The breathable films market is estimated to be USD 2.6 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 3.9 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 8.2% between 2020 to 2025. The breathable films market is driven by growing awareness regarding health & hygiene and increasing usage of breathable films in premium hygiene products in both developed and developing countries.
Breathable films are thin films with a characteristic property of allowing vapor to pass through while retaining the liquid. They are manufactured using various polymers such as polyethylene (PE), polyurethane (PU), polypropylene (PP), and polyester along with mineral fillers such as calcium carbonate. The presence of mineral fillers gives breathable films a microporous structure. Breathable films are also manufactured using polymers such as co-poly amide (CoPA), polyether block amide (PEBA), and polyether ester. These are monolithic in nature and have properties such as elasticity, permeability, and strength.
Breathable films are used in a wide range of applications such as hygiene, construction/roofing underlayment, and housing wrap, disposable protective garments, surgical gowns and drapes, fabrics to make sportswear and defense jackets, and in food packaging. Increasing per capita GDP (at PPP) with rising awareness on health & hygiene in developing countries is expected to drive this market.
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Polyethylene-based breathable film type estimated to be the largest type of breathable films
Polyethylene-based breathable films type accounts for the largest of the total breathable films market in 2019, in terms of value. Polyethylene-based breathable films will remain the dominant type during the forecast period due to their lower cost as compared to other types of polyolefin films. The major application of polyethylene breathable films is in hygiene applications in products such as baby diapers, adult incontinence, and sanitary napkins.
Medical application: the fastest-growing application for breathable films
The breathable films market size in the medical application is projected to register the highest growth during the forecast period. The consumption of breathable films in this application is growing due to the increased use of breathable films in the manufacturing of surgical drapes, surgical gowns, patient gowns, back-table covers, operation bed covers, mayo stand covers, and gloves. This is fuelled by rising demand for healthcare facilities and increasing per capita spending in healthcare in the developing countries and increasing old age population and increased usage of disposable drapes and gowns in the developed countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has further strengthed the growth of breathable films in the medical application. The pandemic has created larges scale shortages of medical supplies such as masks, gloves, personal proetective equipment (PPE) kit and other medical products. Many of the developed countries have to rely on China to meet the essential medical supplies. The countries are expected to be better prepared for a next time and is expected to increase the investments into the production of medical supplies locally.
APAC is estimated to be the largest market for breathable films. China is estimated to be the leading market for breathable films in APAC. India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and South Korea are other major countries contributing to the growth of the breathable films market in the region. The increasing demand for breathable films from applications such as medical, hygiene & personal care, food packaging, and construction is expected to drive the breathable films market in these countries.
The key companies profiled in the breathable films market research report are Toray Industries (Japan), Mitsui Chemicals (Japan), Berry Global Group (US), Arkema (France), RKW Group (Germany), and Schweitzer-Mauduit International (US). Other prominent players in the breathable films market are Covestro (Germany), Nitto Denko (Japan), Trioplast Industries AB (Sweden), Rahil Foam Pvt Ltd. (India), Skymark Packaging (UK), Daika Kogyo (Japan), American Polyfilm (US), and Innovia Films (UK).
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