Breathable Films Market Overview
Breathable Films Market size is forecast to reach $3.5 billion by 2025, after growing at a CAGR of 8.5% during 2020-2025. Breathable films, also known as micro-porous films, are semi-permeable films which allow the exchange of water vapor and gases, but prevent liquids or water to pass through. They are a three-dimensional matrix of long-chained molecules usually composed of acrylic latex, polyethylene, or polypropylene. Rising awareness about health and hygiene is expected to drive the breathable films market.
New product developments and increasing investments in research and development of breathable films are expected to drive the growth of this market.
Among application, medical segment is projected to lead the breathable films market during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific dominated the breathable films market.
By Type – Segment Analysis
Polyethylene segment held a significant share in breathable films market in 2019. Polyethylene-based breathable films are the most widely used type of breathable films as they are low in cost compared to any other type of breathable films. They also have favorable properties such as high absorbency, permeability, and strength. Extensive usage of polyethylene films in the hygiene and healthcare sector is anticipated to further propel the growth. Polypropylene segment is also expected to witness a substantial growth over the forecast period. Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications, such as packaging and labeling, stationery, plastic parts, reusable containers, and laboratory equipment. Breathable films manufactured by highly filled polypropylene form a part of this segment. Polypropylene used can be conventionally catalyzed PP or metallocene PP.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sudden pause to manufacturing activities across the globe, affecting the demand for plastics and also production & processing of them. The most critically impacted end-use segments of the plastics industry include automotive & transportation, consumer goods, industrial equipment, construction, and electronics.
By Technology – Segment Analysis
Non-porous segment held a significant share in breathable films market in 2019. Increasing application in textiles, packaging materials, and medical products are expected to drive the growth. Non-porous films are dense and pinhole-free polymer membranes. These membranes are usually hydrophilic and they absorb water quickly. Non-porous films allow the transmission of water vapor through a process called active diffusion. This type of breathable film is often used in the packaging of clothes, electronic devices, disk drives, and in the logistics industry.
By Application – Segment Analysis
Medical segment held a significant share in breathable films market in 2019 growing at a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period. Breathable films and membranes are used in the surgeon’s garments, to provide protection against viral and bloodborne pathogens. It is also used in skin adhesion applications. It serves as a barrier membrane to dust or biohazards, such as blood-borne pathogens, and allows perspiration to escape. Increased usage of breathable films in surgical drapes and gowns is expected to be the major driver in this application. Owing to the growing health concern among people, coupled with the increasing number of hospitals, there is a significant increase in the usage of breathable films and membranes in the medical sector.
Geography- Segment Analysis
Asia Pacific dominated the breathable films market with a share of more than XX%, followed by North America and Europe. The increasing disposable income & consumption levels and the growing affluence of Chinese consumers will help the hygiene industry to grow stronger in the country. The government of China has been paying more attention to building energy efficiency. Waterproof breathable films are vigorously promoted in China, which has led to the development of waterproof breathable film used in building construction, pressure plate, sandwich panel roof, and exterior building construction.
North America has the largest medical industry in the world. Wide insurance coverage in the country is expected to aid the growth of the market. More than 90% of the US population has access to health insurance. The majority of citizens aged above 65 years have coverage through Medicare or Medicaid, private individual healthcare package, or both. Hence, with the growth in various industries in the region, the demand for market is expected to increase in the upcoming years.
Drivers – Breathable Films Market
Usage of breathable films in various applications
The use of breathable films in various applications such as packaging, medical, hygiene, and construction is expected to drive the market growth of breathable films. The breathable films market is propelled by the personal care & hygiene industry, due to the growing awareness about hygiene and health in the general population. Their applications in this sector include the manufacturing of baby diapers, adult diapers, and sanitary napkins, these films are employed as back sheet to promote comfort and reduce skin rashes and infections. Thus, rising birth rates and aging population are key drivers of the breathable films market. The growing per capita GDP in developing countries and rising consumer spending on personal care products is also propelling the breathable films market. The burgeoning construction industry is also a propellant, with breathable films utilized as house wrap, roofing films, and wall coverings.
Breathable films are also expected to witness a huge adoption in industrial protective apparel. It is used to provide personal protection from hazardous industrial environments, along with comfort and strength. They are used in the production of masks, suits, gloves, cleanroom clothing, footwear, chemical defending garments, radiation protection garments, flame retardant apparel, and other industrial protective apparels.
Challenges – Breathable Films Market
Environmental effects regarding diaper degradation are expected to hinder the market. The penetration rate of the disposable baby diaper market in China is lower than in North America and Europe due to low awareness, high cost, and social stigma. Moreover, high cost when compared to conventional films is also major restraining factor of breathable films market.
Technology launches, acquisitions and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the breathable films market. In 2019, the market of breathable films has been consolidated by the top five players accounting for xx% of the share. Major players in the breathable films market are Mitsui Chemicals Incorporation, Clopay Plastic Products Company, Toray Industries Inc., RKW Group, Covestro, Fatra A.S., Nitto Denko Corporation, Arkema SA, rioplast Industrier AB, and Celanese Corporation. among others.
Product Launch/ Expansion
In July 2019, Schweitzer-Mauduit International added a TPU film line at its manufacturing site in Suzhou, China, to support the demand for protective film in China and the Asia Pacific region.
In February 2017, Mitsui Chemicals started a new manufacturing facility for breathable films through its wholly-owned subsidiary Mitsui Hygiene Materials (Thailand). The plant capacity has been expanded to 10,900 tons annually to meet the growing demand in South East Asia.
In November 2017, Toray expanded the Polypropylene Spunbond production in China to increase the annual capacity to 20,000 tons annually to meet the rising demand for disposable baby diapers in China.
In July 2016, the company invested in a line of good quality film prints for packaging solutions in Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia, and Myanmar. Through this, the company aims to meet the rising quality standards for different products.