The glass slimming market topped $600 million in value in 2012 and is forecast to continuously grow to surpass $1 billion in 2014, according to a new report released by Displaybank.
Slimness and lightness are key competitive factors of consumer IT devices that use flat panel displays such as TFT-LCD and OLED. Display makers are responding to market changes by slimming down the glass substrate used in consumer goods as part of an effort to reduce the weight and thickness of finished goods, while finding ways to select the less heavy hardware at the same time.
Reducing the thickness of a glass substrate to cut its weight has proven to be the most effective way to make a flat panel display thinner and lighter. However, if a glass substrate used in the TFT or cell manufacturing process starts off as a thin sheet, it runs into many difficulties because of the variables arising from the LCD module, or OLED manufacturing process. Thus, it is essential to slim the glass substrate through chemical and physical methods at the time when the cell production process is completed. This process is called glass slimming.
The glass slimming industry requires both chemical materials and process technologies. The glass slimming process can be divided into a chemical etching method, in which the glass substrate of laminated LCD panels is chemically etched after TFT process and color filter process are completed, and a physical polishing method. The general trend these days is moving towards chemical etching.
This report analyzes glass slimming technologies, which are processes used to reduce the glass thickness and weight after TFT LCD or OLED panels are made, and provides the industry outlook and forecasts.