Nonwoven products in the medical market aren’t there for show; a study published by Grandview research in 2015 states that the usage of disposable nonwoven products against in the use of nonwovens, however, comes from accounting: reusable products can be washed and dried up to 250 times. But, if you consider the benefits of disposable medical nonwovens, the overall long-term benefits of using nonwovens far outweigh the arguments from the number crunchers. That’s why the numbers continue to be favorable for nonwovens.
- Hospitals want to decrease hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). Medical care facilities are being held accountable for the HAIs. Since nonwoven products are known to outperform other products in barrier protection, absorbency and resistance to contamination, hospitals are eager to find ways to use nonwovens, especially in areas where infection is tougher to fight.
- To decrease costs, medical care facilities need high performance fabrics. It’s no secret that nonwovens can be manufactured to be exceptionally absorbent. While competing fabrics like cotton can also be absorbent, the volume of fabric required is significantly larger for cotton fabrics, depending on the application. According to Smithers Apex, replacing fluff pulp wadding with a lighter weight and higher absorbency nonwoven product can help improve not only the cost outlay but also performance.
- Flexibility of nonwoven technology. The biggest impetus converters and product manufacturers need to get into the medical nonwovens market is this: the vast volume of product applications in the medical market. In medical surgery alone, there are nonwoven drapes, surgical masks, shoe covers, caps, gowns, swabs and more. Additionally, there are incontinence products for patients like disposable underwear, cotton pads, panty shields and disposable diapers. Just look around at any healthcare facility to see the broad variety of product options.
The medical nonwovens market is here to stay, especially when considering the expanding market into developing countries. Global consumption was valued at $1.5 billion for the medical nonwovens market in 2013. Smithers Apex estimates that this figure will be closer to $2 billion in just two years by 2018.
It may just be a great time to get into medicine.
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