Technical advancements in nonwoven processing and fabric finishing have prompted leading companies to expand their penetration in the global staples PP nonwovens market. Nonwovens have become one of the most prevalently used textile products in an ocean of end-use industries, including feminine hygiene, baby diapers, wipes, automotive, medical, industrial, and geotextiles.
As the demand for polypropylene nonwovens soars for wet filtration in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, PP spun-bonded fabrics have become immensely popular in geotextiles, diaper linings, and agriculture. Spunbonded nonwovens have gained ground for the outer layer of a range of medical masks which are breathable and can protect the inner layer maintaining the mask integrity.
Geotextile makers are profoundly favoring staple PP nonwoven owing to greater flexibility, latitude, and higher tear resistance under impact load. Globally, staples PP nonwovens market size is estimated to grow at a considerable rate by 2026.
Traction for meltblown PP nonwovens has become noticeable in manufacturing products in the automotive, medical, personal hygiene, and electrical and electronics sectors. Pressing use of polypropylene nonwoven fabric made from chemical or thermal web bonding has mustered up the confidence of meltblown nonwovens manufacturers.
Amidst the COVID-19 fallout, staple PP nonwoven fabric in surgical masks with high bacterial filtration efficiency has surged in traction. Not to mention, the middle layer of surgical gowns made of meltblown polypropylene has gained impetus among the masses.
Medical industry players have exhibited increased traction for nonwovens for superior efficiency, better protection, increased performance, and less potential for cross-contamination. Nonwoven textiles will continue to play a pivotal role in the manufacturing of medical products, including dressings, surgical pads, implantable textiles, and filtration materials.
The emergence of nonwovens has triggered the development of a cost-effective alternative and can minimize the problem of cross-contamination immensely. Staples PP nonwovens are expected to be the material of choice for several wound care and surgical applications.
ExxonMobil joined hands with the Nonwoven Institute (NWI) in May 2020 to help rev up face mask production for front lines amidst the pandemic. Reportedly, NWI is supplying the meltblown and spunbond nonwoven fabrics to medical masks’ manufacturers. ExxonMobil is said to have donated around 146,00 pounds of PP and PP-based performance polymers to NWI.
SABAIC teamed up with Fibertex Personal Care in October 2020 to come up with nonwovens using recycled plastics. They claim it to be what they call the world’s first nonwovens range based on recycled plastic in the hygiene market. SABAIC’s circular polypropylene is all set to be used to make the new nonwovens, while they assert the new material could be used as a drop-in solution for keeping up with consumer safety and purity.
The automotive sector has become one of the major revenue-generating hubs following the trend for lightweight cars with aesthetics and improved comfort. Prevalence of staples PP nonwovens in the construction and design of transportation means, including trains, airplanes, boats, satellites, and spacecraft has augured well for the industry size expansion.
Expanding penetration of PP nonwovens in car components, including fuel filters, air filters, doors, seats, and trims has triggered growth in the landscape. It is worth noting that the footfall of nonwoven fabrics will remain pronounced to meet the demand for non-flammable textiles.
Nonwovens that improve acoustical performance and boost weight reduction are likely to remain in the mix, with the use of polypropylene nonwovens fostering sound absorption at lower frequencies to reduce weight, cost, and interior noise levels.
Industry players are expected to infuse funds in North America staples PP nonwovens industry following the roll-out of PP nonwoven surgical masks to combat coronavirus. The medical sector is touted to be one of the major recipients of PP nonwovens. With the footprint of nonwovens in automotive sectors in the U.S. become more palpable than ever before, stakeholders project a bullish outlook in the region.
Asia Pacific is expected to be a major consumer of nonwovens in the wake of the growing popularity of meltblown and spun-bonded fabrics in hygiene, medical and furniture applications. A notable uptick in the birthrates in emerging economies in the region has accentuated the demand for diapers and hygiene products, auguring well for leading companies vying to bolster their footholds in APAC.
Considering the trend for staples PP nonwovens among end-markets, new entrants are likely to be witnessed in the next five years. The presence of advanced healthcare systems in North America, Europe, and APAC will be a growth-stimulator, while stakeholders will potentially emphasize sustainability and innovation-focused trends.