Reflective materials are produced from a variety of optical quality glass beads, and these beads are sized about ¾ size of human hair. These glass beads are densely packed together and are coated with aluminum coating, this process turns each glass beads into a convex mirror. Hence, when light hits each glass bead, it is reflected back exactly toward the light source. For instance, in a normal flat mirror, the reflection is only on the opposite side of the image while, a mirror with reflective glass beads displays the image from all the sides.
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Reflective materials are generally made by employing the glass bead technology and microprismatic technology. The glass beads technology utilizes millions of high performance glass beads that reflect light effectively in all directions due to their spherical nature. This technology is widely used in the textile industry, as it is flexible, and is easy to store. The microprismatic technology includes retro-reflective microscopic prisms that are formed on a polymeric film. This technology creates a bright reflective appearance on applications such as garments and accessories. The materials produced from microprismatic technology appear attractive with a high gloss finish, and provide enhanced visibility during the day, at night, and low light situations in various end-use industries such as in textiles and construction industries.
Increasing demand from end-use industries for high visibility materials and safety concerns for labors in the construction industry is anticipated to drive the reflective materials market during the forecast period. However, fluctuations in the supply and demand scenario from the industries and volatile raw material prices are likely to hamper the market.
In terms of product type, the reflective materials market can be divided into reflective sheet, reflective coating, reflective tape, reflective film, reflective inks, reflective fabrics, and others. The reflective coating segment dominates the reflective materials market. Reflective fabrics are widely utilized in the textile industry due to the high demand for flame retardant reflective apparels. Reflective materials provide increased visibility and safety in low light conditions such as snow, fog, and darkness at night, which fuels its demand in the textile industry. DuPont manufactures such apparels under the Cordura brand that is ideally applicable in the textile industry. The coating is also a key market segment and is anticipated to expand during the forecast period owing to the rising demand for reflective materials from the construction industry.
Based on end-use industry, the reflective materials market can be segmented into construction, textile, automotive, and others. The construction industry is the key segment of the reflective material market. Demand for reflectors, display panels, and lightening lenses drives the market. Textile and automotive industries are also prominent contributors to the reflective materials market, as these material provide safety in adverse circumstances.
In terms of region, the global reflective materials market can be segregated into Asia Pacific, North America, Latin America, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. Economic and industrial developments in economies such as China, Japan, and India have contributed significantly to the expansion of the market in Asia Pacific market. Latin America and Middle East & Africa also hold a significant share of the global market, which is attributed to the rising demand for reflective materials from key industries such as automotive, construction, and textile, which are expected to witness an increase consumption of reflective materials. Moreover, the presence of major end-user industries in North America and Europe is further boosting the market in in these regions.
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The reflective material market is highly competitive due to the presence of major local players in the market. The competition is also affected by shift in demand and changes in the availability of various supply factors and costs. Technological advancements and innovation of unique products are key strategies adopted by global players to expand their presence in the market. For instance, in 2017, 3M introduced 5410 Diamond Mesh Trim, under the brand Scotchlite. It’s a reflective material for work wear that provides a high-value, high-visibility, and low-material waste. Key players operating in the reflective materials market include Alanod GmbH, 3M, ORAFOL Europe GmbH, and Avery Dennison Corporation.
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