Nonwovens for higher-end applications, will provide some impetus to future market gains

Nonwovens to 2013

US demand to increase 5% annually through 2013
Demand for nonwoven roll goods nt per year through 2013, driven by gains in key markets such as filtration, construction, wipes, medical disposables and adult incontinence. In area terms, nonwovens is projected to increase 5.0 percedemand will advance 4.2 percent per year. Spunbonded nonwovens will remain the largest product segment, accounting for roughly half of total area in 2013, owing to their position as the material of choice in major markets such as baby diapers. Gains in spunbonded nonwovens will be driven by strong growth in the use of disposable medical garments and textiles, rising demand for composite spunbonded/meltblown nonwovens that combine the performance advantages of each; and increased penetration of markets now served by competitive products. Meltblown nonwovens will benefit from greater use in the filtration market. ( http://www.bharatbook.com/detail.asp?id=125859&rt=Nonwovens )

Demand for nonwoven fabrics bonded by the spunlacing process, almost all of which are web-bonded carded nonwovens, will increase at an above-average rate through 2013. These types of nonwovens are finding greater use in markets such as personal care wipes and medical products, where consumer comfort is of primary importance. Gains in airlaid nonwovens will benefit from increased use in absorbent food pads, adult incontinence products, filters, various disposable medical supplies and wipes. However, sales gains will be restrained somewhat by competition from other nonwoven fabrics. Wetlaid nonwoven fabrics will also be subject to stiff competition from other materials. However, heightened demand for better performing nonwoven materials in battery separators, filters and roofing, all of which use wetlaid glass nonwovens for higher-end applications, will provide some impetus to future market gains.

Filtration to be fastest growing disposables market
Among disposables markets, consumer products will continue to account for the largest portion of nonwovens sales, though growth will be restricted by below-average advances in baby diaper and feminine hygiene markets. Somewhat offsetting this sluggishness in the consumer market will be above-average gains in adult incontinence markets, buoyed by a greater incidence of incontinence, primarily due to the aging US population. Demand in the filtration market will see the most rapid gains, as nonwovens continue to take market share from other materials such as paper and woven fabrics. Although the medical market for nonwovens is relatively mature, demand will benefit from the strengthening of surgical infection control safeguards, which will promote growth by boosting the demand for such single use nonwoven products as surgical and patient gowns, surgical drapes and face masks.

Construction uses to pace nondisposables segment
Nondisposables comprised one-third of nonwovens sales in 2008. The largest nondisposable market, construction, will post above-average gains, fueled by robust growth in residential construction. Other smaller markets, such as agriculture, will also see excellent gains as new applications for nonwoven products continue to be developed. However, weaker prospects for clothing and furniture will have a negative effect on the nondisposables segment, as manufacturing of these products continues to move outside the US.

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