Despite Adoption Challenges, Solar Control Films Will Be a $863 Million Market by 2018. Managing solar heat gain, light transmission, and glare have become critical pain points, as the use of architectural glass has grown globally and the pressure from building codes and standards to manage heat gain have risen. Compared to competing technologies like switchable glazings, aerogel glazings, and daylighting skylights, after-market solar control films offer a low-cost, short-payback-period technology that can address the much larger retrofit market. Despite this promise, there are significant specific concerns to overcome, particularly perceptions of thermal stress build-up and inertia induced by specified incumbent technologies like low-emissivity glass and external shading. Even with these adoption challenges, energy security and regulatory drivers will propel the market from today’s $450 million to $863 million by 2018. Emerging technologies like waterborne coatings of ceramic oxides will open up the possibility of using polyolefins in this application, having previously been limited to polyesters, polycarbonates, and fluoropolymers.
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