PVB film is one of the most important glass interlayer used in several end-user industries due to its wide range of chemical properties. Laminated glass, commonly used in architecture and automotive fields, comprises a protective interlayer, usually PVB, fused between two panels of glass. PVB films and sheets exhibit special characteristics such as transparency, impact resistance, high tensile strength, and elasticity. These properties make the films and sheets suitable for the manufacture of safety glass. The polymer interlayer of polyvinyl butyral is tough so that the brittle cracks would not pass from one side of the laminate to the other. PVB films and sheets are manufactured commercially by extrusion with PVB resin, plasticizer, and additives.
PVB films and sheets are used in end-user industries such as building & construction, ground transportation, solar energy, and others. These are primarily used in the production of automotive windshields. Application of PVB films and sheets in photovoltaic modules is likely to boost the PVB films and sheets market in the next eight years. Additionally, the usage of PVB films and sheets in building & construction, and infrastructure end-user segments is expected to increase demand for PVB films and sheets during the forecast period.
Ground transportation was the largest end-user segment of the PVB films and sheets market, accounting for more than 45% share in 2014. Solar energy is projected to be the fastest developing end-user segment, expanding at a CAGR of over 6% between 2015 and 2023. Growing demand for photovoltaic modules is expected to drive demand for PVB films and sheets in the solar energy segment.
Asia Pacific was the largest market for PVB films and sheets in 2014. Growth in the region is ascribed to the rising demand from ground transportation industry. In terms of volume, Asia Pacific contributed for more than 35% share of the global PVB films and sheets market in 2014. Solar energy is anticipated to be the fastest growing end-user segment of the PVB films and sheets market during the forecast period. Demand for PVB films and sheets in the region is estimated to be primarily driven by rapid upsurge in the consumption of PVB films and sheets in China, India, and ASEAN countries. Growth in the ground transportation industry is projected to drive demand for PVB films and sheets in Asia Pacific in the next few years. The PVB films and sheets market in North America and Europe is projected to witness accountable growth due to recovery from the economic slowdown. The PVB films and sheets market in Latin America and Middle East & Africa is anticipated to grow considerably in the next eight years, largely due to growth in ground transportation, and building & construction end-user industries.
The global PVB films and sheets market is predominantly driven by increasing demand in the ground transportation end-user industry. However, factors such as difficulty in handing, high cost of storage, and low shelf life of PVB films and sheets, and availability of application specific substitutes are projected to hinder the growth of the PVB films and sheets market. Emergence of the photovoltaic industry is expected to act as an opportunity for the PVB films and sheets market in the next eight years. Key players in the PVB films and sheets market include Eastman Chemical Company, KURARAY CO., LTD., SEKISUI CHEMICAL CO., LTD., Li & Fung Group Co., Ltd., Kingboard Chemical Holdings Ltd., Huakai Plastic (Chongqing) Co., Ltd., Zhejiang Decent Plastic Co., Ltd., Tiantai Kanglai Industrial Co., Ltd., Jiangsu Daruihengte Technology & Science Co., Ltd. and Zhejiang Pulijin Plastic Co., Ltd.