Chemical Resistant Fabrics Market size is anticipated to expand at a steady rate over the projected timeline 2021-2027. The increase in product demand can be attributed to the strict worker safety regulations enforced across oil & gas, healthcare, construction, and other sectors. Thousands of chemical products with various toxicological properties are utilized worldwide.
To ensure better safety of human health and proper disposal to prevent environmental damage, many industries are experiencing an increasing degree of regulatory control. Regulatory bodies such as the Occupational Safety and Hazard Association (OSHA) state that the employer is responsible for informing workers about when to use personal protection equipment (PPE) and what PPE type to use. It is also the responsibility of employers to offer operators adequate access to PPE.
Continuous technological advancements to improve product quality and meet international standards are propelling the chemical resistant fabrics industry forward. Also known as chemical protective clothing, these materials are used mainly to prevent exposure to chemicals hazards in industrial environments and prevent dangerous effects. These hazards include chemicals, acids, alkaline solutions, steam, toxic fumes and gas, and others. Fabrics with chemical resistance properties are also used in fire control applications to ensure hazardous accidents and injury. The adoption of such flame-resistant PPE will certainly increase with a higher focus over worker safety.
Based on the type of raw material, the chemical resistant fabrics market is bifurcated into polyester, aramid, cotton fiber, PBI, and others. Among these, the PBI segment is expected to witness robust growth through 2027. PBI or polybenzimidazole fabrics are a class of highly heat-resistance synthetic fibers which offer outstanding chemical resistance against hydrocarbons, alcohols, chlorinated solvents, weak acids, and bases, hydrogen sulfide, and numerous other chemicals. On account of these properties, the material is used for making chin straps, shoulder straps, helmet suspension, lap belts, and harness webbing.
In terms of the end-user, the architecture sector is expected to acquire a fair share of the chemical resistant fabrics industry in the future. With various regulatory norms play in the construction sector, the use of PPE is paramount. A wide range of chemicals are used in architecture that can cause serious damage if they come into contact with the eyes, skin, or enter the body through the respiratory tract. The rise in construction and infrastructure development in emerging economies and the increasing number of construction workers in the workforce will certainly boost the product demand in the future.
From a geographical point of view, Europe chemical resistant fabrics market share is slated to expand substantially from 2021 to 2027. The adoption of flame-resistant PPE in the region is drive by strict norms introduced by the European Union and other regulatory bodies. Due to a heavily regulated environment, the regional manufacturers are investing in research and innovation to develop new products that meet the EU regulations. The rapid spread of COVID-19 during the first half of 2020 and the increased consumption of PPE across healthcare facilities has created promising opportunities for manufacturers.
Teijin Ltd, Glen Raven, Inc, I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Koninklijke Ten Cate NV, Milliken & Company, and Kolon Industries Inc are among the notable producers of chemical resistant fabrics in the world. Product innovation is a top priority for manufacturers as they look to bring new innovative solutions to the market. For instance, Milliken & Company had launched the Milliken ShieldCSR fabric, a polyester fabric built to limit exposure to a wide range of liquid chemicals.
The global economic slowdown and suspension of manufacturing and industrial activities caused a solid decline in the product demand, affecting the chemical resistant fabrics industry forecast. However, with an exponential rise in COVID-19 patients and the number of hospital admissions, PPE demand surged rapidly. Numerous parts of the world experienced product shortages in 2020, leading to increased manufacturing. In March 2020, the WHO had estimated that economies and governments need to ramp up PPE production by 40% to meet the increasing demand. This, in turn, has create positive opportunities for manufacturers across the medical sector.