Spunlaid nonwovens are now the largest process used to produce nonwovens, accounting for almost half of global nonwovens consumption in 2016. In 2016, spunlaid will supply 4.6 million tonnes or 136.9 billion square metres to the global market, valued at $15.6 billion. Spunlaid nonwovens are projected to account for 6.7 million tonnes or 206.5 billion square metres, valued at $22.5 billion by 2021.
In this report spunlaid is defined as a web-forming process in which the polymers are molten, extruded and laid down to form webs. Spunlaid nonwovens include spunbond, flash-spun, meltblown, SMS, and electro-spun products. Spunlaid nonwovens participate in every major market that nonwovens are part of.
Most nonwovens processes have a major impact in either the durable or disposables segments of the market, spunlaid nonwovens dominate the largest disposables market segment
Spunlaid nonwovens are used in both disposable and durable end uses. Disposable nonwovens are defined as single use or short life use nonwovens; these include hygiene, wipes, medical, and other disposables. Hygiene includes those nonwovens used in baby diapers, feminine hygiene pads and liners, and adult incontinence diapers and pads. Uses in hygiene include top sheets, back sheets, leg gathers, acquisition/distribution layers, and absorbent core.
Historically, spunbond was the largest and most common variant, but now SMS has rapidly caught and surpassed it. A major reason is that most new line purchasers wish to have the flexibility of a multiproduct line. Buying a SMS line allows the production of just spunbond, just meltblown or SMS. Once the meltblown unit is included, it makes commercial sense to run it even for products which actually only require spunbond. Thus, newer lines prefer to run (for economic reasons) SMS rather than spunbond.
The spunlaid nonwovens market is analysed by regional consumption. It is clear that consumption of spunlaid nonwovens continues to grow in Asia while North America and Europe are slowing. The Asian market will continue to grow, with its share reaching around 50% and consumption reaching 3.4 million tonnes by 2021.
The Future of Spunlaid Nonwovens to 2021 identifies and quantifies key growth markets and regions, as well as areas showing lower growth. Consumption data, in both volume and value, will be disclosed from 2011 through and forecast to 2021.
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