The global ultra-thin glass market size was valued at USD 10.88 billion in 2021, envisioned to reach USD 19.41 billion growing at a CAGR of 7.5% during the forecast period. Ultra-thin glass is a premium material with a thickness range of less than 1 mm. It provides outstanding optical quality, thermal stability, chemical consistency, and mechanical resilience in all applications. The material can be rolled because of its degree of flexibility. Compared to alternative substrate materials like metals, plastics, and silicon, ultra-thin glass has several significant advantages, including superb optical quality, mechanical resilience, chemical consistency, and thermal stability. The semiconductor industry uses it extensively for electronic applications. In addition, it is utilized in the sensors and interior displays of various automobiles. Fusion and float processes are the most common techniques for fabricating ultra-thin glass. Both manufacturing techniques necessitate careful temperature and power regulation to produce faultless molten glass and thin glass sheets that conform to industry standards.
Increased demand for various consumer electronics items, including smartphones and LED televisions, propels market expansion throughout the forecast period. The ultrathin glass panels utilized in different consumer gadgets decrease their overall weight. In addition, a shift in consumer purchasing habits and a rise in disposable income boost sales of automobiles, hence accelerating market expansion. Widespread usage of ultrathin glass in automobile interiors and sensors. However, the high prices of raw materials and the availability of low-cost substitutes, such as plastics, may inhibit the ultra-thin glass market expansion.
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The Surge in Demand for Consumer Gadgets and Increased Disposable Income
The expansion of the ultra-thin glass market share is anticipated to be driven by an increase in demand for consumer electronics items like smartphones and televisions. Additionally, several consumer gadgets use ultrathin glass panels to minimize the total weight of the goods. In addition, ultra-thin glass, which has a thickness of fewer than 0.5 millimeters, is utilized extensively in the production of consumer electronics due to its excellent pliability and high resistance to heat. Additionally, characteristics such as electrical conductivity, sensitivity, and transmissivity play a role in determining the need for ultra-thin glass in consumer electronics.
It is also anticipated that shifts in consumers' lifestyles and rising discretionary income levels will drive automobile sales, further enhancing the ultra-thin glass market's growth. As a decorative element, ultrathin glass is frequently utilized in the interiors of automobiles, as well as door panels and sensors. Furthermore, in developed nations such as the United States, Canada, and Germany, automotive and luxury premium cars are regarded as symbols of social esteem icons.
The Presence of Other Options and Fragile Nature
In contrast to displays made of plastic, ultra-thin glass, used in various interior displays and OLED (organic light-emitting diodes) panels, can be quickly shattered. In addition, the high cost of producing ultra-thin glass is a significant disadvantage compared to the low cost of producing alternatives based on plastic and silicone. In addition, the ultra-thin glass screen used in electronic displays is not designed to withstand hammering or significant impact, unlike displays made of plastic, which can withstand substantial impact. This consequently creates restraints for the ultra-thin glass market.
The Increased Demand for Advanced Screen Protectors and Displays
Smartphones have a high demand for new screen displays with oleophobic and hydrophobic coatings. These coatings provide scratch protection without leaving any residue and minimize the level of fingerprints, sweat, and oil that can be seen on display. For instance, amFilms provides a glass protective case with a design that has a thickness of 0.3 mm and a hardness of 9H, making it appropriate for use with OLED panels. In addition, the robust design of such innovative screen protectors, which feature clear transparency, is anticipated to generate additional opportunities in the consumer electronics sector and propel the ultra-thin glass market demand.
The global ultra-thin glass market is classified based on thickness type, application, and region.
Based on the thickness type, the fragments include <0.1mm, 0.1mm-0.5mm, and 0.5mm-1.0mm.
The 0.1mm-0.5mm segment is projected to advance at a CAGR of 7.9% and hold the largest market share. Ultrathin glass with a thickness ranging from 0.1 to 0.5 mm is utilized in various applications, including touch panel displays, fingerprint sensors, semiconductor substrates, and vehicle infotainment systems. This type of glass has a smooth surface and is very good at resisting heat, making it an ideal material for LCDs, tablets, and smartphones. The expansion of the ultra-thin glass market share is anticipated to be driven over the forecast period by the escalating demand from the consumer electronics sector for various smartphones, tablets, and LCDs.
Additionally, a shift in consumer purchasing patterns and an increasing emphasis on aesthetics in various consumer devices are projected to boost market growth. Compared to the demand for thick glasses, the need for ultra-thin glasses with a thickness of 0.1mm to 0.5mm is considerable in the consumer electronics, fingerprint sensor, and semiconductor substrate industries. This is due to the extreme flexibility of the glass, which, unlike thick glasses, can be bent like paper sheets.
The 0.5mm-1.0mm segment will hold the second-largest share. Cover glass, vehicle glass, construction glass, and picture framing are all typical applications for ultra-thin glass with a thickness range of 0.5 to 1.0 mm. On the other hand, these are not as flexible as ultra-thin glass, which has a thickness of fewer than 0.5 millimeters. Additionally, in contrast to any other type of ultra-thin glass, these glasses have a lower risk of fracturing. However, because of its large thickness, this type of glass does not help achieve high levels of optical transmission, thermal stability, or dimensional stability.
AGC Inc. and CSG Holding Inc. are two of the leading suppliers of ultrathin glass with a thickness of over 0.5 mm. The increase in demand for ultra-thin glass in vehicle panels and window panels is anticipated to generate new market opportunities. Ultrathin glass membranes can be utilized in quadruple glazing windows for zero-energy buildings. In addition, the growing need for aesthetic appeal in the automobile industry is anticipated to expand the product's use in windscreens, ultra-thin windows, and sophisticated curved glass panels.
Based on application, the fragments include Consumer Electronics, Automotive & Transportation, Medical & Healthcare, and Others.
The consumer electronics segment is projected to advance at a CAGR of 8.1% and hold the largest market share. The different display panels used in smartphones, laptops, and screen panels are some of the most crucial consumer electronics used for ultra-thin glass. As a result of its great pliability and excellent resilience to heat, ultrathin glass with a thickness of less than 0.5 mm is utilized extensively in consumer electronics. The necessity for ultra-thin glass in consumer electronics is also affected by several qualities, including electrical conductivity, sensitivity, and transmissivity. It is anticipated that older consumer electronics gadgets will be replaced, and there will be an increase in enthusiasm toward technical improvements (especially in smartphones, wearable devices, and TVs), which will both contribute favorably to the expansion of the market for ultra-thin glass.
In addition, an increase in disposable income in emerging countries such as China, India, and South Korea is anticipated to contribute to the expansion of the market. In addition, many new alliances between glass producers and end consumers, such as Samsung and LG, are anticipated to boost market expansion further. For example, in 2020, Samsung Electronics cooperated with Corning to create its ultra-thin glass for foldable smartphones. These new advancements are anticipated to facilitate the development of the ultra-thin glass market.
The other segment will hold the second-largest share. The aerospace and building & construction industries are two such industries that utilize ultra-thin glass. In the aerospace industry, ultrathin glass has numerous applications, including door and window panels for restroom and pantry compartments. This mirror's reflection exceeds 90%, which is greater than that of other mirrors. To maintain an average temperature, ultra-thin glass membranes are also utilized in the glazing of building windows. The increasing choice for ultra-thin, lightweight glass in different window panels of buildings is predicted to drive market expansion. In constructions, ultrathin glass is typically laminated with PVB or EVA. In addition, a significant need for lightweight, ultra-thin glass mirrors with silver covering is anticipated to increase demand for the product in the aircraft industry.
The region-wise segmentation of the global ultra-thin glass market includes North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
The Asia Pacific and Europe Will Dominate the Regional Market
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The Asia Pacific will command the market with the largest share while growing at a CAGR of 7.8%. China predominantly holds the ultra-thin glass market in the Asia-Pacific region due to the significant demand from the automobile sector. China is the world's largest producer of automobiles. Hence there is a huge need for ultra-thin glass to be used in a variety of automotive interior panels and window panels. In addition, expansion in the domain of renewable electricity is anticipated to act as a primary driver of ultra-thin glass market growth throughout the forecast period. Countries such as China, India, and Japan are making significant investments in the solar power industry, which is contributing to the expansion of the global market. Additionally, the rapidly expanding electric car industry in countries such as China and Japan is anticipated to elevate the market's growth further.
Europe will hold a share of USD 5,846 million, growing at a CAGR of 7.6%. In Europe, there is a presence of significant players who offer a diverse selection of ultra-thin glass for the consumer devices, automotive, and medical markets. Examples of these major players are Schott AG and Corning GmbH. In addition, numerous companies specializing in consumer electronics are moving toward using ultra-thin technologies for touch panels and sensors, fueling the market's expansion. It is anticipated that the need for ultra-thin glass will be driven by the growing popularity of consumer devices like smartphones, LCD TVs, and laptops. In addition, the excellent temperature endurance and high flexibility of ultra-thin glass make it a perfect material choice for the interior and solar glass panels of automobiles. The increasing prevalence of ultra-thin glass in various solar panels is another factor that is anticipated to favorably influence the expansion of the market in the European region.
List of key ultra-thin glass market manufacturer profiled