As noise control assumes greater priority, acoustical nonwovens materials are finding application in an increasing number of end-user markets across North America, according to a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan. Revents in this market reached $443 million last year and will reached $580 million by 2012. Applications include automotive, appliances, marine, office partitions and aviation, among others. Increasingly, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Tier 1 participants are on the lookout for lightweight materials that not only deliver superior performance, but also those that are economically feasible. In catering to their needs, synthetic acoustic nonwovens provide benefits in performance as well as weight with shoddy being the most inexpensive of the acoustic nonwoven materials. Also fiberglass, due to its superior thermal resistance and acoustic insulation, is the material of choice in certain niche applications.
Moreover, with foam prices continually fluctuating and rising, many Tier 1 participants are actively considering the use of alternatives. Nonwovens, being extremely cost competitive besides offering various other benefits, are thus favored. The impact of this driver is likely to increase in the mid and long term when raw material prices and recyclable potential will be of paramount importance.
Despite such positive trends, increasing raw material prices along with OEM price pressures are likely to pose notable challenges to participants in the North American acoustic nonwovens market. With the crude oil prices soaring and OEMs applying additional pressure to reduce costs, acoustic nonwoven manufacturers are facing a severe profitability squeeze.
More information: www.frost.com.