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USGNN Original StoryNew Study Predicts Strong Growth in Hurricane and Solar Control Glass through 2012

A new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm, Advanced Flat Glass, projects demand for advanced flat glass to increase 5 percent annually to $7.2 billion in 2012. The study attributes a variety of factors to this increase in demand, including the recovery of residential building construction activity from a weak 2007 base, ongoing rapid growth in a variety of emerging technologies and strong gains in laminated glass used as hurricane-resistant glass, ballistic glass and burglary-resistant glass.

According to the study, security and safety glass products, including both tempered and laminated flat glass, represent the largest group of advanced flat glass materials, accounting for 62 percent of total demand in 2007. While certain of these products are relatively mature (such as tempered safety glass for motor vehicles), there remain a number of opportunities for advanced flat glass, particularly for laminated flat glass used as hurricane glass, burglary glass, ballistic glass and motor vehicle safety glass.

Consumption of hurricane glass, specifically, is forecasted to advance 7.9 percent annually to $380 million in 2012. Regulations in hurricane-prone areas, increasing consumer acceptance of the product as an alternative to metal shutter systems, are expected to drive this growth. According to the study, demand for hurricane glass currently is concentrated in Florida, since it is entirely in the hurricane zone and has been the most pro-active in demanding increased hurricane preparedness in new building construction. However, higher levels of demand are expected to develop along the Eastern seaboard as hurricane glass becomes the standard for new construction in hurricane-prone areas.

The study also notes that solar control flat glass, the second largest group of advanced flat glass products, will continue to post above-average growth through 2012. According to the study, low-E glass comprises the largest component of demand for solar control glass as it has become well established as a primary component of insulating glass units, which are becoming the norm for windows in both the new construction and replacement segments of the residential construction market. Reflective glass, used largely in nonresidential construction, is predicted to record below-average growth due to competition from low-E windows. Smart glass products represent the smallest yet fastest growing segment. The study predicts demand for smart glass to have a significant impact outside of the electrochromic mirrors and liquid crystal display privacy glass that have been available for some years and into the potentially more lucrative architectural market. In addition, the commercial roll-out of suspended particle device smart glass technologies is now expected to occur, sparking above-average growth for the category through 2012.

CLICK HERE for more information about the study.

Solar Control Glass Demand
(in million dollars)

Item 1997 2002 2007 2012 2017
Solar Control Flat Glass Demand 698 1,114 1,529 2,145 2,930
By Product:
Low-Emissivity Glass 355 537 648 825 980
Reflective Glass 238 310 442 610 790
Smart Glass 105 267 439 710 1,160
By Market:
Architectural 530 816 1,079 1,500 1,980
Residential 266 441 530 725 920
Nonresidential 264 375 549 775 1,060
Motor Vehicles 168 295 444 625 885
Other Markets 3 6 20 65
Percent solar control 18.5 23.3 27.3 30.0 32.6
Advanced Flat Glass Demand 3,777 4,787 5,607 7,150 9,000

Source: The Freedonia Group Inc.

Safety and Security Glass Demand
(million dollars)

Item 1997 2002 2007 2012 2017
Security and Safety Glass Demand 2,764 3,244 3,496 4,160 4,915
By Product:
Safety Glass 2,350 2,666 2,658 3,020 3,420
Fire-Rated Glass 108 150 205 275 365
Ballistic Glass 142 177 233 285 350
Burglary-Resistant Glass 62 86 140 200 280
Hurricane Glass 102 165 260 380 500
By Market:
Architectural 389 544 793 1,085 1,425
—Residential 64 88 128 170 215
—Non-Residential 325 456 665 915 1,210
Motor Vehicles 2,131 2,413 2,337 2,595 2,835
Aerospace and Other Transport 244 287 366 480 655
Percent security and safety glass 73.2 67.8 62.4 58.2 54.6
Advanced Flat Glass Demand 3,777 4,787 5,607 7,150 9,000

Source: The Freedonia Group Inc.

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