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Strategic Analysis of the Global Gamma Nondestructive Testing (NDT) Radioactive Sources Market

  • March 2016
  • 57 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 3717458


Table of Contents

Iridium-192 to be Phased out of the Market in Favor of Selenium-75 Over the Next 10–15 Years

The global gamma radioactive sources market for NDT applications is segmented by sources into Iridium-192, Selenium-75, and Cobalt-60. For Iridium-192 and Selenium-75, detailed unit shipment forecast has been provided. Pricing analysis and market position ranking for the top participants in the market have also been given. As the Cobalt-60 market is very small, only unit shipment forecast has been provided. The base year is 2015 and the forecast period is 2016–2020. With the recent oil price decline, the market will be turbulent. However, in the long term, Selenium-75 is expected to provide growth opportunities. Cobalt-60 is likely to be phased out in the next 15 years, while growth of Iridium-192 will be tepid in most regions.

Drivers Explained
Migration from Iridium-192 Sources to Selenium-75 Sources Enhances Market Revenue, as Selenium-75 is Costlier than Iridium-192
- Globally, there has been a trend toward migration from Iridium-192 radioactive sources to Selenium-75 radioactive sources. This trend has been more pronounced in Europe; however, other regions, specifically,
North America are catching up.
- Especially in Europe, this migration has been mainly driven by the government’s safety regulations because Selenium-75 produces a softer gamma ray spectrum than Iridium-192. Another key factor driving
the migration to Selenium-75 is the material used for constructing assets in Europe.
- Selenium-75 produces more accurate and better results compared to Iridium-192 for thin material assets. In Europe, most pipelines and related infrastructure is thin, making Selenium-75 the preferred choice.
- Another trend driving the migration to Selenium-75 is the smaller focal spot of Selenium as opposed to Iridium or Cobalt. Hence, Selenium-75 produces a clearer picture when used in conjunction with digital
radiography machines on the imaging side.
Need for Radioactive Sources that can Generate Electromagnetic Radiation without Electricity Drives the Demand for Gamma Radiography
- Typically NDT is performed in many remote locations, especially in the oil and gas industry where there is little or minimal access to electricity. While X-ray generators require electricity to produce radiation, radioactive sources can produce up to kV without electricity.
- This is another driver for the gamma radioactive sources market which is expected to have a medium impact throughout the forecast period.
Low Capital Cost of Sources and Equipment Makes Gamma Radiography an Attractive Option for Small-to-medium sized NDT Inspection Services Companies
- A majority of the global NDT inspection services market is dominated by small-to-medium sized companies that usually operate with strict budgetary limitations. For such companies, the capital cost of
investment in alternatives for gamma radiography is a deterrent.
- They prefer to pay $ a year and make a profit on this investment rather than buy a $ X-ray source and make profits after 2 years. Hence, in regions such as Asia, Africa, and Latin America that are
dominated by these small and medium sized companies, there is a high demand for gamma radiography that drives the radioactive sealed sources market.
Emerging Markets’ Preference for Radiography rather than Alternatives such as Advanced Ultrasonic Drives the Demand for Gamma Radioactive Isotopes
- Radiography is a very labor-intensive NDT technique and hence, in high labor cost markets such as North America and Europe, end users have been shifting to less labor-intensive alternatives such as
ultrasonic NDT.
- As labor is still cheap in emerging markets, radiography is widely used. Also, in emerging markets, there is an abundance of radiography certified technicians as opposed to ultrasonic testing certified technicians.
- As a result, radiography is preferred, which drives the demand for radioactive sealed sources. This driver is expected to reduce in impact because emerging markets will have to gradually start adopting ultrasonic
NDT because of environmental and safety regulations.

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