With regard to raw materials, the study concluded that polypropylene polymer still represents at least 85-90% of the market. The remaining but growing portion is represented by PET, PE, PBT, PA, ECTFE (HALAR), PAL and others. In calculating meltblown products, notably SMS and SMMS materials, the study concludes that the meltblown portion represents about 10-15% of the total product by weight with the balance being mostly spunbonded nonwovens.
The total number of companies producing meltblown microfiber and nanofiber nonwovens has increased during the last few years to approximately 115-120. In the year 2000, Research and Markets was only able to identify 108 companies with address and additional details, not counting 30-40 smaller manufacturers in China.
n the year 2000, the market for meltblown microfiber electret nonwovens grew to approximately $300 million in sales. Air/dry filtration represented 60% or $180 million and 40% was liquid filtration ($120 million). In the year 2003, we expect that meltblown/microfiber/electret nowoven roll goods will grow to $518 million in sales. Air filtration will represent $340 million while liquid filtration will comprise $178 million.
Growth has partially been caused by bio-terrorism which has changed the way people look at filtration. The changes are significant and reflected in HVAC filtration for buildings—new systems for instance for the postal service letter distribution systems—and other applications.
More information: researchandmarkets.com.