Hollow glass microspheres, also known as glass bubbles, are majorly used as alternatives to additives and conventional fillers such as calcium carbonate, silica, clay, and talc. The growing demand for materials with excellent structural properties is expected to drive this market.
The demand for these materials can be attributed to their inherent properties such as gloss, scrub, and burnish properties, viscosity control, stain resistance, sound dampening, and thermal insulation. The major factors impacting the hollow glass microspheres market are superior structural properties, recyclability, reusability, growing demand from current applications, increased demand for efficiency, and modernization of infrastructure.
Hollow glass microspheres find their applications in automotive, aerospace & defense, building & construction, paints & coatings, electrical & electronics, cosmetics & personal care, and healthcare. The demand for enhanced structural properties in automobile parts can drive the market growth of hollow glass microspheres in the automotive market. Innovation in the aerospace & defense sector is responsible for using hollow glass microspheres in aircraft design and defense equipment. Healthcare is the dominant application segment as itextensively uses hollow glass microspheres for encapsulation and surgical purposes. High-quality glass microspheres are used in automotive mirrors, microscopy, electronic equipment, gas plasma displays, and flip chip technology. The major restraints in the market are fluctuating prices of raw materials, high research and development costs, and dispensing of hollow glass microspheres.
North America is the dominant regional market for hollow glass microspheres due to the presence of manufacturers. Asia Pacific is growing at a significant rate as these materials have started gaining prominence in this region. The growth in this region can be attributed to increased consumption of hollow glass microspheres in China. The market in Latin America is still at a nascent stage as end application industries have started using hollow glass microspheres. The market is growing slowly in Europe due to its economic conditions.
The key manufacturers of hollow glass microspheres are 3M, AkzoNobel Expancel, Cospheric LLC, Dennert Poraver GmbH, Eko Sports, Henkel AG & Co., and Trelleborg. The market is characterized by high customization and specialty products. Industrial participants in the hollow glass microspheres market are aiming to penetrate into emerging markets to increase the sales of these materials.
3M hollow glass microspheres are low-density and advanced additives used in industrial applications. They are available in a wide range of crush strengths and densities. The newly developed glass microsphere is iM30K which is capable of surviving molding and compounding processes. AkzoNobel Expancel offers seven different forms of hollow glass microspheres namely Expancel WE, Expancel DE, Expancel WU, Expancel Du, Expancel SL, Expancel MB, and Expancel FG.
Cospheric LLC sells microspheres according to volume and the company products are classified according to size and defined densities. Dennert Poraver manufactures hollow glass microspheres for thermal insulation fills, lightweight concrete, dry mortar, lightweight panels, and automotive purposes. Trelleborg manufactures hollow glass microsphere under the Eccospheres brand name. Henkel AG & Co. owns various patents related to the manufacture of hollow glass microspheres.
Research Support Specialist, USA