With the constantly evolving end-use applications of textile, the possibilities of combining textiles and coatings is vastly large. These coatings have turned textile coatings to performance textiles, conferring on them a range of functions, such as providing protection and enhancing the appearance for decorative applications. The emerging demand for specialized or critical applications of these performance textiles in various end-use industries, including building and construction, automotive, and medical devices, is boosting the textile coatings market.
Substantial advances in polymer science, along with a wide number of combinations possible by tweaking the properties of individual layers, have opened up a variety of interesting applications of technical textiles. Plus, recently emerging applications of nanotechnology in textiles is anticipated to throw open exciting avenues in the coming years. Coupled with the rising popularity of geotextiles in various end-use applications, particularly civil engineering, is providing a robust fillip to the textile coatings market. According to TMR, the worldwide market for textile coatings is projected to be worth US$4,918.5 mn by the end of 2025, expanding at a CAGR of 3.9% from 2017 to 2025.
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Textile Coatings based on Thermoplastic Composites Triggering Novel Applications
The two major types of materials used in making textile coatings comprise thermoplastics and thermosets. Of these, the former segment holds a larger share of the market, as various types of thermoplastics, such as acrylics, polyurethane, and polyvinylchloride, are widely used as raw materials in coating textiles. The popularity of thermoplastics as coating in textiles rides on their cost-effectiveness and the number of potentially useful functional properties that are possible with their composites. In recent years, this has given rise to the manufacturing of smart textiles, opening up promising applications in diverse end-use applications such as electronics and healthcare wearable.
In recent years, extensive research have been carried out to explore the novel application of graphene-based thermoplastic coatings. For instance, a team of investigators in Europe have recently demonstrated the use of graphene in making e-textiles. The investigators tried to integrate electronics with textiles by coating thermoplastic monofilament textile fibers with graphene. The graphene turned them into conducting fibers and the coating was enabled by electrostatic adhesion of graphene. The direct integration of functional properties in the coming years will lead to next-generation textiles that can exhibit numerous beneficial properties, particularly antibacterial and the protection against electrostatic charges. The paper detailing the research was published on July this year in Nature.com.
Popularity of Industrial Clothing Rides on Wide Variety of Functional Benefits
With the constantly expanding end-use area of applications, textile coatings find major end-use in making industrial clothing, geotextiles, upholstery fabric, medical hygiene, and footwear. Of these, two widely used coated textiles are industrial clothing and upholstery fabric. While the adoption of the former is primarily driven by the protective functions these coated textile fabrics possess, the later have a number of architectural applications. In several end-use industries, the growing focus toward using fire safety textiles and a growing number performance requirements, including anti-abrasion, anti-bacterial, and thermal insulation, are the key factors accentuating the demand for these coated textiles.
Meanwhile, players in the automotive and transport industry are increasingly focusing on developing high-performance coated textile fibers capable of novel applications, exhibiting properties such as resistance to grease, dirt, water, and even heat. In the past couple of years, the market has witnessed substantial investments on these initiatives, notably on developing technical and non-woven fabrics in the automotive industry. The advent of ultra-high cut resistant fabric in developed nations is likely to up lucrative avenues for market players in the coming years.
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