As noise control assumes greater priority, acoustic nonwovens materials are finding application in an increasing number of end-user markets across North America. These include automotive, appliances, marine, office partitions, and aviation, among others and the increasing uptake among these sectors is helping the overall growth of the North American acoustic nonwovens markets. The automobile segment, however, remains the largest and most lucrative application segment, accounting for 83.3 percent of the total market in 2005.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan North American Acoustic Nonwovens Markets shows that revenues in this market totaled $443.0 million in 2005 and can reach $580.3 million in 2012.
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Increasingly, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Tier 1 participants are on the lookout for lightweight materials that not only deliver superior performance, but also those that are economically feasible. In catering to their needs, synthetic acoustic nonwovens provide benefits in performance as well as weight with shoddy being the most inexpensive of the acoustic nonwoven materials. Also fiberglass, due to its superior thermal resistance and acoustic insulation, is the material of choice in certain niche applications.
“In addition to their beneficial properties, added drivers for the North American acoustic nonwovens markets include the shift among OEMs from fiberglass to synthetics and also the growing preference for nonwovens over foam,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Anand Natarajan. “With fiberglass considered unsafe to work with, OEMs are trying to use synthetics wherever possible and this is providing a boost to the market as synthetic acoustic nonwovens are generally more expensive than their fiberglass counterparts.”
Moreover, with foam prices continually fluctuating and rising, many Tier 1 participants are actively considering the use of alternatives. Nonwovens, being extremely cost competitive besides offering various other benefits, are thus favored. The impact of this driver is likely to increase in the mid and long term when raw material prices and recyclable potential will be of paramount importance.
Despite such positive trends, increasing raw material prices along with OEM price pressures are likely to pose notable challenges to participants in the North American acoustic nonwovens market. With the crude oil prices soaring and OEMs applying additional pressure to reduce costs, acoustic nonwoven manufacturers are facing a severe profitability squeeze.
Also, newer technologies such as Quiet Steel and Sound Trap are fast gaining recognition and acceptance in both the automotive and appliance industries, thereby hindering sales and growth of acoustic nonwovens. Besides controlling noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH), these materials are light as well as economically favorable and hence prove to be significant challengers to acoustic nonwovens.
“Considering the continuous increase in raw material prices, forward integration could assist manufacturers in improving profitability levels,” says Natarajan. “This may help in reducing margins at various levels in the value chain, thus delivering more competent and attractive prices for OEMs.”
North American Acoustic Nonwovens Markets is part of the Chemicals & Materials Growth Partnership Subscription. It identifies and discusses the trends in the North American automotive, appliances, and marine acoustic nonwovens markets from 2002-2012, with 2005 as the base year. It also lists key market drivers and restraints, provides in-depth market and competitive analysis, as well as offers strategic recommendations to succeed in this highly competitive market. In this research services, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following markets: automotive, appliances, and marine. Executive summaries and analyst interviews are available to the press.
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North American Acoustic Nonwovens Markets