Fabricated Glass Increasingly In Demand

Rebounding architectural market to drive 5.5 percent annual gains in the segment

Source: Freedonia Group

Demand for fabricated flat glass is expected to increase 5.5 percent annually for the next three years due to a rebounding architectural market, according to the High Performance Flat Glass industry study from the Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm. The 300-page report is available for purchase from Freedonia Group.

Fabricated flat glass demand is forecast to reach $14.3 billion in 2017, with architectural markets accounting for 42 percent of demand, according to the report. Overall, the market is expected to experience “fast growth of higher value-added flat glass products.”

Tempered glass represents the largest segment of the fabricated flat glass industry—29 percent in 2012. However, gains in tempered glass will be slightly below average over the next few years due to increased use of laminated glass products, according to Freedonia. Tempered glass demand is expected to increase 5.3 percent annually to about $4.2 billion in 2017. Laminated glass, meanwhile, is projected to increase 6.4 percent annually to $4.1 billion in 2017. “Increased penetration in a number of key markets, including ... firerated glass, security glass, and hurricane glass ... will spur demand [for laminated glass],” according to the report.

The insulating glass segment was hit hard by the construction downturn, but is expected to experience above-average gains as the market recovers and energy efficiency increasingly becomes a priority. IG demand is projected to increase 7.8 percent annually to $2.3 billion in 2017. “Increasing use of coated and tinted solar control and other insulating windows in architectural markets will benefit demand,” according to the report.

Also driven by energy efficiency, demand for high-performance flat glass products is expected to increase 8.2 percent annually to about $9.2 billion in 2017. “High-performance products will continue to account for an increasing share of the overall flat glass market, representing over 64 percent of flat glass demand in value terms in 2017,” Freedonia forecasts.

Demand for the remaining fabricated flat glass products—mirrors and specialty flat glasses, such as anti-reflective and ultra-clear products—is forecast to increase 3.2 percent to about $1.5 billion in 2017, according to the report.

SOURCE: The Freedonia Group, Inc.