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This study covers the United States filtration nonwovens industry, defined here to include materials made from fibers, filaments, and films, which are arranged into webs, batts, or sheets, then bonded together using mechanical, thermal, or chemical means.
Nonwovens are categorized by the web formation process used to produce the material:
spunmelt (spunbonded and meltblown)
Historical data for 2009, 2014, and 2019 and forecasts to 2024 and 2029 are provided for nonwovens production (total) and demand (by web formation process and by application) in current dollars (which are not adjusted to account for inflation). Total demand is also shown in square meters and metric tons for products.
Totals for nonwovens presented in this study include nonwovens sold on the merchant market. Nonwoven goods used in captive production are not included in this data. In addition, the study discusses impacts for COVID-19, pricing trends, competitive products, as well as the global outlook for medical nonwovens.
Key application breakouts include:
building air filters (e.g., panel and pocket filters for residential HVAC systems, air purifiers, filters for dust collection in large industrial installations)
water treatment filters, including consumer water treatment filters and water filters for municipal and industrial water treatment
air filters (e.g., exhaust filters, cabin air filters)
fluid filters (e.g., fuel and transmission fluid filters)
other filtration applications (e.g., fluid power filters; fluid filters used in the production of liquid chemicals and pharmaceuticals; blood purification and separation applications in medical devices and laboratory instruments; in refining and metals; food and beverage filtration; non-motor vehicle equipment; pool and spa filters; fabric air pollution filters)
Face masks are not included in the scope of this study.
How will the COVID-19 coronavirus impact the global economy? The Freedonia Group is tracking recent developments and analyzing their impact in an easy to follow Economic Impact Tracker.
Sales growth for filtration nonwovens will be realized from continued innovation in these end uses, including of products that exhibit:
better filtration capabilities while maintaining efficiency
specialization to meet unique end-use characteristics
COVID-19 Caused Many Filtration Applications to Slow, Decreasing Demand for Nonwovens
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative effect on 2020 filtration nonwovens demand in industries that were generally deemed “nonessential”. For example, demand in the motor vehicles market was impacted by the closure of automobile factories and a decline in miles driven due to telecommuting, while HVAC filtration was affected by the postponement or cancellation of building construction projects.
However, some of these 2020 losses will be offset by spikes in demand for products such as consumer water and air treatment filters, which have grown as more consumers have spent more time at home. Additionally, air quality in reopened buildings has become a priority as officials look to ensure safe returns for inhabitants and use high-quality filters to potentially remove the coronavirus.
Going forward, rebounding economic indicators and continued concerns over air quality will support demand for filtration nonwovens.
Product Development Spurs Sales of Higher Value Nonwovens
Suppliers of nonwovens for filtration products continue to innovate their offerings, creating nonwovens that are better able to meet or that exceed current performance requirements in their end uses. Developments include creating new composite blends, using finer fibers and filaments, and trying new materials. These innovations raise the average prices and overall value of nonwovens produced for filtration applications, which counteracts the trend toward nonwovens with lower basis weights.
Growing Education & Awareness of Filtration Products Benefits Consumer Markets
While the US has some of the most stringent environmental regulations in the world, continued and increasing awareness of the benefits of using filters to clean air and water will support demand for nonwovens used in filtration products. The consumer market in particular is becoming increasingly aware of poor indoor air quality and impurities in their water lines. Media coverage of these issues and education efforts by the filtration industry have supported market penetration into more households, which will benefit suppliers of nonwoven filtration media that serve the consumer air and water treatment industry.