Growth Projected for Value-Added Glass

January 3, 2011

U.S. demand for advanced flat glass products is projected to increase 9.1 percent annually from a weak 2009 base to 745 million square feet in 2014, valued at $7 billion, according to a new report from the Freedonia Group Inc . This growth represents a significant improvement over the 2004-2009 period, when advanced flat glass consumption suffered from the combination of a weak economy, crisis in financial markets, the bursting of the housing bubble and a sharp downturn in motor vehicle production.

Of the value-added glass products covered in the Cleveland-based firm's study, safety and security glass accounted for nearly three-fifths of demand in value terms in 2009. This reflects the widespread use of laminated and tempered products in motor vehicles and nonresidential construction. Growth in demand over the next five years will be paced by safety glass used in vehicular markets and laminated hurricane glass, although the latter will remain a regional product.

Consumption of solar control products is forecast to increase more than 12 percent annually from a weak 2009 base to $2.1 billion in 2014. The researchers note that low-emissivity glass has emerged as the most widely used product in manufactured window units, particularly the double-pane units that now dominate residential window applications.

Electrochromic mirrors comprise the largest smart glass product category and will post outsized growth due to a strong recovery in vehicle production and growing market penetration. Other smart glass products, such as electrochromic windows, suspended particle device windows and liquid crystal display windows, will make some market inroads, although demand will remain relatively small through 2014. Demand for other advanced flat glass products is projected to increase 7.7 percent annually. The largest single product, heads-up display glass, will post strong growth as advanced display systems become more widely used in vehicular markets. Self-cleaning glass will also record very strong gains through 2014, albeit from a relatively small 2009 base.

U.S. Advanced Flat Glass Demand (millions of dollars)
    % Annual Growth
Safety & Security Glass3,4072,3894,195-6.9%11.9
Solar Control Glass1,2151,1422,060-1.2%12.5
Other Advanced Glass





Source: The Freedonia Group, Inc.

The full 286 page report is available from Freedonia for $4,800. For more information, contact the company at 440/684-9600 or visit its Web site at