The global protective fabrics market is projected to register healthy growth during the forecast period, 2021–2030. The market was valued at USD 4,197.50 million in 2020 and is projected to register a CAGR of 7.33% to reach USD 8,283.07 million by the end of 2030.
Fabrics are designed as per the requirement of several end use industries. It offers several excellent properties, including abrasion resistance, lightweight, chemical resistance, breathability, UV resistance, and fire and heat resistance. It is primarily used in the production of protective clothing such as pants, shirts, coveralls, and protective suits.The progressive adoption of various industrial safety norms and regulations is anticipated to drive the demand for various types of personal protective equipment and protective clothing articles made up of protective fabrics such as coveralls, flame-resistant suits, protective gloves, and shoes.
The global protective fabrics market is characterized by the presence of many global, regional, and local players. The market is highly competitive, with all the players competing to gain maximum market share. High demand in the oil & gas and petrochemical industry and several advantages offered by protective fabrics are the key factors influencing global market growth. The vendors compete based on cost, brand identity, product quality, and availability and reliability of the products. It is crucial for vendors to provide cost-effective and high-quality products that adhere to the requirements of the end-use to compete in the market. To establish their market position, the key players are expanding their production bases.
Key players in the global protective fabrics market include 3M (US), DuPont (US), Lakeland Inc (US), Glen Raven Inc.(US), Milliken & Company (US), Klopman International (Italy), Concordia Textiles (Belgium), W. L. Gore & Associates GmbH (US), TenCate Protective Fabrics (The Netherlands), TEIJIN LIMITED (Japan), Carrington Textiles Ltd.(UK), Daletec (Norway), Marina Textil (Spain), Sarena (Pakistan), PBI Performance Products, Inc.(US), and Cetriko(Spain).
Aramid: Aramids are used in commercial applications by synthesizing polyamides. These aramids consist of two types, para-aramids and meta-aramids. Para-aramids were initially designed for war purposes, as they can be used for high-tech applications in aerospace and the military. The other type of aramids, called meta-aramids, are well-known for their excellent heat and flame-resistant properties. They are used in firefighter clothing and protective clothing in the industrial sector.
Polyolefin: Polyolefins are the most widely used commodity among the thermoplastic family. Polyolefins are a subset of polymer blends that emerged to meet the application requirements which are not satisfied by neat, synthesized polyolefins. Compared to the other subsets of polymer blends, polyolefin blends have distinct advantages: lower cost, lower density, easy processing, and a good combination of mechanical, chemical, and physical properties.
Polyamide: Polyimide fibers are a class of heat-resistant and strong synthetic fibers of orange to yellow color. They are prepared by a two-step process from aromatic diamines and aromatic tetracarboxylic dianhydrides. These fibers are often the best choice for very demanding applications where very high temperature, corrosion, wear, and creep resistance are required. Polyimide fibers can be produced by dry-spinning polyamic acid solution.
Cotton: The cotton fibers are used for delicate protection and air purification. These fibers are mostly used in the medical industry, where they are used to make medical masks, respirators, gloves, gowns, and eye protectors. The respiratory protective equipment such as surgical masks, dental masks, and respirators had major traction from the late 2019s due to the COVID-19 virus. The pandemic situation has seen the market for cotton fibers rising as they are used as a reliable method of deterring airborne pathogenic microorganisms.
Polybenzimidazole (pbi): Polybenzimidazole (PBI) based outer shell fabrics are used in firefighter jackets and pants. PBI exhibits a very high decomposition temperature and excellent chemical stability, making it suitable for high-performance protective apparel such as firefighter's gear, astronaut spacesuits, high-temperature protective gloves, and welders' apparel.
Polyesters: The influences of reinforcement and resin properties on the physical properties of the laminated composites and their resistance to puncture load and UV transmittance are the major factors for the use of polyester. These composites are the material of choice for lightweight structures due to their excellent strength and stiffness properties. They are used in protective fabrics as resistance toward weather hazards, high shocking/impacting, flame retardant, or toxic chemicals.
Others: Polyphenylene sulfide fibers (PPS), polyetheretherketone fibers (PEEK), novoloid (cured phenol-aldehyde) fibers, phenolic fibers, polyvinylidene chloride fibers, polyacrylate fiber, semi-carbon fabrics, and modacrylic are included in the others segment.
Ballistic & Mechanical Resistant: Ballistic protective fabrics offer ballistic protection with an outstanding cost-performance ratio. The key application of ballistic and mechanical resistant fabrics includes helmets, bullet or fragment, or stab or spike resistant vests. Ballistic and mechanical resistant fabrics enhance fabric tenacity and offer high protection to economy ratio for various up armoring projects.
Thermal, Fire- and Heat-Resistant Fabrics: Thermal protective fabrics are designed to protect against hazardous thermal environments. Combining textile layers and the air gap between them prevents the transfer of thermal energy to the skin. Thermal protective fabrics used in protective clothing are usually manufactured through the cut-and-sew process.
Chemical-Resistant Fabrics: The protective fabrics shield an individual from chemical, biological, and physical hazards. The chemical protective clothing used in industries requires protecting the workers from particulate contamination, hazardous liquids, toxic gases, and fumes. Usually, this type of clothing is made by a film or coating combined with a substrate protective fabric.
UV-Resistant Fabrics: The ultraviolet (UV) resistant fabrics are designed to withstand high UV rays, which approximately account for 10% of the sunlight. The UV-resistant fabrics are used in industries to protect their workers from UV rays for an indefinite amount of time.
Others: The others segment includes flame-resistant fabrics, radiation protective fabrics, electrical protective fabrics, and others.
By End Use Industry
Building & construction: The building & construction industry has the highest number of fatal injury accidents every year. Even after thorough risk assessments and implementing adequate controls into a work environment, workers are still subject to health and safety risks from hazards. Protective fabrics help to protect employees from health and safety risks, which they may encounter at work, including injuries to the lungs, head, eyes, ears, and skin.
Oil & gas: Workers in the oil & gas industry face various hazards such as flash fire, slick and oily surfaces, sharp edges, punctures, heat contact, uncontrolled pressure release, and exposure to hazardous chemicals, dust, and solvents. Oil and gas products could be irritating, corrosive, and flammable. To help prevent the workers from meeting these hazards, employers will provide them with protective clothing produced from protective fabrics.
Healthcare: Protective fabrics in the healthcare sector create a barrier between the individual and germs. The barrier reduces the chances of touching, being exposed to, and spreading of germs. The protective fabrics can block the transmission of contaminants from blood, body fluids, or respiratory secretions.
Law enforcement & military: The challenges facing law enforcement officers vary greatly depending on the exposure to hazardous materials. Law enforcers decontamination squads and emergency response teams require lightweight decontamination suits or coveralls with very high protection performance against a range of chemical agents. They are required to protect the individual against chemical agents in liquid, vapor, and aerosol forms.
Others: The others segment includes automotive, chemical, mining, firefighting, etc.
North America: In North America, The US is the leading country in the region owing to the increasing consumption of cotton fabric in T-shirts and outdoor clothing. Also, it is one of the major markets of for textile raw materials.
Europe: Europe is primarily driven by the strong demand for protective fabrics for flame, fire and heat resistance, and thermal applications. Germany accounted for the largest share in Europe in 2020 and was followed by France.
Asia Pacific: The Asia-Pacific market held the largest market share. This is largely attributed to the high demand for apparel and sportswear clothing in the region. Also, the easy availability of raw material, low labor costs, and growing concern for health fitness is further expected to augment the overall market growth.
Latin America: The Latin American market is divided into Brazil, Peru, and Argentina are the major contributors in the region.
Middle East & Africa: In Middle East & Africa UAE is the leading country in the region followed by Turkey and Egypt.
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