Global float glass market is expected to witness substantial growth over the forecast period owing to rise in use of the product in building materials for commercial and residential infrastructure. Rising use of the product in interior design and architecture has played a major role in increasing the demand which has now moved further towards ceiling, flooring, reflective, coated, windows, mirrors, table tops, and insulated glass. In addition, growing use of float in automotive application is expected to drive the industry over the next seven years. Rising disposable income coupled with industrialization primarily in emerging economies is expected to be key drivers for the industry growth over the projected period. The technology has been rapidly replacing plate and sheet facilities owing to improved safety elements such as incorporating an interlayer foil between sheets which hold it in place in the event of breakage. Furthermore, increasing use of the component allows higher light transmission which reduces the heat gain for architectural applications which is expected to drive market demand. Rising environmental concerns regarding global warming are expected to result in high demand as it aids in achieving LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) certification for residential and commercial constructions. Growing use of the product in construction sector owing to easy applicability and superior aesthetics is expected to augment industry growth over the forecast period. Growing consumer awareness regarding safety in buildings coupled with increasing emphasis on building codes is expected to further improve demand over the projected period.
Float glass is manufactured using raw materials 73% sand (silicon dioxide), 15% soda (sodium carbonate), 10% limestone (calcium carbonate) and 2% various additives which are melted in a furnace and floated onto a bed of molten tin. The market is segmented on the basis of product as tinted float and clear float glass. Tinted floats are manufactured by adding colouring agents during the melting process which reduces solar transmittance by absorbing proportion of solar energy and the most common ways in which this product is used is in automobile windows as it reduce the buildup of heat in a car and another popular use is in windows of homes and commercial buildings thereby saving the money in cooling costs. Clear float glass exhibit superior quality as compared to other types of flat glass owing to unique characteristics such as improved surface finishing, uniform thickness, high optical quality, flatness and bright appearance and is applied in areas requiring high visibility and clarity such as windows, doors, mirrors, greenhouse, skylights, appliances, and solariums.
Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest market share owning construction and infrastructure growth. Rising investments in Asia Pacific owing to government policies favouring infrastructure development is expected to increase demand over the projected period. Europe contributed a significant share to the market demand owing to large scale demand for the component from construction sector. However, Europe is expected to witness sluggish growth due to effects of economic recession. In addition, increase in development in emerging economies is likely to further impact the growth of the region over the next few years. North America accounted for a major share owing to the use of the product in automotive and construction sector. The region is likely to witness above average growth owing to the use of the product in automotive applications. In addition, gradual recovery of the construction sector in the region is expected to have a positive impact towards growth. Growing industrialization coupled with increase in construction activities in Africa and Middle East is expected to propel growth. Furthermore, rising demand for the product in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia owing to infrastructure development is likely to boost demand over the forecast period. Latin America is likely to witness above average growth owing to its demand primarily in automotive sector. Moreover, growing automotive industry coupled with rising disposable income in the region is likely to propel market growth over the forecast period.
Major players in the market include Asahi, Pilkington, Saint-Gobain, Taiwan Glass Group, Ltd., Carlex, Guardian Industries Corp., Nippon Sheet Co., Trakya Cam Sanayii A.S., and Central Glass Co. The market is highly consolidated with four companies including Asahi, Pilkington, Saint-Gobain and Guardian Industries accounting for the majority share.
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