Nonwoven materials and products are fabrics manufactured from cross laid, randomly laid, or parallel laid webs bonded with thermoplastic fibers or adhesives by the application of heat and pressure. The expansion of the global geotextiles industry and the increasing demand for disposable medical supplies will fuel the market for nonwoven materials and products. In terms of revenue generated, the global nonwoven materials and products market was valued at US$28.8 bn in 2012 and is predicted to touch US$45.4 bn by 2019, expanding at a 6.70% CAGR between 2013 and 2019.
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The key properties and application areas of nonwoven materials and products have been highlighted as under. The segments leading the market and their state in the market by the end of the forecast horizon have also been covered as follows:
- Polypropylene: Polypropylene, also called as polypropene, is a type of thermoplastic polymer utilized in a broad range of applications such as labeling and packaging textiles including carpets, ropes, stationery, laboratory equipment, automotive components, and loudspeakers, among others. Amongst all the types of nonwoven fabrics, polypropylene fabric led the market in 2012. This segment generated a revenue of US$16.4 bn in 2012 and is expected to reach US$25.8 bn by 2019, expanding at a 6.70% CAGR between 2013 and 2019.
- Polyester: Polyester is a type of polymer and comprises naturally occurring chemicals, including the cutin of plant cuticles. Polyester material is broadly utilized in clothing. Dependent on the chemical structure, this material can either be thermoset or thermoplastic. Fabrics knitted or woven utilizing polyester yarn or thread are extensively utilized in home furnishings and apparels, blankets, bed sheets, computer mouse mats, and upholstered furniture, among others. This segment, along with the segment of nylon nonwoven fabrics, stood as the second largest segment of the market in 2012.
- Nylon: Nylon is a thermoplastic made out of petrochemicals and is a semi-crystalline plastic. Nylon is a strong material, is hard to tear, comprises excellent abrasion resistance, and is not damaged by solvents, fabrics, and oils. Nylon is commonly utilized for manufacturing plastic machine parts owing to its long life and low cost. It is also majorly utilized within the electronic industry for its heat resistance and non-conductivity. Nylon also finds its application in cookware such as turners, spatulas, tongs, and slotted spoons. Nowadays, nylon is considered to be the most extensively utilized fiber for textiles owing to its easy dying as well as excellent draping properties.
- Others: The segment of others includes bio-component fibers, nano-fibers, and cellulosics. These materials also have a large number of significant applications in implant materials, artificial organs, tissue engineering, and medical textile and wound dressing materials. These fibers are also employed within the textile industry in sports shoes, rainwear, sports apparel, and baby diapers, among others. Energy applications include membrane fuel cells, Li-ion batteries, dye-sensitized solar cells, and photovoltaic cells, among others. The others segment is the most lucrative segment and is expected to rise in the forecast horizon in the market for nonwoven materials and products.
Hence, the market is poised to excel in the coming years. However, numerous health risks linked with the use of nonwoven fabrics and the mature markets in developed nations are amongst the prime factors that may impede the market’s growth in forthcoming years.
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