U.S. demand for high-performance flat glass products is forecast to rise 4.4 percent per year to 910 million square feet in 2017, valued at nearly $9.2 billion, according to a report released yesterday by the Freedonia Group. This will represent a substantial improvement from the performance of the market over the 2007-2012 period, when demand in area terms suffered an outright decline, says the study.
The report, High-Performance Flat Glass, states that demand for solar control glass is forecast to rise 12 percent per year to nearly $2.5 billion in 2017, a significant improvement from the pace of the 2007-2012 period. Consumption of solar control glass products is largely concentrated in the architectural market and will benefit from rapid increases in new building construction. Low-emissivity glass is the most commonly used solar control product in residential window systems. Sales of low-E glass will see especially fast gains through 2017, the report states.
Electrochromic mirrors represent the largest application for solar control glass outside of the architectural market and account for the bulk of smart glass demand. Sales of these products will see strong growth, but will trail the average as growth in motor vehicle output trails the rapid gains in building construction. Smart window glass products — including electrochromic windows, suspended particle device (SPD) windows, and liquid crystal device (LCD) windows — will make strong gains but will continue to represent a minor share of the total market.
The security and safety glass segment holds the largest share of high-performance flat glass sales, accounting for more than two-thirds of the total in 2012. Consumption of security and safety glass is projected to grow 6.8 percent per annum to nearly $5.8 billion in 2017. The fastest gains are expected for laminated hurricane glass, although this will remain a regional product, the report states.