Self-cleaning Glass: Introduction
- Self-cleaning glass is defined as a specific type of glass with a surface that keeps itself free of dirt and other harsh environmental conditions. It is a low-maintenance glass that is made by depositing a thin layer of chemical that has photolytic and hydrophilic properties on the surface of the glass. This makes the glass easier to clean.
- Self-cleaning glass is fog and glare resistant. The material applied on the glass does not change its mechanical, thermal, and acoustic properties. Self-cleaning glass is used in areas such as facades and areas with higher elevation that are hard to reach for manual cleaning. It has a layer of titanium oxide over the surface that undergoes a chemical reaction and breaks dirt and other materials into smaller pieces that can be easily washed off by rain or through the application of water. The layer is also hydrophilic, i.e. it attracts water unlike normal glass, which is hydrophobic, which repels water. As a result, water spreads evenly across the glass and wipes off the dirt quite easily. Self-cleaning glass helps save upon maintenance costs, time, and effort.
Key Drivers of Global Self-cleaning Glass Market
- The global self-cleaning glass market is primarily driven by its demand for usage in areas such as balconies, patio doors, display windows, glazed facades, conservatories, and other glass surfaces that are at high altitude and difficult to clean manually
- Self-cleaning glass helps diminish the usage of water for the purpose of cleaning. Demand for this glass has been rising across the globe. Increase in need for improved appearance and esthetics is likely to drive the global self-cleaning glass market. Rapid urbanization and industrialization has led to construction of skyscrapers and multi-storied buildings. Windows in those buildings are difficult to clean manually. Self-cleaning glass helps in cleaning such windows. Self-cleaning glass is used in solar panels. Rise in usage of solar panels due to shift toward the use of renewable energy is likely to propel the demand for self-cleaning glass. Furthermore, rapid industrialization, which involves the construction of skyscrapers, is augmenting demand for self-cleaning glass. It is hard to reach glass panels in the elevated areas of skyscrapers. Self-cleaning glass is ideal for usage in these buildings.
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Hydrophilic Glass Coating Segment to Dominate Global Market
- The hydrophilic glass coating segment is estimated to account for prominent share of the self-cleaning glass market, owing to the use of hydrophilic coated self-cleaning glass in windows, facades, solar panels, etc. during the forecast period
- Hydrophilic and hydrophobic types of glass coatings clean themselves through rinsing with water. Hydrophobic is cleaned by rolling droplets, while hydrophilic is cleaned by sheeting of water carrying away the dirt on its surface.
Building & Construction Application Segment to Dominate Global Market
- Building & construction was the prominent segment of the market in terms of demand in 2020. The segment is anticipated to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period owing to rise in demand for advanced glass for various functions such as self-cleaning and energy efficiency in residential buildings.
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Global Self-cleaning Glass Market: Restraining Factor
- High price of self-cleaning glass as compared to conventional glass is expected to restrain the self-cleaning glass market. Self-cleaning glass does not completely clean itself automatically. Therefore, people prefer conventional glass. This is also anticipated to hamper the self-cleaning glass market in the near future. Additionally, there is a lack of awareness among people in developing countries about self-cleaning glass technology. This is projected to hamper the self-cleaning glass market during the forecast period.
Covid-19 Impact on Self-cleaning Glass Market
- The prevailing pandemic situation has weakened the demand for glass in automotive, construction, electronics, and other applications. The path to recovery of growth for the industry is highly dependent on the duration of restrictions imposed and their influence on economic activity across the globe. Contrary to the trend prevalent in the industry in general, certain segments of the market are likely to witness sluggish demand in the near future.
Asia Pacific to Hold Significant Share of Global Self-cleaning Glass Market
- In terms of region, the global self-cleaning glass market can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
- Rise in production of vehicles in China and India is expected to drive the demand for self-cleaning glass over the next few years. Furthermore, growth of the construction industry and high production volume of solar panels are anticipated to positively impact the self-cleaning glass market in the region.
- North America and Europe accounted for significant share of the global market in 2020 owing to the high production volume of end-user segments including automotive and solar devices. These regions are highly adaptive to new technologies. As a result, the penetration of the product in the application sectors is expected to be high, this impacting the market positively. Increase in demand for self-cleaning glass in the commercial sector is also estimated to boost the market. The market in Middle East & Africa is likely to expand at a significant pace owing to the growth of the automotive sector in the region.
Key Players Operating in the Market
Manufacturers are adopting different strategies such as acquisitions, mergers, product launches, and partnerships. Key players operating in the global self-cleaning glass market include:
- Clear Glass Solutions
- Dongguan City of East Pearl River Glass Company Limited
- Foshan Qunli Glass Company Limited
- Gevergel (FoShan) Engineering Glass Company Limited
- ITC International Trading & Consulting Pty Limited
- PPG Industries, Inc.
- Saint-Gobain SA.
- Shanghai HuZheng Nanotechnology Company Limited
- Viridian Group
- Wuxi Yaopi Glass Engineering Company Limited.
- ZNG Glass Company Limited
Companies in the Self-cleaning Glass market have increasingly shifted gears with wide application of digital technology across the continuum, from raw material sourcing to manufacturing to generation of final output, to warehousing to final distribution operations. Among the various affects, the market is witnessing new growth economics due to thinning of line between specialty and commodity businesses that are associated with the larger ecosystem. At the same time, new growth parameters are being vigorously being debated as industry stakeholders put greater emphasis on the circular economy processes.
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