Geomembranes are synthesized with the infusion of geotextiles with elastomers, asphalt or multi-layered bitumen geo-composites. It refers to synthetic membranes or liners having low permeability and are used with geotechnical engineering. They are made up of flexible polymeric materials that are impermeable in nature, thus creating a barrier to the movement of water, fluids and other soluble materials.
Geomembranes have high tensile and interface shear strength and are tear and impact resistant. Solid waste containment, mining and water containment are finding applications in global geomembranes market. They are widely used in mining applications owing to the increase in environmental pollution and formulation of environmental policies by regulatory agencies.
Geomembranes are categorized into high density polyethylene (HDPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), ethylene propylene diene monomer (M-class) rubber (EPDM) and polypropylene (PP). High density polyethylene is a hydrocarbon polymer prepared from petroleum by catalytic process. These polymers are light weight and can withstand high temperature. HDPE are mainly used for packaging and manufacturing of edible products such as cereal box liners and yogurt tubs. LDPE geomembranes have superior flexibility and elongation properties, UV and chemical resistance, durability and increased frictional resistance. These membranes are used for packaging, transportation and electrical cables. Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) is a flexible plastic sheeting film. LLDPE is blended form of LDPE with enhanced flexibility, tensile strength and conformability. LLDPE is used for pond liners or blended into other films to give them more flexibility and extra strength. LLDPE is used for films that needing tremendous amount of strength to absorb impacts without tearing or puncturing.
The global geomembranes market is expected to witness a growth during the forecast period (2017-2023). Increasing expenditure towards waste and water management programs in Germany, Russia, China and India is anticipated to drive the market. Based on raw materials, high density polyethylene (HDPE) is expected to be the largest and fastest growing segment. Based on the manufacturing method, waste management segment is expected to propel the growth of the global market.
The demand for geomembranes for its use in tunnel liners is growing significantly in the markets of the U.S. and Canada due to an increase in construction activities. Mining applications is the key trend propelling the growth of the geomembranes during the forecast period. Geomembranes are increasingly used to prevent soil erosion in land areas and water bodies present in North America thereby, promoting vegetation growth in region.
Geomembranes are used for mining processes such as excavation of copper, magnesium and gold in Canada and the United States. The Forum of European National Highway Research laboratories in association with the European Commission are carrying out various innovation projects towards the repair and replacement of railways, roadways and other infrastructures across Europe. Thus, the global market is expected to grow during the forecast period.
Geomembranes are used as a permeable separator that allows water to pass seamlessly. Thus, heavy infrastructural development combined with innovation in geomembranes for drainage applications is expected to drive the growth of global geomembranes market during the forecast period. These membranes are widely used for road construction activities globally owing to its use as a basis in asphalt layovers as they help to strengthen weak soil by holding them together thereby, increasing the life span of roads. The low hydraulic activity of geomembranes results in the increased usage of these membranes in landfills leading to a low seepage rate out of the landfill.
Increase in the regulation of ground water activity, strong regulatory framework related to water contamination laws, increased mining activities and regulations related to solid waste generation are the drivers for the growth of the overall market during the forecast period. Geomembranes are used in varied applications such as energy, oil and gas, coal ash containment, agriculture, civil, liquid containment, concrete protection and other industrial applications.
The robust presence of mining base in Australia and China in light of the abundance of minerals such as steel and diamond coupled with improvement in mining sectors of African countries including South Africa and Nigeria in light of regulatory support is expected to result in significant demand for geomembranes.
Rapid industrialization, presence of well-established mining industries and dynamic economy in China, Japan, India and South Korea is expected to further propel the growth of geomembranes market in Asia-Pacific region.
The major factor posing as a restraint to the growth of global market is fluctuating raw material prices. Additionally, high research and development cost and reduction in demand for mining and waste management applications are challenging the growth of the global geomembranes market.
The major companies operating in the global market are GSE Environmental, LLC, Agru America, Inc., Solmax, Nilex Inc., Carthage Mills, Inc, Officine Maccaferri S.p.A., Geofabrics Australasia, Carlisle Companies Incorporated, Juta A.S, Titan Environmental Containment and Colorado Lining International, Inc.
By raw material
High density polyethylene (HDPE)
Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE)
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
Ethylene propylene diene monomer (M-class) rubber (EPDM)
By manufacturing process
Middle East and Africa