According to the new market research report “Breathable Films Market by Type (Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polyurethane Polyether),Technology (Microporous, Monolithic) End-Use Industry (Hygiene, Medical, Food Packaging, Construction, Fabric), and Region – Global Forecast to 2024″, The breathable films market is estimated to be USD 2.2 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 3.3 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 8.2% between 2019 to 2024. The breathable films market is driven by growing awareness regarding health and hygiene and increasing usage of breathable films in premium hygiene products in both developed and developing countries.
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Polyethylene-based breathable film accounts for the largest share of the overall breathable films market in 2018. Polyethylene-based breathable films will remain the dominant type during the forecast period due to their lower cost compared to other types of polyolefin films. The major application of polyethylene breathable films is in hygiene products such as baby diapers, adult incontinence, and sanitary napkins.
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 is growing 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 the rising demand for healthcare facilities, increasing per capita spending in healthcare in the developing countries, increasing old age population, and increased usage of disposable drapes and gowns in the developed countries.
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The breathable films market size is estimated to be USD 2.2 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 3.3 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 8.2% between 2019 and 2024. Rising awareness about health and hygiene and increasing purchasing power of consumers are the major drivers of the global breathable films market during the forecast period.
Breathable films are thin films with a characteristic property of allowing vapor to pass through while retaining 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, housing wrap, disposable protective garments, surgical gowns and drapes, fabrics to make sportswear and defense jackets, and in food packaging.
Expansions, investments, and agreements were the key strategies adopted by the major players to achieve growth in the global breathable films market between 2016and 2019. The major players in the breathable films market are RKW Group (Germany), Arkema (France), Mitsui Hygiene Materials (Thailand), and Fatra (Czech Republic).
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RKW Group has a presence in more than 20 countries across the globe and caters to the demand for breathable films from agriculture, medical, and construction sectors. RKW Group used investment and expansion as its major strategy to increase its market share in the breathable films market and to cater to the increasing demand for breathable film products. In July 2016, the company invested in a line of good quality film prints for packaging solutions in Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia, and Myanmar. This investment helps the company to cater to the growing quality standards for different products. In May 2015, the company also opened a new Greenfield site in China to manufacture backsheet films for hygiene products. This development has helped the company to increase its market share in the breathable films market in APAC.
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 November 2017, Arkema announced an investment plan for USD 354.6 million over five years for the bio-sourced polyamide 11 chain in Asia. The money is expected to be spent in building a world-scale plant for the production of Rilsan PA11 bio-sourced polyamide from castor oil.
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.
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