Heat treated glass is obtained by heating annealed glass and then cooling it rapidly. It has characteristics such as enhanced strength and improved breakage characteristics such as size and shape of the glass pieces after breakage to reduce injury. Heat treated glass reduces breakage potential, owing to thermal stress and stress from wind and snow loads especially in architectural applications. Heat treated glass is majorly of two types namely, fully tempered glass and heat strengthened glass.
Fully tempered glass is four times stronger as compared to the annealed glass having same configuration and thickness and is recommended for safety glazing applications such as interior glass walls, storefronts, and glass doors.
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Heat strengthened glass is twice as strong as annealed glass with similar thickness and configuration. It is utilized in general glazing where additional resistance and strength to thermal and mechanical stress is desired such as spandrel glass.
Heat treated glass is used in building and construction industry for various applications such as doors, tub and shower enclosure, side lights, interior partitions, storm doors, patio-door assemblies, escalator, and stairway balustrades.
Increasing demand for heat tempered glass from building and construction industry is driving growth of the global heat treated glass market. According to the global alliance for building and construction and International Energy Association, global buildings sector is growing rapidly and floor area for building was 235 billion meter square in 2016. Furthermore, according to the United Nations and International Energy Association’s Global Status report 2017, it is estimated that 230 billion square meters of new construction activities will be undertaken over the next 40 years.
Heat treated glass is widely used in motor vehicle industry in side and rear windows in automobiles, trucks, and multi-purpose vehicles. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), an international automotive trade organization, world motor vehicle production in 2016, was 95.06 million, which increased by 2.4% to 97.30 million in 2017, which in turn is increasing demand for heat treated glass.
Wide applications of heat treated glass, owing to its properties such as enhanced strengthen and reduced likelihood of injuries in case of breakage is fuelling growth of the heat treated glass market. For instance, manufacturing industry uses heat treated glass in ovens, shelving, refrigerators, fireplace screens, and furniture.
Heat treated glass is regulated by various regulatory bodies such as ASTM International. For instance, ASTM C1048-04 provides standards for heat treated flat glass, ANSI Z97.1 provides standard for the safety of glazing materials including heat treated glass used in buildings, CAN/CGSB-12-1-M90, which regulates tempered glass and Federal Standard CPSC 16 CFR 1201 regulates architectural glazing materials such as heat tempered glass.
Heat Treated Glass Market Outlook
Heat treated glass market in Asia Pacific is growing rapidly due to increasing demand from construction sector especially in economies such as China and India. According to International Energy Agency, an intergovernmental organization, building growth will be rapid in Asia. For instance, floor area is expected to double by 2035 from 2017, in India.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China, real estate investment in China is increased by 7% in 2017, from 2016. Also, total sales of commercial buildings increased by 13.7% in 2017 from 2016, and sales of residential buildings increased by 11.3 % between 2016 and 2017, thereby increasing demand for heat tempered glass from commercial and residential building sector.
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North America held a significant market share in the global heat treated glass market in 2017, with U.S. being the major contributor to the market growth in 2017. According to the U.S. International Trade Association, Department of Commerce, the U.S. is the second largest market for vehicle production and sales worldwide. In 2017, the U.S. exported 2 million new light vehicles and 130,000 medium and heavy trucks to more than 200 markets worldwide as per the data provided by ITA. This significant demand for automobiles in the U.S. is supporting growth of heat treated glass market, as heat treated glass is used in back and side windows of vehicles.
Key players operating in the global heat treated glass market include Glass Dynamics Inc., Vitrum Glass Group, Oldcastle Building Envelope, Inc., ITI Glass, Asahi Glass Co., Ltd., GSC Glass Ltd., and Tecnoglass S.A.