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Low Iron Glass Market

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  • 134 Pages
  • June 2022
  • Region: Global
  • IndustryARC
  • ID: 5631539
Low Iron Glass market size is expected to reach US$6.5 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period 2022-2027. Low-iron glass is a type of high-clarity glass that is made from low-iron silica sand with very low amounts of ferric oxide content. It is ideally used in applications that require high-clarity glass, extra-clear glass, optically-clear glass and light transmittance glass. Hence it is often used in various applications such as solar panels, aquariums, display cover glass, smart glass/touchscreen displays, furniture, architectural applications and more. The preference for low iron glass has been rapidly increasing owing to its wide range of benefits such as excellent neutrality, high transparency, clarity, high light, solar heat transmittance and more; in comparison to other types of standard glass. The development of new technologies, associated with the low iron glass to ensure reliable and efficient utilization of low iron glass for use in major end-users which include building & construction, solar energy, etc., are fueling the market growth. The outbreak of COVID-19 disrupted the production and supply of raw materials used in low iron glass manufacturing. The break in the supplies of raw materials reduced the production and supply of low iron glass. In addition, production activities of major end-users of low iron glass were hit drastically. As a result, the demand for low iron glass was hampered at the distributors' level, thereby affecting the market revenue.

Key Takeaways

  • Asia-Pacific dominates the low iron glass market, owing to the building and construction industry in the region. The growing urbanization coupled with the increasing population is the major factor for expanding the building and construction industry in APAC.
  • Several industrial applications, particularly applications involving solar panels, aquariums, display cover glass, lighting, photovoltaic, and more, employ low iron glass, owing to its wide range of properties such as excellent transparency, high light transmission, excellent clarity, and brightness.
  • An increase in new building and construction projects across multiple countries worldwide, increases the demand for low iron glass, due to its superior clarity and higher light transmission properties. This estimates an acceleration in the low-iron glass market during the forecast period.
  • Moreover, the growing need from various end-use industries, where an unrestricted view is essential, is boosting the demand for low iron glass as they are highly transparent, clear, and offer excellent light transmission when compared to standard glass.

Low Iron Glass Market Segment Analysis - By Type

The float glass segment held the largest share in the low iron glass market in 2022 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% by revenue during the forecast period of 2022-2027. Float glass is super smooth and distortion-free. It has natural greenish hue with a translucent nature.

The glass is capable of transmitting the maximum majority of the incident light, providing a crystal-clear view. By reducing the iron content, the greenish tint associated with float glass is reduced to a minimal.

Low iron float glass has a high degree of light transmission, hardness, thermal conductivity and low expansion; which results in high applicability in the construction sector for aesthetic and functional purpose. In the electronics and electrical sector, it is used as display cover glass for smartphones, LCD & LED television screens.

Rapid development in the construction sector and growing consumption of electronic goods like smartphones will create demand for low iron float glass. This in turn boosts the growth of low iron glass market.

Low Iron Glass Market Segment Analysis - By Silica Sand Size

The above 500 micrometers segment held the largest share in the low iron glass market in 2022 and is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% by revenue during the forecast period of 2022-2027. Silica sand having a granule size of more than 500 microns is made by hot acid treatment and by removal of impurities that affects the transparency of the sand. Silica sand features a granule size of 500 microns and above. It constitutes high performance substitutes such as brightness, reflectance and color consistency. As a result, they are used in manufacturing low-iron glasses that are further used in architectural structures in windows. Hence, Glasses used in building windows are made at a temperature of 1500°C; and silica sand with high purity content has a high melting point and low thermal expansion coefficient. These factors make it a better choice for such application which involves high-temperature exposure. Another key factor besides sand size is the chemistry of the silica sand with different levels of iron oxides, chromes, and other metals required to produce the various colors of glass. Hence with the increase in the level of construction activities, the demand for silica sand; for making low iron window glasses, will also increase. For instance, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, in Q4 of 2022, housing construction increased to 68,958 units compared to that of 63,741 units in Q4 of 2022 showing an 8.1% increase. The rise in construction activity during the forecast period will boost the demand for silica sand for making window glasses, which will further raise the demand in the low iron glass market.

Low Iron Glass Market Segment Analysis - By Application

The architectural segment held the largest share in the low iron glass market in 2022 and is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 5.0% by revenue during the forecast period 2022-2027. Low iron glass has architectural applications where it is used in exteriors and some parts of the interiors of buildings. Hence, in architecture, low-iron glass is used to provide maximum brightness and transparency with a higher visible light transmittance than traditional clear glass. Besides the exterior application, low iron glass is also used in interior applications where undistorted color neutrality is desired, such as in meeting rooms or offices. The combination of low iron glass with low e-coating results in the formation of highly transparent and high-performance exteriors of buildings with brilliant interior views, high visible light transmittance (VLT), and true-to-life views of the outdoors. Low-iron glass is also be considered for applications where color rendering or color harmonization with metal, paint, and other building materials are priorities. The increase in building construction will positively impact low iron glass usage. For instance, according to Eurostat, in May 2022, building construction increased by 12.8% compared to the previous year. Hence such an increase in building construction will create more usage of low iron glass for the exteriors of buildings.

Low Iron Glass Market Segment Analysis - By End-Use Industry

The building and construction segment held the largest share of 66% in the low iron glass market in 2022. Low iron glass is used in the building and construction sector for making protective windows for residential units while in commercial buildings it is used in protective transparent glass doors and in building exteriors. Float glass possesses low iron content which is mainly suitable for making glass objects, that is used for commercial and residential buildings as it has high light transmittance. Consequently, the glass acts as a thermal insulator and shows higher resistance to breaking. The increase in construction activities on account of rising demand for residential units and growing investments in commercial construction will create demand for low iron glass to be used in objects like windows, bathroom glass, and exteriors. For instance, according to the US Census Bureau, in 2022, the total number of new residential construction projects started in the US was 1,610 thousand units, showing a 16.7% increase compared to 1,379.61 units made in 2022. Also, according to Statistics Canada, in November 2022, commercial investment increased by 1.7% in Canada. The increase in construction orders for new houses and increase in commercial construction investment will positively impact the demand for low iron glass in the building and construction sector, resulting in a boost in low iron glass market growth.

Low Iron Glass Market Segment Analysis - By Geography

Asia-Pacific held the largest share in the low iron glass market in 2022 up to 53.9% by revenue. The industries such as residential construction, commercial construction, electrical & electronics, energy, and others are the booming sectors of the Asia-Pacific region. The growth of such sectors is accelerating demand for low iron glass, which, in turn, is driving the market growth. The low iron glass performs vital services such as optimum clarity, durability, and its ability to provide long-term protection against external conditions. As a result, it is frequently used in green building and solar energy projects. Variables such as increased demand for increasing sustainable development, government initiatives, and other similar factors, are supporting the expansion of the green buildings and solar energy industries in the Asia-Pacific region. For instance, according to Rystad Energy, renewable energy’s installed capacity in the Asia-Pacific continent will increase from 517 GW in 2022 to 815 GW by 2025. Solar energy will drive this expansion, with regional capacity nearly doubling from around 215 GW to 382 GW over the same time. Thus, such a growth in the production of solar energy will fuel the demand for new solar projects, this will boost the low iron glass market growth in upcoming years. Moreover, according to Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), in 2022, in Asia-Pacific region was the leading market for green building with countries like China, India, South Korea, and Taiwan holding the rank of 1, 2, 4, and 10. Hence, with growth in green building projects, the demand for low iron glass will increase, which will create an opportunity for the expansion of the low iron glass market.

Low Iron Glass Market Drivers

Growing Solar Industry

Low iron glass is primarily used in solar panels, photovoltaics and other applications in the solar industry, owing to optimum clarity, durability, and its ability to provide long-term protection against external conditions. Key benefits of low iron glass such as high light and solar heat transmittance, along with its consistent performance, following prolonged exposure to the sun make them ideal for use in solar applications. According to the Global Outlook for Solar Power Industry published by the Global Solar Council, a total of 138.2 GW solar PV capacity was installed across the world during 2022, which indicated an increase of 18% in comparison to 117.6 GW solar power in the year 2019. China was the leading country with 48.2 GW of solar PV capacity installed in 2022. This is followed by the US with 19.3 GW, Vietnam with 11.6 GW, Japan with 8.2 GW, and Australia with 5.1 GW of total solar PV capacity installed by 2022. All the top five leading countries saw an increase in their annual growth rate of solar PV installations in comparison to 2019. Recent insights from the International Energy Agency (IEA) state that solar PV generation increased up to 156 TWh in 2022 to reach 821 TWh, which is an increase of 23% in comparison to that of 2019. Thus, such a surging implementation of solar energy along with the growth of the solar power industry is expected to increase the demand for low iron glass for use in solar panels, photovoltaic modules, and other solar applications. This upsurge is expected to boost the market growth in the years to come.

Surging Electronics Production

Low iron glass is primarily used in the smart glass, touchscreen displays, and display cover glass of electronic devices such as laptops, smartphones, television and more. Low iron glass is a high-quality glass with a light transmittance of more than 91.5%. Its use in electronic devices enables high light transmission, brightness and optimum clarity; making them ideal for use in such applications. According to recent insights published on Growth from Knowledge (GRK) in September 2022, the global consumer electronics industry obtained a total revenue rise of US$ 42.8 billion during the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 18% in comparison to 2022, owing to an increase in electronic production. It further states that the GDP growth rate of consumer electronics, which include electronic appliances and gadgets such as smartphones, computers, television, laptops, tablets and more in countries like India, China, the U.S., and regions like Europe is expected to increase up to 8.1%, 5.7%, 1.4% and 1.7% respectively by the end of 2022. According to the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA), the global electronics production by Japanese electronics and IT companies reached ¥37,300 billion (US$ 339.7 billion) in 2022, which is an increase of 8% in comparison to that of 2022. It further states that the electronics production by the global electronics and IT industries is expected to increase by 5% and reach up to US$ 3,536.6 billion by the end of 2022 as compared to 2022. Furthermore, the total production of display devices by the global electronics industry reached US$ 178.3 billion in 2022, an increase of 24% from US$144.2 billion in 2022. In this way, such surging electronic production across the world is expected to increase the demand for low iron glass for use in screen displays, smart glass, and display cover glass of such electronic devices. This is expected to drive the low-iron market during the forecast period.

Low Iron Glass Market Challenges

Availability of Substitutes

Low iron glass has several substitutes such as clear glass, laminated glass, tinted glass, toughened glass and more. These substitutes have similar physical properties, performance and other similar factors such as strength, manufacturing process and more; which may restrict the market growth. Clear glass is a widely used substitute for low iron glass in several end-users such as building & construction, electronics and more, owing to its wide range of benefits which include higher scratch resistance and cost-friendly options; while delivering similar performance and strength in comparison to low iron glass. Moreover, when comparing the price aspect, the average price of low iron glass ranges from approximately US$ 3.0/square meter to even higher while the average price of clear glass ranges to approximately US$ 1.72/square meter. Compared to its substitutes, although low-iron glass possesses similar properties and performance, factors such as high cost and less scratch resistance; could be a major restraining factor for the growth of the low-iron glass market.

Low Iron Glass Industry Outlook

Technology launches, acquisitions and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the low iron glass market. The following ten players top the low-iron glass industry:

1. Compagnie de Saint-Gobain S.A.
2. AGC Inc.
3. Xinyi Glass Holdings Limited
4. Vitro
5. Nippon Sheet Glass Co. Ltd.
6. Sisecam Group
7. Guardian Glass
8. Schott AG
9. Taiwan Glass Ind. Corp.
10. Zhuzhou Kibing Group Co. Ltd.

Recent Developments

  • In March 2022, Saint Gobain invested INR 500 crore (approx. US$65.97 million) to build a new float glass facility along with an integrated window line in its World Glass Complex located in Chennai, India. The new facility is expected to meet the growing demand and needs for architectural, automotive and solar applications.
  • In September 2022, AGCULTURE, the new business activity of AGC Glass Europe, a subsidiary of AGC INC., launched Fountain, its first durable glass product; specifically developed to boost crop yields for horticultural growers. A fountain is essentially a low-iron float glass with one side treated by a chemical reaction to achieve the desired level of light diffusion. The new product launch targeted to expand AGC INC.'s position in the European market.
  • In February 2022, Vitro Architectural Glass launched low iron glass named SOLARBAN R77 glass for the South American market. To position itself as a leading player in the South American market.

This product will be delivered within 2 business days.

Table of Contents

1. Low Iron Glass Market- Market Overview
1.1 Definitions and Scope
2. Low Iron Glass Market- Executive Summary
2.1 Key Trends by Type
2.2 Key Trends by Silica Sand Size
2.3 Key Trends by Application
2.4 Key Trends by End-Use Industry
2.5 Key Trends by Geography
3. Low Iron Glass Market - Comparative analysis
3.1 Market Share Analysis- Major Companies
3.2 Product Benchmarking- Major Companies
3.3 Top 5 Financials Analysis
3.4 Patent Analysis- Major Companies
3.5 Pricing Analysis (ASPs will be provided)
4. Low Iron Glass Market - Market Forces
4.1 Market Drivers
4.2 Market Constraints
4.3 Porters Five Force Model
4.3.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.3.2 Bargaining Powers of Buyers
4.3.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.3.4 Competitive Rivalry
4.3.5 Threat of Substitutes
5. Low Iron Glass Market - Strategic Analysis
5.1 Value Chain Analysis
5.2 Opportunity Analysis
5.3 Product/Market Life Cycle
5.4 Distributor Analysis - Major Companies
6. Low Iron Glass Market - By Type (Market Size -US$ Million)
6.1 Float Glass
6.2 Rolled Glass
7. Low Iron Glass Market - By Silica Sand Size (Market Size -US$ Million)
7.1 Less than 125 micrometers
7.2 125 to 300 micrometers
7.3 301 to 500 micrometers
7.4 Above 500 micrometers
8. Low Iron Glass Market - By Application (Market Size -US$ Million)
8.1 Solar Panels
8.2 Aquariums
8.3 Architectural
8.4 Display Cover Glass
8.5 Lighting
8.6 Optical
8.7 Smart Glass/Touch Screen Displays
8.8 Furniture
8.9 Others
9. Low Iron Glass Market - By End-Use Industry (Market Size -US$ Million)
9.1 Building and Construction
9.1.1 Residential
9.1.2 Commercial
9.2 Automotive
9.2.1 Passenger Vehicles
9.2.2 Light Commercial Vehicles
9.2.3 Heavy Commercial Vehicles
9.3 Energy
9.4 Aerospace
9.5 Consumer Goods
9.6 Electrical and Electronics
9.7 Others
10. Low Iron Glass Market - By Geography (Market Size -US$ Million)
10.1 North America
10.1.1 USA
10.1.2 Canada
10.1.3 Mexico
10.2 Europe
10.2.1 UK
10.2.2 Germany
10.2.3 France
10.2.4 Italy
10.2.5 Netherlands
10.2.6 Spain
10.2.7 Belgium
10.2.8 Rest of Europe
10.3 Asia-Pacific
10.3.1 China
10.3.2 Japan
10.3.3 India
10.3.4 South Korea
10.3.5 Australia and New Zealand
10.3.6 Indonesia
10.3.7 Taiwan
10.3.8 Malaysia
10.3.9 Rest of APAC
10.4 South America
10.4.1 Brazil
10.4.2 Argentina
10.4.3 Colombia
10.4.4 Chile
10.4.5 Rest of South America
10.5 Rest of the World
10.5.1 Middle East
10.5.2 Africa
11. Low Iron Glass Market - Entropy
11.1 New Product Launches
11.2 M&As, Collaborations, JVs and Partnerships
12.Low Iron Glass Market Company Analysis - Business Overview, Product Portfolio, Financials, and Developments
12.1 Compagnie de Saint-Gobain S.A.
12.2 AGC Inc.
12.3 Xinyi Glass Holdings Limited
12.4 Vitro
12.5 Nippon Sheet Glass Co. Ltd.
12.6 Sisecam Group
12.7 Guardian Glass
12.8 Schott AG
12.9 Taiwan Glass Ind. Corp.
12.10 Zhuzhou Kibing Group Co. Ltd.