Glass is an amorphous non-crystalline solid that is often transparent and has widespread practical, technological, and decorative usage. It is used in window panes, tableware, and optoelectronics. Glass additives are used for coloring the glass, which is then widely used in large number of industries. These additives act as facilitators that help refine opaqueness, color, resistance, and refractive index, thereby improving the quality of the final product. Thus, glass additives play an important role in the glass industry. Rise in demand for glass with enhanced properties such as water repellence, UV protection, and anti-glare in automotive, electronics, and construction industries has triggered the usage of metal oxides and nanoparticles as additives during glass production. Utilization of additives in glass helps accelerate the manufacturing process, thereby reducing the overall energy consumption. It also contributes in bringing down the total manufacturing costs.
The global market for glass additives can be segmented based on metal alloys, nanoparticles, polymers, and rare earth metals. The market can also be segmented in terms of chemical elements such as iron, manganese, sulfur, nickel, titanium, chromium, uranium, and other rare earth metals. The applications of glass additives include glass transition, silicate glass manufacturing, aerodynamic levitation, network glasses, 3D printing, color strengthening and others. Glass additives are also used for customization of glass for different applications including tableware, lamps, and eye glasses among others.
Increase in consumption of colored and specialty glass in the packaging industry is a major factor driving the glass additives market. Glass materials are extensively used in the food & beverages sector, and have been the most-preferred packaging material for soft drinks and edible semi-fluids. Glass is considered to be one of the most reliable types of packaging material in the pharmaceuticals industry. Demand for enhanced additive substances is expected to rise, owing to the need for upgrading the strength and sustainability of glass against reactive substances. Therefore, increase in demand for glass in the food & beverage industry coupled with rise in popularity for glassware across industries such as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics is expected to propel the demand for glass packaging. This, in turn, is projected to boost the glass additives market. However, availability of alternatives such as plastics, comparatively low cost of plastic additives, and limited reserves of rare earth elements are some of the factors estimated to restrain market growth.
In terms of geography, the glass additives market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. Asia Pacific has high manufacturing capacity of glass. This makes it a lucrative region of the glass additives market. China is the largest producer of rare earth elements. It is also the biggest consumer of glass products in the world. Rapid industrialization in the country is supported by the strong economic growth. Furthermore, emerging economies such as India and Indonesia are also driving the glass additives market in Asia Pacific. Thus, Asia Pacific is a rapidly growing region of the glass additives market. North America is also anticipated to be a key region, owing to the high consumption of glass in healthcare and pharmaceuticals sectors. Growth in electronics and automobile industries in Europe is also projected to boost the demand for glass additives that provide thermal and electrical insulation.
Key manufacturers operating in the glass additives market are BASF SE, DuPont, Nanobase, Torrecid Group, Gillinder Glass, and SCHOTT.