News to know

Advanced flat-glass market good, improving

Not as good as in the 1990s

Analysts project that demand for advanced flat-glass products will expand nearly 6 percent per year to generate sales of $7.7 billion by 2010, according to a study released Aug. 21 by the Freedonia Group of Cleveland.

The study encompasses solar-control products including low-emissivity, reflective and smart glass, explained Bill Baumgartner, Freedonia’s senior industry analyst, in an  e-mail.

Glass such as those that have been given a chemical coating to block ultraviolet rays have been included in the study, however, glass products that have had film added to them to accomplish similar purposes have not been considered.

Smart-glass products, the analysts write in the executive summary, “can alter their own levels of light transmission automatically via the application of an electric current. The dominant application for smart-glass technology to this point has been electrochromic mirrors for motor vehicles.”

However, “looking forward, significant growth  will be provided by other smart-glass products, primarily in architectural markets, as electrochromic and suspended particle device technologies make inroads into window applications.”

The study shows that the overall 6 percent gain will derive from:

  • Resurgent growth in nonresidential building construction
  • Continuing rapid growth in emerging technologies such as smart glass and self-cleaning glass. In the residential construction market, expanding market penetration of self-cleaning and smart-glass products will offset a weak new housing environment, the analysts report.
  • Strong gains in laminated glass used as hurricane glass, ballistic glass and burglary-resistant glass
  • Solid advances for certain niche products in the motor-vehicle market such as electrochromic mirrors.

Heads-up display windscreens and self-cleaning glass will post above-average gains whereas the dominant safety and security segment will experience slower growth, the analysts note.

“With respect to the forecast growth in advanced flat-glass demand, 5.9 percent represents a slight improvement over the gains recorded in the 2000-05 period, but not as good as in the early 1990s,” Baumgartner wrote.

The 236-page report is available for $4,200 from the Freedonia Group. Call Corinne Gangloff at 440/684-9600, e-mail, pr@freedoniagroup.com, or visit www.freedoniagroup.com.

 

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