Flexible Glass Market By Application (Lighting, Display, Sensors, Energy Storage, Automotive), By Technology (Down-Draw, Float Glass) - Growth, Future Prospects & Competitive Analysis, 2017 – 2025

Flexible glass is defined as a glass possessing a minimum thickness of 25 micrometers (microns). These are also known as innovative glasses as they are thinner and flexible than a human hair. Flexible glass is preferred over plastics, metals and silicon owing to its optical quality, surface quality, thermal capability, hermeticity, chemical compatibility and dimensional stability. The development of flexible glass has greatly generated interest among industry players and prompted for further research and development for flexible electronics, photovoltaic and organic light emitting diodes (OLED). Therefore, rapid advancements in technology is likely to change next generation technologies due to ongoing applications of flexible glass in e-paper, OLED lightening and roll to roll displays.

On the basis of application, the global flexible glass market is categorized into lighting, display, sensors, energy storage and automotive. In 2016, display segment is expected to account for the major share of the total flexible glass market by volume. The display segment is expected to dominate owing to its rapid demand in smart phones owing to its slim and scratch-resistant property. The lightweight as well as low cost applications when compared with rigid glass further enhances its application in mobile and computing sector. The recent incorporation of flexible glass in solar PV panels acts as a lucrative opportunity for the market. Recent innovations in flexible glass is expected to lead to the formation of foldable smart phones in the near future. Flexible glass witnesses rapid applications as altering the molecular properties further mends its britlessness, thereby leading to formation of new breed of glass. However, the high cost associated with the manufacturing of these glasses is expected to restrain the market growth.

Geographically, North America, is expected to dominate the market growth due to rapid advancements in manufacturing technology. There is recent development of foldable mobile phones along with wearable electronic in clothes has further augmented the market growth. The flexible glass market of Asia Pacific is also expected to witness the fastest growth rate due to rapid demand for improved quality electronic products such as smart watches, smart phones, and others. Growing research and developmental activities and technological advancements in manufacturing technologies are some of the other factors expected to surge the market growth. Apart from that, advent of new flexible and rollable glass products by key manufacturers such as Corning Inc. and Asahi Glass Co. are other significant factors which make the market competition intense. Growing application of solar glasses among developing regions, as in the integration of solar cells for shading of glass facades of high rise buildings is another factor driving the market demand. Collectively, the aforementioned factors are expected to surge the market growth.

Some of the key players operating in the market include Asahi Glass, Dow Corning, LG Display Co, Ltd, Nippon Electric Glass, SCHOTT AG, Dupont Display, Sony Corporation, LiSEC Group, kent Displays, Abrisa Technologies and other notable players.

Flexible Glass Market

On the basis of its applications, the global flexible glass market is categorized into following segments:

  • Lighting
  • Display
  • Sensors
  • Energy Storage
  • Automotive
  • Others

Flexible Glass Market

Flexible glass is also known as ultra-thin glass. It exhibits similar characteristics as compared to a rigid glass such as higher performance, temperature, robustness as well as transparency. Global glass leader such as Corning have undergone research and development measures to check the usability of flexible glass on printed electronics. And the results have led to the formation of flexible glass which exhibits the performance of glass along with the flexibility of plastic. Moreover, increasing demand among consumers for portable electronics where the energy efficiency, durability and lightweight is must has further led to emergence of new display technologies such as flexible glass. In 2016, display application dominated the flexible glass market and is expected to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period. This glass is being used in broad area electronic applications such as displays, solar cells as well as roll-to-roll systems to print newspapers. Apart from this, organic light emitting diodes (OLED) which has emerged as a recent display technology, has gained significance in lightening panels due to its light, thin and shatter proof property. The incorporation of flexible OLED’s (which is substrate consisting of plastic, metal or flexible glass) in mobile devices and TV’s has further surged growth of the market. In addition, rapid demand for smartphones, smart gadgets and tablets globally has further enhanced the application of flexible glass.

Energy storage application is expected to grow at a rapid pace owing to surging applications of flexible glass in high power applications. Flexible glass is widely utilized for photovoltaic panels, wind turbine generators and aerospace electronics. Certain players have discarded the use of conventional fragile glasses and have incorporate the use of flexible glass sheet on solar cells to form flexible solar products. The flexibility of these solar products has further led to easy and cost-effective installation of solar panels on rooftop applications such as by gluing panels on the roof. Rising demand for solar energy has further escalated the need of solar panels which is also a major factor stimulating the market growth.

On the basis of its technology, the global flexible glass market is categorized into following segments:

  • Down-Draw
  • Float Glass

Flexible Glass Market

Flexible glass is a thin glass varying in thickness from 1.1 mm down to 25 micrometers. Flexible glass exhibits surface quality, better optical transmission and hermeticity. Now-a-days, there is an increasing trend among industry players for light weight, ultrathin and high performance flexible electronics such as in photovoltaic, touch sensors and displays. Therefore, the increased demand for high quality devices requires high throughout put production methods. The discovery of ultra-slim flexible glass has further elevated the optical transmission characteristics of flexible glass. For instance, optical transmission of flexible glass is limited to 4% surface reflection loss along with zero presence of scattering or haze. The improvement in device design and performance with increased process optimization and manufacturing yield has further enabled high resolution in flexible glass. The introduction of down-draw technology has led to the increased manufacturing of thin and ultra-thin flexible glass. This process fabricates touch screens and glass wafers to be deployed in wafer level packaging of semi-conductor devices as well as camera image sensors. Currently, this process is expected to register to a major share of the market as this process rapidly incorporates different types of glass which are further processed to yield highly flexible thin glass. Increase in demand for flexible thin glass in consumer electronics such as in laptops, tablets and TVs is expected to drive the market in coming years. Float glass is another method utilized for the production of flexible glass. Float glass method leads to formation of a distortion free flat glass which is increasingly used for windows. Additionally, flexible float glass is essentially used for aesthetic applications in buildings as it provides attractive exterior surface which is further expected to augment the market growth.

Based on geography, the global flexible glass market is segmented into following regions and countries:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
    • Mexico
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • Spain
    • France
    • UK
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • Japan
    • China
    • India
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa

Flexible Glass Market

In 2016, North America was the largest market as U.S. is the largest consumer of flexible glass owing to higher demand for smart electronics. There is an increasing demand for flexible display in North America owing to its widespread application in wearable devices, smartphones, televisions, military equipment which is expected to penetrate the market in the coming years. However, Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at a rapid pace throughout the forecasted period owing to changing lifestyles, acceptance of western culture, wide scale industrialization as well as growing population. Rapid adoption of western culture has raised awareness among consumers for better quality electronic gadgets such as smart watches, smart phones and cell phones. Increasing research and development activities in developing regions such as China and India by multiple display manufacturers has further led to the advancement in flexible display technology which is poised to drive the market growth. For instance, Samsung is currently involved in producing flexible organic light emitting diodes (OLED) in order to cater to growing consumers demand for mobile phones and wearable technologies. Growing consumption of light weight, handy and attractive electronic gadgets in Asian economies is further expected to stimulate the market growth.

Additionally, Moxi Group, a Chinese company, has innovated a flexible phone that can be easily worn on the wrist like a watch. Furthermore, increasing demand for smart phones and tablets is another factor contributing to market growth.

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Executive Summary - Brief Global Market Size - Current & Forecast
Regional Market Size - North America
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Published Date:  Dec 2017
Category:  Advanced Materials
Report ID:   58910
Report Format:   PDF
Pages:   120
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