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USGNN Original StoryFreedonia Predicts Steady Growth in Refractories for Glass Manufacturing

Demand for refactory products in the United States is expected to accelerate through 2011 and reach $2.5 billion, according to a recent report from the Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Nonmetallic mineral markets, including glass and ceramic production, are expected to show the biggest growth. Refractories are used in glassmaking operations, in furnaces that perform annealing, melting and shaping processes. The report projects that sales of refractories for glass manufacturing will rise 1 percent annually to $140 million in 2011, recovering from the declines of the 2001-2006 period. While sales are likely to rise, volume demand is expected to decline-slightly-to 150,000 tons in 2011. Demand will be supported by a rise in shipments of glass products through 2011, which are expected to accelerate from the 2001-2006 pace.

According to the report, the use of high-quality refractories has lengthened the life of glass furnaces and decreased refractory consumption per unit of glass produced. Life spans of glass furnaces have reached 15 years in some instances, although this can depend on the types of glass produced in the furnace. To help increase furnace life, a number of glass manufacturers now undertake a "hot repair" of the furnace, whereby monolithics are used to protect the bricks and seal cracks in between furnace rebuilds. While the report predicts that demand for bricks and shapes is expected to advance more rapidly than for monolithics among refractory forms-as preformed shapes are increasingly utilized due to performance advantages such as reduced heat-up time-demand for monolithic bonding and other mortars is projected to grow at an above-average pace.

CLICK HERE to read the full press release on the report.

Glass Refractory Market

Item 1996 2001 2006 2011 2016
Glass Refractory Demand (mil $) 130 136 133 140 145
$/ton 703 777 858 933 1000
Glass Refractory Demand (000 tons) 185 175 155 150 145

Source: The Freedonia Group, Inc.

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