Glass fiber is a versatile industrial material, which can be easily manufactured from its raw materials. It exhibits characteristics such as transparency, hardness, chemical attack resistance, and stability, along with fiber properties such as stiffness, flexibility, and strength. Glass fibers are utilized in the production of printed circuit boards, structural composites, and an array of special-purpose products.
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The letter “e” in e-glass (also known as e-class glass fiber) stands for “electrical grade” which points toward its low electrical conductivity. E-glass is also known to possess limited thermal expansion coefficients, which makes it more resistant to thermal shock than common glass. It is not affected by thermal stress and is generally used to manufacture glassware that can be used in laboratories, cooking, and for other general purposes.
E-glass was initially developed for standoff insulators for electrical wiring. It was also found to possess excellent fiber-forming capabilities. Therefore, it commonly acts as a reinforcement agent in fiberglass, which is made up of special polymer reinforced with glass fiber, also known as glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) or glass-fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP). The percentage of e-glass in the composition varies depending on the type of fiberglass required. A type of alumino-borosilicate glass composed of less than 1% w/w alkali oxides, e-glass is highly preferred in the production of fiberglass and other glass fiber-reinforced composites due to its low cost, high stiffness & strength, heat & chemical resistance, non-flammable property, and electrical insulation.
E-glass Market Trends
Use of glass fiber over asbestos has increased as the latter causes cancer. However, there are concerns regarding glass fiber as well, since its composition includes silicate fibers, which are responsible for toxicity. Therefore, environment-friendly, boron-free e-glass has been developed and replaced the boron-containing variety.
A common application of e-glass is the production of glass fiber-reinforced composites. This segment is expected to dominate the market due to its uses in various industries such as storage tanks, GRP & GRE pipes, traffic lights, ship hulls, rowing shells & oars, auto body parts, helmets, surfboards, tent poles, antenna covers & structures, and others.
E-glass Market Segmentation
Based on type, the market can be segmented into boron-containing and boron-free varieties.
In terms of application, the market can be divided into the following categories: reinforcement agent (glass fiber composites), glassware, insulation, semiconductors, lighting, optics, and others.
By end-user, the market divisions include transportation, building & construction, industrial, wind turbine, consumer goods, electronics, and others.
E-glass Market: Region-wise Outlook
The market for e-glass is distributed over various locations across the globe depending on its industry application in that region. The dominating end-users of the market are building & construction and transportation. In terms of consumption, Asia Pacific leads the market, followed by Europe and North America, as a majority of manufacturers are positioned in these regions. China, India, and Japan in Asia Pacific and Germany, France, and the U.K. in Europe are likely to be the prominent consumers of e-glass due to the presence of key players in these countries.
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E-glass Market: Key Players
Key players operating in the e-glass market include AGY, Jiangsu Jiuding New Material Co. Ltd, Jushi Group Co. Ltd., Nippon Electric Glass Co. Ltd, Novalglass.com, Owens Corning, PBM Insulations Pvt. Ltd., PPG Industries Inc, Rex Sealing & Packing Industries Pvt. Limited, SCHOTT AG, SGG, and Shenzhen Sun Global Glass Co. Ltd.
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