Anti-reflective coatings were the largest product segment for optical coatings in 2012 with a market share of over 30%. Owing to the increasing demand for semiconductors and energy efficient infrastructure, transparent electrodes and reflective coatings are expected to be the fastest growing product segments for optical coatings in the coming years.
Infrastructure was the largest application segment for optical coatings and this dominance is expected to continue in the near future. The growing demand for energy-efficient homes, cool rooftops and other such features have led to increase in the demand for anti-reflective and reflective coatings. Driven by the growing threat of an energy crisis, there has been a significant increase in the number of government policies and incentives for the use of renewable sources of energy. Owing to which, the solar applications of optical coatings are expected to be the fastest growing application segment.
In 2012, North America had the highest demand for optical coatings and accounted for over 30% of the overall global demand. In North America, the demand for optical coatings is expected to be mainly driven by the growing demand for photovoltaic modules used in solar panels. However, the Asia Pacific region is expected to be the fastest growing region for the optical coatings market. High GDP growth rate leading to increase in the disposable income of people in the region is expected to be the most significant factor driving the demand for optical coatings in the region.
The optical coatings industry is highly fragmented and mainly dominated by regional players. Some of the major global players include 3M precision optics, PPG industries, Optical Coatings Japan, Newport Corporation and many others.
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