Advanced glasses and ceramics are used in a wide variety of high technology and specialty applications. Compared to traditional glasses, these specialty glasses contain specific additions or may be entirely different compositions, often based on novel processes. The use of advanced glasses can vary widely-electronic displays, optical fibres, thick-film packaging and substrates, optical disc substrates, aerospace and high-performance composites, medical and dental implants, dental materials, and radiation shielding.
In 2005, electronic displays have emerged as the leading market, accounting for nearly $90 of all electronic applications. These displays include cathode ray tubes (CRTs), liquid crystal displays (LCDs), and gas and vacuum discharge displays.
The second largest application for glass ceramics comes, not surprisingly, from optical applications. In the early part of the decade, this market saw a slight decline in profit, falling from $2.2 billion in 2002 to $1.7 billion in 2004. By 2010 the optical applications market will slowly regain ground, reaching $2.4 billion at an AAGR of 5.6%
However, the health care and aerospace/high performance make up a much smaller percentage of the overall market; combined they only account for 5.5% of the total market in 2005. However, throughout the forecast period both should experience considerable growth. The health market will grow from $376 million in 2005 to almost $600 million in 2010, an AAGR of 9.3%. The growth for the aerospace and high performance markets will be significantly slower, reaching $411 million in 2010.
Overall, the report (Advanced Glasses and Glass Ceramics: Materials, Processing, New Developments - RGB-094U from BCC Research) says that demand for advanced glasses is expected to grow as new applications in the various segments come on the market, and innovation continues at a very strong pace.