Fiberglass is a widely used material in various industries due
to its unique properties and versatility. It is a composite material made up of
fine glass fibers woven together and held in place by a resin binder.
Fiberglass is renowned for its high strength-to-weight ratio, durability, and
resistance to moisture, chemicals, and heat.
One of the most common uses of fiberglass is in the
construction industry. It is used to make a variety of products such as panels,
pipes, and insulation materials. Fiberglass panels are widely used for exterior
and interior walls, roofs, and ceilings due to their excellent strength and
insulation properties. Fiberglass pipes are popular in the oil and gas industry
due to their corrosion resistance and high strength. Fiberglass insulation is
also popular in buildings as it is lightweight, easy to install, and provides
excellent thermal insulation.
Fiberglass is also used extensively in the automotive
industry, particularly in the manufacturing of car bodies and parts. The
lightweight and durable nature of fiberglass make it a popular choice for car
manufacturers, as it can reduce fuel consumption while maintaining the structural
integrity of the vehicle.
Another industry that heavily relies on fiberglass is the
marine industry. Fiberglass is used to manufacture boats, yachts, and other
watercraft due to its excellent resistance to water, moisture, and corrosion.
The lightweight nature of fiberglass also makes it a popular choice for marine
manufacturers as it can reduce the overall weight of the vessel, leading to
improved speed and fuel efficiency.
Fiberglass is also used in the aerospace industry for
manufacturing aircraft parts, including wings, fuselages, and rotor blades. The
lightweight and high strength-to-weight ratio of fiberglass make it an ideal
material for the aerospace industry.
In conclusion, fiberglass is a versatile and widely used material
in various industries due to its unique properties, durability, and resistance
to moisture, chemicals, and heat. Its lightweight nature and high
strength-to-weight ratio make it an ideal material for various applications,
including construction, automotive, marine, and aerospace industries. The
widespread use of fiberglass is expected to continue to grow due to its
numerous benefits and versatility.
Fiberglass Market Dynamics
Drivers in Fiberglass
The fiberglass market is driven by the increased use of
fiberglass composites in the automotive industry. Fiberglass products have a
higher strength-to-weight ratio, making them ideal for various applications,
including automobile manufacturing. The use of lightweight materials in
automobile manufacturing helps to deliver high mileage and enhanced fuel
efficiency of the vehicles. As many countries are focusing on the production of
lightweight vehicles to meet the CAFÉ (Corporate Average Fuel Economy)
standards, the demand for fiberglass composites in the automotive industry is
increasing, which contributes to the growth of the fiberglass market.
However, the market is restrained by issues in the glass
wool recycling process. Glass wool is a low-cost and efficient insulation
material, but it is difficult to recycle, posing a major challenge for the
insulation industry. Proper disposal techniques are required to dispose of
glass wool material safely, along with the use of protective clothing and masks
for personnel involved in the disposal process. Many emerging countries lack
the necessary infrastructure and techniques for safe disposal and recycling of
glass wool, which leads to the accumulation of glass wool waste. Since Asia
Pacific is the largest market for glass wool, efforts are needed to improve
recycling techniques for the material, especially in developing countries in
The fiberglass market has significant growth opportunities
in the wind energy industry, where it is widely used due to its
strength-to-weight ratio. Various countries such as China, Germany, and Spain
are actively transitioning towards renewable energy sources, and wind energy is
expected to contribute significantly to the world's electricity generation by
2035, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. This shift towards renewable
energy sources also helps in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and wind energy
is a cost-effective option for adding new generation capacity to the grid.
Challenges in Fiberglass
However, the fiberglass market faces several challenges, one
of which is the lack of standardization in manufacturing technologies for
different glass fiber products. High manufacturing and non-recurring
development costs also pose a challenge to the market's penetration in various
applications, including marine and consumer goods. The lack of standardization
in production leads to conservative designs and may cause producers to choose
conventional materials over glass fiber composites. The market needs to address
issues related to process standardization, design consistency, and maintenance
technology to overcome these challenges.
According to industry reports, S-Glass Type is currently the
fastest-growing glass type in the global market in terms of value. S-glass is
known for its superior strength and stiffness compared to E-glass, and it is
made with magnesium aluminosilicate. This glass type is ideal for applications
that demand high performance at elevated temperatures and corrosive environments.
It has a high content of silica, making it one of the highest-performing fibers
available at present. S-glass is widely used in the textile and composite
industries due to its high compressive strength, high-temperature resistance,
and improved impact resistance.
Chopped Strand is another type of fiberglass that is
experiencing significant growth in the market. It is primarily used to
reinforce thermoplastic and thermoset composites, and it is often mixed with
resins to produce reinforcing gap fillers for construction activities. Chopped
strand mats can be oriented randomly or evenly and are suitable for the hand
lay-up process using thermoset resins to manufacture a wide range of products
for various industries, including the automobile, recreation, and chemical
industries. They are particularly effective when used with polyester resins,
producing strong, stiff, and durable laminates that are utilized to manufacture
water tanks, boats, and industrial equipment.
However, despite the popularity of fiberglass products,
their production and processing require a high volume of energy and resources,
which can have a negative impact on the environment. In response to this,
governments worldwide are implementing strict laws and mandates to reduce
harmful emissions from industries. As a result, the production and consumption
of fiberglass may be hampered, and the disposal of fiberglass products may
become more challenging due to the introduction of stricter laws. These factors
could limit the adoption of fiberglass panels and other fiberglass products by
end-use industries to some extent.
The market for fiberglass is divided into two applications,
namely composites and insulation. The composites segment is the fastest-growing
application in terms of value, with significant market share in 2021. This
growth can be attributed to the construction and automotive industries in Asia
Pacific and North America, where there has been a significant increase in
demand for fiberglass panels, resin, and epoxy. These composite materials are
preferred for their ability to provide lightweight structures without
compromising strength, which is driving their demand. Moreover, fiberglass
reinforcement is also widely used in the construction industry, and it is
expected that this trend will continue in the coming years. Fiberglass concrete
has also become increasingly popular, and manufacturers are establishing new
plants to boost production capabilities and meet the growing demand in the
construction sector. Therefore, the demand for fiberglass composites is likely
to remain strong, leading to the establishment of new production facilities to
meet the growing demand in various industries.
The increasing adoption of renewable energy, particularly
wind energy, is the primary factor driving the demand for fiberglass, as it is
widely used in wind turbine blades. However, the growing availability of carbon
fiber, which is lighter but more expensive than fiberglass, poses a significant
threat to the fiberglass market. In addition to wind energy, fiberglass has a
wide range of applications in the automotive industry for components such as
exhaust systems, fenders, and floor panels, as well as in the construction
industry for mesh fabrics, waterproofing, and self-adhesive drywall tapes.
The rise of modern architecture has also contributed to the
development of new materials that complement the art without compromising on
stability and strength. The International Building Code (IBC) recognizes
fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) materials as part of the prescriptive, which has
increased their use in construction and architecture. This trend is expected to
drive the growth of the fiberglass market.
The market segmentation for fiberglass includes Tape, Cloth,
and Rope, with the Tape segment dominating due to the rising demand for
fiberglass tapes from the construction and automotive industries. E-glass,
which provides electrical insulation and has a relatively low price, is the
most extensively used type of fiberglass, accounting for more than 20% of the
market share. Other types of fiberglass include S-glass for high strength, ECR
for electrical and chemical resistance, C-glass for corrosion resistance, and T-glass,
R-glass, and AR glass.
Fiberglass is produced in different forms, including
strands, rovings, yarn, mats, and fabric. Rovings hold the largest share in the
global fiberglass market in terms of fiber type, accounting for more than 40%
in 2018. Filaments are the first product that comes out of the bushing during
production, and these filaments are combined to form strands or yarn, which are
then wound into rovings used to make mats.
North America dominated the global fiberglass market with
over 30% share in 2018 and is expected to maintain its position during the
forecast period. E-glass and S-glass together held more than 50% share in the
market in terms of glass type, while the roving segment had a significant
share. The automotive industry is the major consumer of fiberglass in North
America, with demand expected to hold a dominant share of 32.3% in 2022 and
maintain it until 2028. The increasing investments in the construction and building
industry are expected to drive the consumption of fiberglass in North America.
In Europe, the rising popularity of smart devices and smart
home technology is driving the demand for composite materials such as
fiberglass. Currently, Western Europe and Eastern Europe account for 28.8% and
9.2% shares of fiberglass consumption, respectively.
Asia Pacific is the largest and fastest-growing market for
fiberglass globally due to increasing focus on emission control policies and
the growing demand for eco-friendly products, leading to technological
advancements in composites. The replacement of traditional materials like steel
and aluminum with fiberglass is driving the growth of the fiberglass market in
Asia Pacific. Fiberglass demand from industries such as construction,
transportation, automotive, and electronics is expected to drive the growth of
the fiberglass market in the region. In Europe, the premium car manufacturers
demand high strength material for which fiberglass is an appropriate choice, making
automotive applications the major consumer of fiberglass. The construction
industry follows closely as fiberglass fulfills the requirements of Building
Codes regulation in Europe.
Key players in Fiberglass Market
- CHINA JUSHI CO., LTD.
- OWENS CORNING
- TAISHAN FIBERGLASS INC. (CTG)
- CHONGQING POLYCOMP INTERNATIONAL CORP. (CPIC)
- NIPPON ELECTRIC GLASS CO., LTD.
- BINANI 3B-THE FIBREGLASS COMPANY
- TAIWAN GLASS IND. CORP.
- PFG FIBER GLASS (KUNSHAN) CO., LTD.
- JOHNS MANVILLE CORP.
- ASAHI FIBERGLASS CO. LTD.
- KNAUF INSULATION
- SAINT-GOBAIN VETROTEX
- CERTAINTEED CORPORATION
- SAINT-GOBAIN ADFORS
- AGY HOLDING CORP.
- SAINT-GOBAIN ISOVER
- SODA SANAYII AÞ
- SAERTEX GMBH & CO. KG
- NITTO BOSEKI CO., LTD.
- KCC CORPORATION
- JIANGSU CHANGHAI COMPOSITE MATERIALS CO., LTD.
- BGF INDUSTRIES, INC.
- ARABIAN FIBERGLASS INSULATION CO., LTD. (AFICO)
- FIBEREX CORPORATION
- SHREE LAXMI UDYOG
Recent Developments in Fiberglass Market
In November 2021, Taishan Fiberglass Inc. (CTG) revealed
plans to invest USD 250 million to establish a new fiber manufacturing facility
in Gujarat, India. The goal is to expand the company's presence in India and
the Middle East markets.
Owens Corning, in July 2021, acquired Vliepa GmbH to
diversify its non-woven product portfolio and cater to the building and
construction sector in Europe.
Johns Manville Corp. established a thermal recycling plant
in Trnava, Slovakia, in January 2021. The facility has a capacity to recycle
over 3 tons of glass fiber waste per hour and incorporate them into the
production of its engineered products.
The fiberglass market has witnessed significant growth in
recent years, driven by the increasing demand for renewable energy sources,
particularly wind energy. Fiberglass is widely used in wind turbine blades due
to its strength-to-weight ratio, making it an attractive material for
manufacturers. However, the market faces challenges from carbon fiber, which is
a strong substitute for fiberglass but is more expensive.
The automotive industry also presents opportunities for the
fiberglass market, with the material being used in various components such as
exhaust systems, fenders, floor panels, and headliners. Additionally, the
construction industry uses fiberglass in mesh fabrics that prevent cracks in
interior walls, floor coverings, wall coverings, self-adhesive drywall tapes,
and waterproofing frit. There has been a rise in modern architecture, leading
to the development of modern materials that complement the art without
compromising on the stability and strength of the structures formed. As a
result, fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) materials are now recognized by the
International Building Code (IBC) as a part of the prescriptive, which is
estimated to drive the fiberglass market.
The market segmentation for fiberglass includes tape, cloth,
and rope, with the tape segment dominating the market. The growth of the tape
segment is attributed to rising demand from the construction and automotive
industries. Fiberglass is produced in different forms, including strands,
rovings, yarn, mats, and fabric. Rovings occupied the majority share in terms
of fiber type in the global fiberglass market in 2018, accounting for more than
40% of the market.
However, the lack of standardization in the production of
various fiberglass products remains a challenge, with high manufacturing and
non-recurring development costs impacting the penetration of fiberglass
composites in a wide range of applications, including marine and other consumer
goods. This has forced producers to consider conservative designs, leading to
the choice of conventional materials over glass fiber composites.