In a recent market study published by Transparency Market Research, the global glass fibers market is said to be expected to reach a valuation of US$14 mn by 2020, increasing from US$8 mn in 2013. This will translate into a compounded annual growth rate of 8.40% therein. The report is titled “Glass Fibers Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, and Trends and Forecast 2014 - 2020” and is available for sale on the company’s website.
Glass fibers are materials that consist of numerous extremely minute fibers of glass. Glass fibers exhibit properties of light weight, high tensile strength, and high sturdiness. Due to their high bulk strength and light weight, glass fibers are favored in many applications over even metals.
The report says that the global glass fibers market is largely driven due to the usability of the material across a wide spectrum of applications. This includes wind turbines, transportation, building and construction, and consumer goods, among others. The exponential growth of practically all application areas of glass fibers has tremendously boosted the growth of the glass fibers market. Glass fibers are used on a large scale in fiber-reinforced plastics.
Glass fibers are suitable for a host of applications due to their high structural strength and resistance to impact. Particularly in wind turbine operations, the lightness of turbines including consisting of fibers facilitates smooth power generation; in automotive design, lightness of the vehicle is important for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, glass fiber reinforced plastics are commonly used in wind turbines and automotive components.
Of all the glass fiber types, E-class glass fibers display a clear dominance over other glass fiber type segments. This segment currently accounts for a share of more than 80% in the global market due to the low cost, high modulus, and high tensile strength of E-class glass fibers. Other glass fiber types such as S-class, D-class, and C-class are more expensive to manufacture, but outdo E-class fibers in matters of performance. This is the reason why these glass fibers are collectively known as performance glass fibers and are commonly used for technical applications.
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Application-wise, building and construction is the largest application segment of this market. Glass fibers are used for residential and non-residential insulation applications. Glass fibers are also used in the fabrication of bathroom fittings and indoor furniture; the material is increasingly being used as an alternative to timber, aluminum, steel, and concrete for these applications.
In 2013, Asia Pacific stood as the largest regional market for glass fibers, accounting for a share of 45% in the global market. The easy availability of labor at low wages and readymade manufacturing facilities in China and India is the reason for this.
The report mentions and profiles top companies in the global glass fibers market. These are Owens Corning Corporation, Jushi Group Co. Ltd., Johns Manville Corporation, PPG Industries Inc., Nippon Electric Glass Co. Ltd., and AGY Holding Corporation.
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