Garments or textile related products that reduce the risk of exposure to hostile elements or environments are referred to as protective clothing. The global protective clothing market is a continuously evolving marketplace with technological advancements taking place in the manufacturing of protective fabrics. Protective clothing is one of the most interesting part of technical textile market. A market that is receptive to new products and suppliers.
The global protective clothing market is expected to grow at a significant rate during the forecast period (2017-2023). This market growth can be attributed to rising concern towards the safety of workers coupled with stringent government regulations for the usage of these materials.
The market on the basis of material type is segmented as aramid and blends, polyolefins and blends, polyamide, polybenzimidazole PBI, cotton fibers, laminated polyesters, ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) and others. The Aramid and blends accounted for the major market in 2016 and is expected to continue its dominance till 2023. Additionally, laminated polyesters and PBI expected to be the most attractive market for new entrants as well as for the existing industry players. Furthermore, Protective clothing has extensive applications such as extreme cold protection, ballistic and mechanical protection, radiation protection, particulate matter protection, bacterial/viral protection, chemical protection and thermal protection. With the continuous active R&D involved in the global protective clothing market, it is expected that the bacterial/viral protection segment will grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The protective clothing area of medical textiles has been fuelled by the concerns related to the AIDS virus, hepatitis and other life threatening transmittable diseases. Barrier fabrics, laminated or coated woven and non-woven fabrics with sophisticated co-polymer extrusion are being developed. For instance, DuPont worked on developing its product Biowear® for the protection against bloodborne pathogens.
Furthermore, Protective clothing used for chemical protection are of high priority and is categorized from high to low, i.e, Level A-D.
Level A garments provides total encapsulation, with sealed seams, negative pressure, and with self-breathing apparatus for protection from chemicals.
Level-B, for highly toxic chemical splash, is similar to Level-A except that the seams may not be sealed and the garment is not intended for vapor protection unlike Level A.
Level-C provides significant splash penetration protection and may or may not use a respirator.
Level-D, the least protection, is not much more than coveralls and boots to provide splash and dirt protection.
The global protective clothing market, on the basis of end-user, is segmented as oil & gas, construction and manufacturing, medical, firefighting and law enforcement, mining, military and others. The construction and manufacturing segment dominate the market in the end-use market, this stance for the segment is attributed to the Government norms engaged with the compulsion of the usage of protective clothing. Additionally, the market on the basis of demographics is segmented as North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, South America and Middle-East and Africa. It is expected that the Asia-Pacific region will exhibit the highest CAGR during the forecast period owing to the rapid industrialization and urbanization in emerging economies such as India and China.
The key trend observed in the global protective clothing market includes the heavy investments in the building and construction industry in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in China, India and Japan for better publicly available infrastructure such as airports, residential buildings, railway station, etc. The requirement of safety in the work place for the workers is responsible for the stable growth of the market. In 2012, the Indian Government spent US$9.5 billion for the infrastructural development in the country with over US$134.7 billion invested by non-government sources. The total construction industry spending crosses US$3 trillion in the Asia-Pacific region in 2015, which in turn, is expected to drive the market for protective clothing during the forecast period.
The major driver observed in the study includes the stringent government regulations. The continued growth in demand for protective clothing from various end-user industries and extensive capital investment in R&D have raised the concern of the government for the safety of the workers. Safety norms imposed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) is providing a significant growth to the protective clothing market globally.
Increasing number of worksite incidents along with increasing safety concerns regarding the workers’ health especially in industries which are prone to potential risks is allowing expansion of the protective clothing market globally. Continuously progressive market happenings, which include the emergence of new sale channels, impactful advancement of technology, and a dynamic supply value chain force are turning out to be some of the crucial growth drivers for the protective clothing industry.
The major restraint observed in the study includes the high capital investments on the R&D involved to manufacture these products, which adds to the pricing of the consumer level goods. Such increase in the product cost is hindering the growth of the market for protective clothing market.
The global protective clothing market has a lot of potential for growth in it. The major players in the protective clothing market are adopting significant competitive strategies such as merger, acquisitions, collaborations and joint ventures to hold a competitive stance in the global market. Manufacturers in the industry are undergoing continuous R&D to come up with cutting-edge advancement in the industry. Some of the key players in the global market include Teijin Limited, Lakeland Industries, 3M and DuPont.
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