Art Metal Mfg. Co., Ltd., PT Astra Otoparts Tbk., Honda Foundry Co. Ltd., Shandong Binzhou Bohai Piston Co., Ltd. among others.
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