US demand to rise 8.2% annually through 2017
Demand for high performance flat glass products in the US is forecast to rise 8.2 percent per year to $9.2 billion in 2017, equivalent to 910 million square feet. This will represent a substantial improvement from the performance of the market over the 2007-2012 period, when demand in area terms fell. Between 2007 and 2012, the high performance flat glass market suffered from a combination of general economic troubles and poor performance in key markets, particularly new building construction and motor vehicle production. Motor vehicle production fell by nearly half between 2007 and 2009, but by 2012 had nearly recovered to 2007 levels, allowing the vehicular sector of the high performance flat glass market to post above-average growth over the 2007-2012 period. Building construction spending fell every year from 2007 to 2011, with especially severe losses in the new residential sector, resulting in a decline in high performance flat glass demand in architectural markets. Going forward, gains will benefit from a major rebound in building construction spending, continued improvement in motor vehicle production, and increased share for high performance products in the general flat glass market.
Security & safety glass to remain dominant products
Security and safety glass products are the largest segment of the high performance flat glass market, accounting for twothirds of all sales in 2012. Consumption of security and safety glass is forecast to rise 6.5 percent yearly through 2017, trailing the market average due to the relatively moderate growth expected in motor vehicle production. The fastest gains are forecast for laminated hurricane glass, although this will remain a regional product.
Solar control glass to post most rapid market gains
Solar control glass will post the fastest gains through 2017. Consumption of solar control glass products is largely concentrated in architectural markets, 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, particularly double-pane insulated glass units (IGUs). Sales of low-e glass will see especially strong gains through 2017, benefiting from both a rebound in new housing construction and heightened market share driven by increased emphasis on energy efficiency. Electrochromic mirrors represent the largest application for solar control glass outside of architectural markets, and account for the bulk of smart glass demand. Smart window glass products, including electrochromic windows, SPD windows, and LCD windows, will make strong gains but will continue to represent a minor share of the total market.
Self-cleaning glass, headsup display products to grow
Demand for other high performance flat glass products will also advance at an accelerated rate through 2017. Heads-up display windshields are the largest individual product type in this category, and will post strong sales growth as these products become more common, although demand will remain largely confined to aircraft and higher-value motor vehicles. Demand for self-cleaning glass will rise especially quickly from a small 2012 base. Sales of other products, including anti-reflective glass, leaded glass, and electronics glass, will increase at a below average rate.
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