The global glass fiber market is anticipated to grow significantly over the forecast period. Glass fibers are thin strands of silica-based or other glass that is extruded into fibers which can be further processed based on applications. The material has superior properties such as high tensile strength, flexibility, lightweight, durability, sound absorption, thermal conductivity, and electrical conductivity among others. The above-mentioned properties make it extremely useful in reinforcement and insulation application. The product properties coupled with low cost make it a vital reinforcement material in the plastics industry.
Most of the globally produced glass fibers are used in the construction and automotive industry. The growing construction activities in emerging economies like India, China, and Brazil coupled with the increased use of insulation per unit build area is expected to be a key driver for the growth of the market. In addition, the increased focus on energy conservation in the construction industry has led to a higher emphasis on the utilization of glass fibers as they provide superior insulation properties at a nominal cost. They are extensively used in the automotive industry in replacement parts as they lead to lower tooling costs as compared to conventional materials such as metals. In addition, the material is used in a variety of other applications industries such as electronics, aerospace, energy, and consumer industry. However, the utilization and superior functional properties of substitutes such as carbon fibers could hamper the growth of the market in the near future.
The opportunities for the market lie in the increased application scope of fiberglass. The demand for renewable energy in the form of wind turbines and the demand for light-weight fuel-efficient aircraft and cars are key opportunities for the new players in the market. Various large companies are consistently innovating new products which would increase the application scope of glass fibers. Bayer MaterialScience recently developed a new body panel comprising of glass fibers and plastics which is expected to be lighter in weight and rigid as compared to the previously used polyurethane foam.
Asia is the largest producer of fiberglass globally and accounts for over half of global production. The growing application segment in this region is expected to be a key factor for the growing production volume in the region. The key companies involved in the glass fiber market include PPG Industries, Owens Corning, Nippon Sheet Glass, China Fiberglass Company, Knauf, and Advanced Glassfiber Yarns among others.
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The shortage in supply of raw materials from Chinese manufacturers has resulted in a severe demand-supply gap. The manufacturers are further expected to be stranded on raw material orders owing to the logistics industry being significantly impacted due to lockdown amid COVID-19. However, the producers are expected to move away from China aiming to reduce the future risks that would affect the business and to reduce the manufacturers' cluster in a single country in order to smoothen the supply chain. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.