What about the Medical Nonwovens Update?
Nonwovens continue to be favored in the healthcare industry as the substrates routinely outperform textile products in comfort, barrier properties and resistance to contamination. Nonwovens also demonstrate reduced cost to use in highly cost-sensitive healthcare environments.
The value of nonwovens was certainly witnessed as the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the world in 2020, and demand for these materials and personal protective equipment (PPE) skyrocketed. Although demand has fallen since the pandemic-induced spikes of 2020, industry experts expect inventories of medical nonwovens and PPE to be elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Looking ahead, some of the main growth drivers for the medical nonwovens market will be increasing aging populations around the globe, infection prevention and prevalence of chronic disease.
The total market value for the global medical nonwoven market in 2022 is projected at $1.43 billion, up from $1.27 billion in 2019, according to market researcher Smithers. Its latest report, The Future of Global Nonwovens to 2027, forecasts future growth – by value – at 3.7% CAGR for 2022-2027, which will push world market value to $1.72 billion in 2027.
Medical nonwovens are used to produce surgical gowns, drapes, table covers, scrub suits, isolation gowns, surgical caps, shoe covers, bedding, sterilization wrap and wound care products, among other applications.
Surgical drapes and gowns are the largest segments for nonwovens in medical, and these account for more than 50% of nonwoven tons consumed historically, although this did drop in 2020, according to Phil Mango, nonwovens consultant, Smithers.
Mango says Covid-19 made the case for regional strategic reserves of critical medical products as well as increased inventory levels of these products. “The increasing frequency of global health issues suggests medical nonwoven end-uses will continue to grow.”
Additionally, face masks were and are a small, though visible, end use, he adds, but will most likely not be a determinant in the long-term growth of this market.