The recent coronavirus epidemic has led to a drastic increase in demand for nonwoven products, such as face masks, antibacterial wet wipes, protective apparel and other products that help protect against airborne particles and other communicable diseases.
Manufacturers have ramped up the production to meet the surging demand for nonwovens and nonwoven-based products like facemasks and personal protective apparel. The demand for one key raw material for surgical mask production – meltblown nonwovens and meltblown equipment – rocketed with a 15-fold increase in cost.
Enterprises worldwide have reacted promptly to this situation, many of which have joined the forthcoming Cinte Techtextil China 2020, daughter show of Techtextil in Germany, to be held from 2 – 4 September in halls N2 – N4, Shanghai New International Expo Centre. Continue reading to learn how the coronavirus has affected the nonwovens market, and how the market is responding to it.
Top themes for audience:
- Meltblown nonwovens – core of surgical masks
- Nonwovens forecast: what coronavirus means to the nonwovens industry in China
- Meet our league of meltblown and nonwoven elites
- Pre-register now for the NEW online business matching service
Meltblown nonwovens – the core of surgical masks
Meltblown materials are mainly used in the production of masks, environmental protection materials, protective clothing, battery separators and other products. Typically, surgical masks are composed of 3 layers:
- Inner layer: skin-friendly sanitary gauze or nonwoven fabric
- Middle layer: ultra-fine polypropylene fiber meltblown material for filtration
- Outer layer: nonwoven fabric or ultra-thin polypropylene meltblown material as an antibacterial layer
The production of one surgical mask requires approximately 1g of meltblown nonwovens plus 2g spunbond nonwovens; and that of one N95 mask requires approximately 3-4g meltblown plus 4g spunbond nonwovens.
Nonwovens forecast: what coronavirus means to the nonwovens industry in China
According to CNITA’s figures, the demand for nonwoven fabrics in 2019 continued to be strong worldwide in terms of production. The annual output of nonwoven fabrics of large-scale Chinese enterprises reached 5.03 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 9.9%.
In terms of economic growth, the main business income of nonwovens increased by 2.9% and the gross profit margin increased by 0.3 percentage points in 2019. In terms of international trade, China’s nonwovens exports in 2019 were one of the top three export products, while the export value increased by 5.4%.
The export volume of nonwoven fabrics was 1.051 million tons, an increase of 9.1% year-on-year. The export of disposable sanitary products continued to be active, and the export quota and export volume increased significantly by 16% and 18.8% respectively over the same period of the previous year.
Even though meltblown materials have not been in the mainstream production in China, they are now in huge demand due to the greater production of and investment in masks, medical protective clothing and disinfection wipes.
Some of the leaders like Truetzschler, A Celli Nonwovens SpA, ANDRITZ, Autefa Solutions Germany GmbH, Dilo Systems GmbH in meltblown and nonwoven elites will be participating with their latest solutions.