Leading players and their key strategies in the industrial fabric market
Fabrics used in high-performance industrial applications, such as transmission belts, conveyor belts, automotive apparel, and flame resistant apparel, are termed as industrial fabrics. These fabrics are manufactured using high-performance fibers, such as polyamide fiber, polyester fiber, glass fiber, and carbon fiber. The market size of industrial fabric is projected to reach USD 153.60 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 4.9% between 2018 and 2023.
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Key players operating in the industrial fabric market offer high-grade industrial fabrics and are focused on adopting inorganic and organic growth strategies to strengthen their market positions. These players have adopted partnerships, expansions, acquisitions, and new product developments as their key growth strategies between 2013 and 2018.
Major players operating in the industrial fabric market include Forbo International SA (Switzerland), Ahlstrom-Munksjö (Finland), Habasit AG (Switzerland), Toray Industries Inc. (Japan), ContiTech AG (Germany), Cerex Advanced Fabrics Inc. (US), W. Barnet GmbH & Co. KG (Germany), DowDuPont (US), Johns Manville (US), and Fitesa SA (Brazil). These companies have a strong presence in the market and are undertaking initiatives to improve their business strategies and product portfolios.
Habasit AG is one of the prime players in the industrial fabric market. The company is a prominent supplier of belting solutions to various industries, such as food, textile, automotive, packaging, business machines, wood, and printing & paper. The company is highly focused on the new product development strategy. For instance, in April 2018, the company introduced a new polyether-based TPU food belt, which offers enhanced food safety and longer service life.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö is another major player in the industrial fabric market. The company offers a wide variety of fabric-based products for transportation, wind, construction, and other industries. The company has adopted various strategies to cater to the increasing demand in the market. For instance, in July 2018, it launched Highflow, which is a new fabric for use in the production of wind turbine blades. The company also merged with Munksjö Oyj to provide innovative fiber-based solutions and enhance its product portfolio.
The growing protective apparel and automotive carpet applications are projected to drive the industrial fabric market
Developed economies across the globe are expected to undertake long-term investments in the automotive industry. This will increase the development of lightweight components for vehicles, thereby offering a positive outlook for the industrial fabric market. The increased spending on high strength and long-lasting industrial fabrics is also contributing to the growth of the industrial fabric market, which is projected to reach USD 153.60 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 4.9% between 2018 and 2023.
The industrial fabric market in APAC is projected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period, in terms of value and volume. The growth of the APAC industrial fabric market can be attributed to the increasing demand for industrial fabrics from the region’s automotive and industrial sectors.
The industrial fabric market is segmented on the basis of fiber into polyamide, polyester, aramid, composite (glass fiber and carbon fiber), and other fibers. These fibers offer various useful properties, such as high durability, abrasion resistance, high strength, good elasticity, quick drying, and others. Polyester is the most consumed fiber in the global industrial fabric market. The aramid fiber segment is expected to witness the highest CAGR, both in terms of value and volume, during the forecast period. Aramid fibers offer good chemical and physical properties at elevated temperatures. These fibers provide very high strength and rigidity. They are lightweight as well. The anticipated high growth of this segment is attributed to the increasing use of aramid industrial fabrics in flame resistant apparel and protective apparel applications.
Industrial fabrics are increasingly used in various applications, such as conveyor belts, transmission belts, protective apparel, automotive carpet, and flame resistant apparel. Their useful properties, such as tensile strength, heat resistance, chemical resistance, and controlled elongation, make them the ideal fabric for use in these applications. Among applications, the flame resistant apparel segment is projected to grow at the highest rate, in terms of both value and volume, during the forecast period. Flame resistant apparel is designed to reduce the spread of fire and is worn by industrial workers for protection against high temperatures and flames.
The increasing use of industrial fabric in the filtration media is one of the major opportunities for the market. Industrial fabric offers chemical resistance, high tensile strength, excellent thermal stability, and high melting points, among others. These properties are enabling the use of industrial fabric in the growing filtration application. Companies have also realized the immense potential of industrial fabric pertaining to its use as filter media. For instance, Toray offers a high-grade industrial fabric under the brand name AXTAR, which is composed of polyester resin. This fabric is increasingly used in filter media.