Volumes in the global anti-reflective (AR) coatings market are estimated to be over 510 kilo tons by 2024. With a CAGR exceeding 6% from 2016 to 2024 (forecast period), the market would be valued about USD 6 billion in 2024. Demand for AR coatings is mainly pushed by higher preference for anti-glare & anti-reflection lenses/eyewear.
The consumption of such coatings in optical and electrical/electronic applications has created huge industry opportunities. These applications should trigger further demand in the near future. The advantages of AR coatings include back glare removal, improved transmittance, and lower reflectance. Their use delivers much better picture quality on devices; like monitors, televisions, etc. Moreover, AR coatings can capture clearer and ‘close-to-real’ images from optical lenses.
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Chief factors favoring the market are burgeoning worldwide population and the need for ‘vision correction.’ Boom in electronics & semiconductor industries coupled with expansion across flat panel displays is expected to positively impact market consumption.
Focus on renewable energy is projected to create new avenues for AR coatings. Owing to their anti-reflective properties, they could become integral to solar panels in the forthcoming years. However, consumers in the Anti-Reflective Coatings Market are not fully aware of the uses and benefits of these products. This inhibits market growth. Furthermore, soaring prices of key raw materials, like magnesium chloride may have an adverse effect.
The industry is split on the basis of end-users and geographies. Electronics, telecommunications, eye-wear, automotives, and solar constitute the end-users. Eye-wear dominated in 2015. The demand for ‘anti-reflective’ spectacles and lenses is proliferating due to superior optical experience offered by AR coatings. Consumers are willing to spend more on comfort and higher visibility, especially while driving at night.
Electronics was the second-largest segment in 2015. It is said to grow lucratively during the forecast period. AR coatings are mainly used in smartphone displays and flat glass panels. They are also incorporated in semiconductors. Solar would grow at the fastest rate till 2024. When used in solar panels, AR coatings transmit more light and curb its reflection.
Geographically, the Anti-Reflective Coatings Market is divided into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the MEA (The Middle East & Africa). North America has been leading since 2013. This can be attributed to abundant demand for flat panel displays, lenses, and eyeglasses in the U.S. and Canada. Europe should generate high demand for solar panel applications. Robust automotives industry in France, Germany, and the U.K. may spur Europe.
Asia Pacific is predicted to emerge as an important region by 2024. It is the manufacturing hub of many industries. Large-scale solar projects in India, China, and Bangladesh will contribute regional expansion.
Famous players in the worldwide anti-reflective (AR) coatings market comprise Honeywell International Inc., Carl Zeiss AG, Essilor International S.A., and Optical Coatings Japan. Royal DSM, JDS Uniphase Corporation, and Hoya Corporation are the other well-known vendors.
To stay competitive, majority of these participants emphasize on developing easy-to-clean products with scratch & fingerprint resistance and anti-static properties. Due to the challenging economic environment globally, small & medium manufacturers are finding it difficult to sustain their businesses. This fuels industry consolidation by way of mergers & acquisitions.