The Foam Glass Market size is expected to reach US$ 2.17 billion by 2030, from US$ 1.22 billion in 2023, at a CAGR of 8.6% during the forecast period. Foam glass is an engineered glass material with a porous structure made by crushing waste glass into a fine powder, heating it to fuse the particles, and trapping gas bubbles within the molten glass. It is used as a lightweight insulating material in building & construction, transportation, industrial, and chemical applications. The growth drivers include increasing demand from building & construction industry, high efficiency as an insulator, government regulations for energy conservation, and growth of end use industries.
The Foam Glass Market is segmented by type, application, end use industry and region. By type, the market is segmented into open cell and closed cell. The open cell segment accounted for the largest share in 2023 due to its higher insulation property and moisture resistance.
Foam Glass Market Regional Insights
- North America is expected to be the largest market for Foam Glass Market during the forecast period, accounting for over 37.6% of the market share in 2023. The growth of the market in North America is attributed to the increasing applications in building insulation and industrial sectors in the region.
- The Europe market is expected to be the second-largest market for Foam Glass Market, accounting for over 28.4% of the market share in 2023. The growth of the market in is attributed to the rising adoption in green building projects and presence of major manufacturers in the region.
- The Asia Pacific market is expected to be the fastest-growing market for Foam Glass Market, accounting for over 16.8% of the market share. The growth of the market in Asia Pacific is attributed to the rapid urbanization and industrialization in emerging economies like China and India.
Figure 1. Global Foam Glass Market Share (%), by Region, 2023
Foam Glass Market Drivers
- Increasing demand from construction industry: The construction industry is expected to drive significant demand for foam glass as an efficient insulation material. Foam glass is widely used for insulation in exterior walls, roofs, floors and foundation in residential and commercial buildings. With growing construction activities and investments in smart infrastructure globally, the adoption of high performance insulation materials like foam glass is increasing. Foam glass being fire-proof, water-resistant and chemically inert is gaining traction over conventional insulators.
- High efficiency as thermal and acoustic insulator: Foam glass offers high thermal insulation and noise absorption properties compared to other insulators. As per studies, foam glass can reduce heat transfer through walls by up to 83% compared to brick walls. Its closed-cell structure and low thermal conductivity provides effective insulation against temperature transfer. Foam glass has noise reduction coefficient up to 0.9 and can block external sounds. Owing to such superior properties, foam glass is increasingly being used in walls, floors, roofs and HVAC systems to maintain optimal temperatures and reduce noise pollution. This is expected to further propel the foam glass market.
- Government regulations for energy conservation: Implementation of building energy codes and standards globally is driving the adoption of high performance insulation materials like foam glass. For instance, the building energy code implemented by the Department of Energy in the U.S. makes insulation necessary for sealing cracks and gaps in building envelopes. Similarly, the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive necessitates the use of thermal insulation in walls, roofs and heating systems. Such regulations are compelling builders to use sustainable insulators like foam glass, thereby fueling market growth.
- Growth in end-use industries: The growth of major end-use industries such as oil & gas, chemicals, refrigeration, transportation, cryogenic gases is fueling the demand for foam glass. Owing to its low water absorption and high chemical resistance, foam glass is ideal for insulation in storage tanks, reaction vessels and pipes in chemical plants.
Foam Glass Market Opportunities
- High potential in emerging economies: Emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil and Southeast Asian countries present significant opportunities for foam glass market growth owing to rapid urbanization, industrialization and expanding end-user sectors. For instance, India plans to construct over 12 crore houses by 2022 under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana scheme, presenting huge scope for insulation materials. Favorable demographics, rising middle class population and increasing infrastructure investments will continue to generate substantial demand in emerging nations.
- Growing demand from solar industry: The expanding solar power sector is expected to provide new opportunities for foam glass manufacturers. Foam glass is increasingly being used for thermal insulation in concentrated solar power plants to conserve heat in receivers and steam turbines. With growing solar installations worldwide, in line with renewable energy goals, the adoption of foam glass insulation in solar plants is expected to rise.
- Product advancements through R&D: Key players are investing significantly in R&D activities to develop new product grades and enhance material properties of foam glass. Advancements such as hydrophobic coatings to resist moisture, improvements in closed cell structure and vacuum insulation panels integrated with foam glass are expanding its application scope. Moreover, nanoengineering of foam glass by incorporating carbon nanotubes is enabling the production of highly thermally resistant foam glass. Such technological advancements are expected to unlock new growth avenues.
- Capacity expansions in developing regions: Leading foam glass manufacturers are increasing their production capacities and setting up new plants in developing regions to tap the high growth markets. For instance, in June 2021, Glapor announced the opening of a new foam glass gravel production plant in Russia to meet regional demand. Likewise, several new entrants in Asia Pacific regions are investing in capacity expansions to grab the opportunities in end-user industries. This is expected to augur well for the overall foam glass market.
Foam Glass Market Report Coverage
||Market Size in 2023:
||US$ 1.22 Bn
|Historical Data for:
||2018 to 2021
||2023 - 2030
|Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR:
||2030 Value Projection:
||US$ 2.17 Bn
- North America: U.S. and Canada
- Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
- Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
- Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa and Rest of Middle East
- By Type: Open Cell, Closed Cell, Others
- By Application: Building & Industrial Insulation, Chemical System Insulation, HVAC System Insulation, Cryogenic System Insulation, Heat & Sound Insulation, Others
- By End Use Industry: Construction, Industrial, Transportation, Others
Pittsburgh Corning, Glapor, Owens Corning, Polydros S.A., Misapor AG, Earthstone International, Refaglass, Zhejiang Zhenshen Insulation Technology Corp.
- Increasing demand from construction industry
- High efficiency as thermal and acoustic insulator
- Government regulations for energy conservation
- Growth in end-use industries
|Restraints & Challenges:
- High initial investments
- Low awareness in developing countries
- Availability of alternative insulation materials
Foam Glass Market Trends
- Shift towards sustainable insulation materials: Increasing environmental consciousness and need to reduce carbon footprints across construction sector is driving demand for eco-friendly insulation solutions. Foam glass is manufactured using recycled glass and offers sustainability. Moreover, it has low VOCs emissions and better life cycle performance than conventional insulators like PUF, mineral wool, etc. Owing to such advantages, builders and contractors are increasingly shifting towards foam glass to adhere to green building standards.
- Rising adoption in cold chain facilities: The expanding cold chain industry for food, pharmaceuticals and chemicals storage is driving uptake of foam glass insulation. Owing to its low water vapor transmission and minimal vapor condensation issues, foam glass is ideal for cold storage construction. For instance, Uusioaines Oy provided foam glass insulation solutions for Finland’s first zero-energy cold storage.
- Advancements in production technologies: Foam glass manufacturers are continuously enhancing their production processes through technological innovations to improve quality, reduce costs and enable mass production. Some key advancements include new foaming techniques using alternative blowing agents, advanced mixing & molding methods, and novel sintering processes enabling faster cycles. Companies are also automating production lines using Industry 4.0 technologies. Such production advancements are increasing output, enhancing energy savings and ensuring the availability of high-performance foam glass.
- Application in emerging sectors: Ongoing research and product developments have expanded the application scope of foam glass beyond conventional uses. Foam glass gravel is gaining traction as a lightweight fill material in civil construction. Similarly, automotive manufacturers are using foam glass aggregates for reducing vehicle weight. Additionally, foam glass has found application in railway sleepers, floating marine structures, aroma therapy bricks, etc. The widening application scope across emerging sectors presents new growth verticals for foam glass manufacturers.
Foam Glass Market Restraints
- High initial investments: Setting up foam glass production plants involve significant capital investments, which acts as a key challenge for new entrants. Advanced furnaces, specialized molds & tools and automation equipment lead to high costs. Moreover, facilities must be customized as per product specifications. Lack of finances may restrain many regional players from investing in their own production plants, thereby restricting market growth.
- Low awareness in developing countries: Despite the advantages, foam glass remains relatively unknown in developing regions like the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Conventional insulators still hold majority market shares in these countries owing to lower costs and general awareness. Limited knowledge regarding the superior properties and benefits has affected penetration of foam glass. However, increasing marketing initiatives by leading companies are expected to raise awareness and counter this restraint.
- Availability of alternative insulation materials: Foam glass faces stiff competition from alternative insulation materials like glass wool, elastomeric foams, polystyrene, polyurethane etc. which are cheaper and more widely available. These conventional insulators are largely preferred by small contractors and builders owing to their low costs. Moreover, some competitors have been improving product properties through R&D. However, foam glass manufacturers have been taking strategic initiatives to demonstrate the technology edge and combat substitution threats.
New product launches
- In January 2022, Owens Corning launched FOAMGLAS ONE, an elastomeric cellular glass insulation system designed for cryogenic applications in LNG infrastructure. The product offers superior insulation performance in extreme cold environments.
- In June 2021, Misapor AG launched MICROPOR, a new micro-foam glass gravel made from 100% recycled glass. It can be used in several construction applications like drainage and insulation.
- In May 2020, Glapor introduced the WALLROCK F façade insulation system made from foam glass gravel aggregate. It improves facade insulation and prevents thermal bridges.
Acquisition and partnerships
- In September 2022, Owens Corning acquired Vliepa GmbH, a building materials company providing insulation solutions in Germany. The acquisition expands Owens Corning’s presence in the European building materials market.
- In June 2021, Glapor announced a partnership with Ratioplast to set up a joint venture for foam glass production in Russia. The JV expands production capacities to meet growing demand in Russia.
- In April 2020, Misapor AG partnered with Knauf Insulation to develop vacuum insulation panels using foam glass. The partnership aims to develop high performance insulation solutions.
Figure 2. Global Foam Glass Market Share (%), by Application, 2023
Top companies in Foam Glass Market
- Pittsburgh Corning
- Earthstone International
- Zhejiang Zhenshen Insulation Technology Corp.
- Polydros S.A.
- Misapor AG
- GLAPOR Werk Mitterteich GmbH
- Owens Corning
- Jiahua Special Glass Co. Ltd.
Definition: Foam glass refers to a porous glass material produced by heating crushed recycled glass powder mixed with carbon or limestone. Gas bubbles are trapped during production resulting in a lightweight cellular glass material with insulating properties. Foam glass is used for thermal, acoustic and cryogenic insulation in building construction, industrial plants and cold storage applications. It offers sustainability, fire resistance and long service life compared to conventional insulators. Key manufacturing processes include cellular glass method, foam generation method and sintering of glass beads.
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