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Glass Technology

Friday, April 29, 2016

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Glass is a non-crystalline amorphous solid that is often transparent and has widespread practical, technological, and decorative usage in, for example, window panes, tableware, and optoelectronics. The most familiar, and historically the oldest, types of glass are "silicate glasses" based on the chemical compound silica (silicon dioxide, or quartz), the primary constituent of sand. The term glass, in popular usage, is often used to refer only to this type of material, which is familiar from use as window glass and in glass bottles. Of the many silica-based glasses that exist, ordinary glazing and container glass is formed from a specific type called soda-lime glass, composed of approximately 75% silicon dioxide (SiO2), sodium oxide (Na2O) from sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), calcium oxide, also called lime (CaO), and several minor additives.There are various methods of glass making other than melting for example condensation of vapours, conversion of crystals to an amorphous form using mechanical means or irradiation with fast neutrons, dehydration and sintering of gels, etc.The properties of glass can be varied and regulated over an extensive range by modifying the composition, production techniques, or both. In any glass, the mechanical, chemical, optical, and thermal properties cannot occur separately. Instead, any glass represents a combination of properties, and in selecting an individual glass for a product, it is this combination that is important.

DEMAND OF GLASS

Indian packaging industry is pegged to be around $ 15 billion with a growth rate of 15 % approximately, out of which Indian container glass industry stands at $ 0.87 billion with an approximate growth rate of 12 %. The Indian float glass is estimated to be around $ 0.76 billion with growth rate of 32 % in the last fiscal year. The comparison between per capita consumption of glass in countries like the USA - 27.5 kg and Japan 10.2 kg suggests that India with a consumption of 1.4 kg has a huge scope for significant growth opportunities.

India has well developed glass container manufacturing industry, which remained rudimentary for a long period. The industry has evolved to adopt modern processes and automation in a large way. The current installed capacity of the industry is over 7,000 tons per day. Indian float glass market has an installed capacity of around 3000 tons per day.

It has grown with CAGR of 13 % over the last five years. The major source of revenue comes from Architectural - 85%, Automotive - 10% and Others - 5%.

 The segments served by the glass industry, which are showing huge growth prospects are Alcobev packaging, real estate and automobile industry. The real estate is expected to grow at 30 % over the next decade, attracting foreign investments worth $30 billion.

Fuelled by growth in sectors like real estate, infrastructure, retail, automotive and food & beverages, the country’s glass industry will acquire a market size worth Rs.340 billion by 2015 from Rs.225 billion at present, according to a study by industry body . Indian glass market is estimated to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% over the next three years.The Indian glass industry is pegged at $2.7 billion. Glass consumption growth is expected in construction (9 per cent), automotive (19 per cent), consumer goods (10-12 per cent) and pharmaceuticals (12-15 per cent) sectors.The flat glass market, at present, stands at 4,500 tpd and is growing at 16 per cent year-on-year while the container glass is at 7,000 tpd and contributes 55-60 per cent to the overall glass market. Other glass (lighting, bangles, beads) market is at 1,500 tpd.Total capacity of glass manufactured in India – 5200 tonnes/day. Two upcoming capacities of 700 tonnes/day and 1000 tonnes/day till end of 2016 or beginning of 2017. Expected growth in 2016/17 will be > 12%, owing to the planned construction of around 100 smart cities. Glass imports are to the tune of 500 tonnes/day. This remains stable owing to anti-dumping on clear float glass from China, Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia.

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