Anti-reflective coatings are applied on a wide variety of commonly used products such as eyeglasses, touch screens in electronic devices, flat panel displays, and smartphone displays. Ripe demands from these mature application areas are the chief factors why the global anti-reflective coatings market is progressing at a steady pace. However, the market is expected to benefit mostly from rising demands from solar power generation and telecommunications industries.
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Anti-reflective coatings are optical thin film coatings that help reduce reflections from a variety of surfaces. These coatings increase transmission by reducing loss of light through reflectance. At the point where glass meets air, nearly 4% of light falling upon the glass at perpendicular angle is lost due to reflection. The percentage of light lost in such cases keeps increasing with increase in light’s angle of incidence. For solar panels, especially, light reflected is light wasted. Application of anti-reflective coatings on solar panel glasses helps in minimizing reflection of light, and thus in delivering better light transmission.
According to TMR, he global anti-reflective coatings will exhibit an impressive CAGR of 8.2% over the period between 2014 and 2020, rising to a revenue opportunity of over US$4.9 billion by 2020.
Eyewear Industry to Remain Leading Consumer of Anti-reflective Coatings
The report covers the key end use industries for anti-reflective coatings, including eyewear, solar, automobile, and electronics. Of these, the eyewear industry is presently the leading consumer of anti-reflective coatings market and is likely to remain one of the most promising end use sectors for the market in the next few years as well. The industry presents demand for anti-reflective coatings for use in high light transmitting products and comfortable lenses and eyeglasses. In 2013, the industry contributed nearly 40% of the overall revenue of the global market.
Other than eyewear and solar power generation, the electronics industry is another leading consumer of anti-reflective coatings. In 2013, second-largest share in the market was held by the electronics industry. The robust smartphone industry, rising global demand for flat panel displays, and the use of anti-reflective films during photolithography during fabrication of semiconductors make the electronics industry an important end user of the market. Owing to rising use in applications such as dashboards and high transmitting windows in a variety of vehicles, the automotive industry has also emerged as an important end use sector of the anti-reflective coatings market.
Asia Pacific to Emerge as a Leading Regional Market for Anti-reflective Coatings
From a geographical standpoint, the regional anti-reflective coatings market in North America accounted for nearly 35% of the overall market in 2013. Dominance of this regional market is likely to remain unhindered in the near future as well due to rising demands for anti-reflective coatings from eyeglasses and flat panel displays. The market for anti-reflective coatings in Europe has also witnessed steady expansion in the past years and likely to embark upon a strong growth path in the near future owing to the well-established eyewear, solar power, and automotive industries.
The Asia-Pacific anti-reflective coatings market is expected to present the most promising growth prospects over the report’s forecast period. High demand from the electronics industry and steady expansion of industries such as automotive and solar power in the region are expected to remain the leading factors driving the market for anti-reflective coatings in the near future.
Some of the leading vendors in the market are Carl Zeiss AG, Hoya Corporation, Royal DSM, Optical Coatings Japan, PPG Industries Inc., JDS Uniphase Corporation, Honeywell International Inc., and Essilor International S.A.