Global geotextile market size was estimated to be USD 4.11 billion in 2013. These fabrics are manufactured using synthetic or natural fibers and classified as knitted, woven or non woven based on specific applications. They are used in foundation and soil in order to mitigate wind and water erosion.
Geotextile provides superior properties including separation, filtration, reinforcement, drainage and protection, thus having advantage over other comparable materials. In addition, they are relatively inexpensive, and can replace other granular treatments with significant cost savings in terms of labor and raw material when designed and installed correctly. Permeability and thickness flexibility are other factors influencing adoption for construction and erosion control applications.
Synthetic fibers used for the manufacturing of product include polyester, polypropylene, polyamide, and polyethylene. However, commercially, synthetic fibers are commonly obtained from polypropylene and polyester. Natural fibers are obtained from raw materials such as jute and sisal among.
Companies such as Royal TenCate, Propex, Low and Bonar, NAUE GmbH & Co. KG and Fibertex are some of the leading manufacturers globally. Innovation backed by government initiatives and other regulatory bodies is another major factor contributing to the market growth.
A few factors responsible for the active participation of government bodies include creation of employment by manufacturing, application, and improvement of current environmental conditions. Longer life span and cost effectiveness in comparison with other materials and growing environment concern is expected to increase demand.
Asia Pacific geotextile market volume by product, 2012-2020 (Million square meters)
Nonwoven fabrics dominated the market with 65.3% of global volume in 2013, owing to unique properties such as absorbency, liquid repellency, and mechanical strength. Non woven textile manufacturing does not include conversion of fiber into yarns, thus reducing overall costs.
Key industry players including Royal TenCate, GSE Holdings and Agru America have nonwovens in their product portfolio. Infrastructural developments in Asian countries such as China and India are expected to improve demand for non woven fabrics over the forecast period.
Woven geotextile accounted for 26.5% of total revenue in 2013. High prices and limited availability as compared to non woven textiles are factors which will restrain woven growth in future. In addition, heavier weight of woven coupled with limited ranges of fabric availability for woven textiles act as factor inhibiting growth of woven products.
Road construction was the largest application segment in 2013 accounting for over 1040 million square meters of global volume. Key factor responsible for market demand is the improving infrastructure in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Latin America. Road construction is expected to be the fastest growing segment over the forecast period at a CAGR of 9.1% from 2014 to 2020.
Geotextile reinforces soil in order to promote vegetation growth thus curbing erosion caused due to natural calamities including floods and excessive rainfall or due to encroachment on riverbanks. In addition, they act as a permeable separator that allow water to pass into the drainage system and also help in preventing clogging of drains by separating soil and other materials from water.
New infrastructural developments in Latin America such as implementation of Growth Acceleration Program (PAC) launched by Brazilian Government to attract the investments in infrastructure in expected to propel industry growth.
PAC was launched in 2010 and 2012 in the name of PAC-I and PAC-II, respectively. As a result, around 12,000 infrastructural projects are operating in Brazil which is expected to accelerate the demand for non woven textiles meant for use in soil reinforcement, drainage and filtration solutions.
Asia Pacific geotextile market was the largest, accounting for over 43% of global consumption in 2013. There is growing demand for these fabrics in the region due to large infrastructural projects. They are also being used in large volumes for government infrastructural projects which include construction of highways, dams and dumps.
On-going projects in landscape restoration in developed countries such as the U.S. and Japan are giving way to increasing application scope. A part of the USD 300 million project involving restoration of Ship Island, near the U.S. Gulf Coast, which was divided due to a hurricane, Camille in 1969. Heavy woven fabrics were used in restoring the north shore of the island.
These fabrics were also used as an initiative in extending the Cherry Island Landfill, which was almost full for decades. Projects in other parts of the world included transformation of wastewater impoundment into the present Qingjing Lake at the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city, Singapore.
Global geotextile market is highly fragmented with top four companies accounting for over 30% in 2013. Royal TenCate dominates the market and has presence across North America, Europe, and Asia. GSE Holding accounts for 8.3% and has manufacturing facilities located in U.S., Chile, Egypt and Germany
In 2013, Tencate launched new product by the name Mirafi RSi 280 for use in rail and road reinforcement. In May 2013, GSE started the production at its manufacturing plant in Suzhou, China with an annual production capacity of 20,000 tons of geosynthetic products including geotextile. In February 2013, GSE announced acquisition of SynTec LLC for USD 10 million, which is a manufacturer of geosynthetic products.