Photosensitive Glass Market size is forecast to reach $ 9.8 billion by 2026, after growing at a CAGR of 6.3% during 2021-2026 as photosensitive glass is widely used for decorative purposes owing to its attractive appearance. Photosensitive glass is similar to photo-definable or photostructurable glass or photomachinable glass, which is a crystal-clear glass that belongs to the lithium silicate family glass. Photosensitive glass can capture images by microscopic metallic particles when it is exposed to ultraviolet lights. Photosensitive glass is used for various applications, such as window decoration, wall and partition beautification, and windowpanes in architectural appliances. Photosensitive glasses have valuable properties such as high strength, excellent stability, reproductivity, and multiplicity of contrast shades, thus it is used for jewelry, fresco printing, and others. Hence, such factors are estimated to grow the demand for photosensitive glass for decoration.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, major sectors saw a steady decline in growth owing to the decrease in transportation during the lockdown. The construction activities were also closed from the first quarter of 2020. According to U.S. Census Bureau, construction spending in the US decreased 0.8% in January 2021. Thus, this factor is hampering the demand for glasses.
Photosensitive Glass Market Segment Analysis – By Type
The transparent colored glass segment held the largest share in the photosensitive glass market in 2020. Transparent glass can transmit and absorb/refract daylight in all directions. It helps to increase solar reflectivity, reduce heat, and maintain the view. Thus, most of the transparent colored glass is used for decorative purposes in houses, hotels, and other commercial buildings. Hence, increasing demand for transparent glass is estimated to boost the demand for photosensitive glass.
Photosensitive Glass Market Segment Analysis – By Application
Decorative wall segment by application held the largest share for the photosensitive glass market and growing at a CAGR of 6.5% during 2021-2026 as it is widely used for appearance enhancement in a residential environment. Photosensitive glass belongs to lithium silicate-based glass family which is used for producing ceramic floor tiles for decorative purposes which, in turn, increasing the demand for glass in residential areas. Thus, the growing residential sector is likely to increase the demand for photosensitive glasses (also known as photostructurable glass or photomachinable glass). According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's real estate market investment jumped from 15.7% in 2019 to 38.3% in January-February 2021. Hence, the growing construction industry is estimated to drive the demand for photosensitive glass.
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Photosensitive Glass Market Segment Analysis - By Geography
North America region dominated the photosensitive glass market in 2020 with more than 30% of market share due to established industry and economically strong nature, which helps to generate additional demand for the photosensitive glass market. It is widely used in the commercial sector to aesthetically enhance the surroundings. Thus, growing housing demand in North American countries such as the USA is expected to grow the demand for decorative glass at homes. In April 2021, The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the construction of 1.6 million houses, out of which 1.4 houses have been built. This is driving the demand for photosensitive glass in North American region.
Photosensitive Glass Market Drivers
Growing Demand from Buildings and Construction
Photosensitive glass or photomachinable glasses are used for decorative purposes such as walls & partition, decorative printing at home, and others. Thus, the continuously growing demand for houses is estimated to grow the demand for glasses. According to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), in 2019 Puravankara realty firm limited plans to invest Rs 850 crore to build 3 luxury housing projects in Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai over the next 4 years. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), Canadian housing starts rose 21.6% in March 2021 as compared with the previous month. Therefore, the growth in all such activities is expected to boost the demand for photosensitive glass.
Excellent Light Transmit Properties of Photolithography
Photolithography, photosensitive glass/photostructurable glass allows more light to transmit through glasses with terminating reflection, thereby enhancing the clarity in vision. It uses UV light to transfer the geometrical pattern from the optical mask to the photosensitive layer on the substrate. Photolithography is one of the most important and easiest methods of microfabrication to place a pattern which makes it an invaluable tool in the semiconductor and electronics industries. Photolithography mechanism permits the micropatterning of photosensitive etch-able glass based on the crystallization of the glass following irradiation with MeV protons and heat treatment. Hence, due to permit extra light emission is expected to grow the demand for photolithography on photosensitive glass.
Photosensitive Glass Market Challenges
High Cost of Photosensitive Glass
Silicon dioxide, zinc oxide, and others are used in the composition of photosensitive glass. It requires a high temperature to be molded in any shape. Silicon dioxide is formed when silicon is exposed to oxygen, thus; it requires high cost to manufacture which, in turn, increasing the cost of photosensitive glass. Thus, this factor is limiting the market growth.
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the photosensitive market. Major players in the Photosensitive Glass Market Corning Incorporated, HOYA Corporation, Schott AG, IPG Photonics Corporation, Gaffer Glass, OptiGrate Corporation, Lastek Pty. Ltd., 3D Glass Solution, Inc and SUMITA OPTICAL GLASS, and among others.
North America dominates the photosensitive glass market owing to increasing demand from construction and decorative sectors in developed countries such as the Unites States, Canada, and Mexico.
The increased demand for photosensitive glass (group of lithium silicate family glass) due to its characteristics of capturing colorful images and superior physical properties fuel its use for aesthetic purposes.
Increasing applications of photosensitive glass across various areas such as wall decoration, painting, ornamental tiles, and others are anticipated to create lucrative growth opportunities for the market during the forecast period.
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