The materials used on windows to transmit light and enable partial thermal radiation to pass through are known as advanced glazing materials. The developments in glass industry have led to the growing use of coating technology by forming a thin molecular coat or by laminating a film onto a glass surface. The coatings have enhanced the properties of the glass. The thermal performance of a window can be established depending on the glazing material used on its surface. The advanced glazing materials are categorized on different factors such as transparency, material used, and cross section of the elements.
Advanced glazing materials are segmented depending on their adopted physical characteristics and the area of application. They are segmented as regular transparent glass, double glazing, absorbing glass, dark glass, reflective glass, polycarbonate, double polycarbonate with air space, corrugated fiber glass, and acrylic sheets. The construction and automobile sectors are the key end-user industries for advanced glazing materials.
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Regular transparent glass is largely used in south-facing windows and greenhouses as it permits a large portion of visible light and solar radiation striking it to pass through. Double or triple glazing material contains two or three glass sheets with space in between or filled with gas or air. The thickness of the glass and the space between the glass sheets limits the amount of radiation allowed to penetrate and the thermal conductivity of the composite systems.
Absorbing glass type of glazing permits nearly eighty per cent of light to enter but transmits only a small quantity of the total solar radiation of different wavelengths. Reflective glass type of glazing material is used in the buildings where no penetration of solar radiation is required such as the buildings that are facing westwards or regions which have a hot climate throughout the year. Polycarbonate material is physically hard, permits penetration of light, and heats up comparatively lesser than glass. Acrylic sheets are similar to that of plastics but less fragile as compared to glass; their deterioration is comparatively faster since exposure to ultraviolet radiation or abrasion caused by the sand and dust in desert accelerates its deterioration.
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The construction sector accounts for a major share and acts as a key market driver for the advance glazing material market. Due to high customer preference towards aesthetically appealing structures, the demand for glazed glasses is growing globally, consequently creating a huge market demand for advanced glazing materials in the construction sector. In the automobile sector, glazing materials play a vital role as windows are a key structural part of the vehicle and contribute to the visibility. Laminated glass holds the glass particles together when shattered and hence, it is used in vehicles from a safety point of view in the event of accidents.