Flexible Glass Demand Driven by Display and Solar Panel Demand; Growth Expected Through 2019
Despite recent setbacks for flexible glass in the display market, the material still has the potential to reach revenues of $348 million in 2019, according to “Flexible Glass Markets, 2014 and Beyond,” a recent report from NanoMarkets. Although glass makers are currently “desperately seeking” new applications for flexible glass, just two product categories–computer/tablet displays and solar panels–will account for more than 80% of the market for flexible glass in 2019.
The newly resurgent solar panel industry reportedly offers large addressable markets for flexible glass, since this industry inherently consumes a considerable amount of both substrate and encapsulation material. In this market, flexible glass can potentially compete both on its strong barrier properties and because its flexibility and low weight are well-suited to BIPV installations. There have already been CdTe and DSC demonstrators built using flexible glass, and some consider flexible glass to be a perfect cover for CdTe solar shingles. As a result, NanoMarkets expects flexible glass to generate over $150 million in sales to the solar panel sector in 2019.
Flexible glass will also reportedly reenter the display market in a few years as a more durable–and possibly lower cost–material. It will be marketed against plastic substrates and covers based on better encapsulation and the fact that it is relatively scratchproof. The likelihood is that much of the revenues for flexible glass in the display sector will come from LCD-based tablets, laptop and notebooks. Such revenues are expected to reach almost $125 million by 2019. By contrast, cell phone use of flexible glass is expected to reach only $40 million in 2019.
For more information, visit http://nanomarkets.net.