Protective Clothing and Body Armor Industry: Fire, Chemicals, and Bullets

Published - Nov 2002| Analyst - Joy Anderson LePree| Code - AVM021D
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Report Highlights

  • The total U.S. market for protective clothing and body armor was $1.6 billion in 2001. Expected to rise at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 7.5%, the market will reach $2.2 billion by 2006.
  • Chemical-resistant garments will climb at an AAGR of 7.9% over the five-year period from $931 million to $1.3 billion.
  • Fire protective garments will rise from $544 million in 2001 to $705 million in 2006 at an AAGR of 5.9%.
  • Bullet-resistant garments will rise the fastest, at an AAGR of 10% over the fiveyear period, from $133 million to $214 million in 2006.
  • The industry historically has been a slow grower, with most segments only seeing about 2% to 3% growth per year on average.
  • Government grant programs that allocate significant funds to police and fire departments for the purchase of protective garments are driving growth.

INTRODUCTION

The protective clothing industry plays a crucial role in the protection of firemen, police officers, military personnel, and industrial workers. Concerns for general worker safety, including protection from death and disabling injuries and illnesses, as well as protection from the specific threats of chemical agents and splashes, fire, and bullets, have resulted in an entire industry devoted to personal protective equipment. This equipment includes everything from chemical protective garments and suits to firefighters' turnout gear to industrial fire retardant garments to bullet-resistant vests to respirators.

While the industry has not seen many new standards and regulations, there have been significant revisions and additions to many of the existing standards for worker protective clothing in the areas of chemical protection, fire protection, and bullet-resistant garments.

In addition to these changes, the terrorist events of September 11, 2001 have spurred growth in some segments of this industry. While this growth is considered to be an anomaly by some industry experts, it is expected to last for at least the next 5 years. This comprehensive BCC industry analysis provides an overview of the major trends within the personal protective equipment industry and market analyses for each end-use segment. Historical data, as well as 5-year forecasts (for the years 2001 to 2006), is provided to demonstrate market sizes and changes.

REASONS FOR THIS STUDY

The protective clothing industry is undergoing significant growth in many areas as a direct result of the terrorist activities that occurred on September 11, 2001. Tracking and predicting growth related to these events, as well as examining offsetting growth factors, is one of the reasons for doing this study.

In addition, the revisions that have been made to existing standards have forced manufacturers to change the materials used in the production of some forms of personal protection equipment.

Also, while there is growth in many segments of the personal protective clothing market, the number of players in some segments of the industry is decreasing due to acquisitions.

Examining the current situation of the market place and reviewing the technological advances expected as a result of all these factors are some of the other reasons why this study was necessary.

This study is intended to provide a timely and accurate view of the industry, its' major participants, and its future growth potential, as well as the technologies and standards that are crucial to the industry.

CONTRIBUTION OF THE STUDY AND FOR WHOM

As a result, this report provides an analysis of the protective clothing market by application through the year 2006. Under each application or type of personal protective clothing, the technologies, materials, standards, market participants, anticipated growth, and growth factors will be discussed.

In addition, the structure of each industry is explained, and company profiles of the major industry participants are provided. The report is directed to decision makers in the industrial, commercial, fire service, and law enforcement sectors whose personnel are engaged in processes and operations involving the potential hazards associated with chemicals, fire, and bullets.

In addition, this report is designed to provide a detailed assessment of the personal protective clothing industry for those companies currently involved in the industry, or for those that are considering entering the fray. This includes: protective clothing producers and distributors, textile and textile-related manufacturers, raw material suppliers, and fabric mills. Companies, with large numbers of personnel who are routinely exposed to work place situations involving potential heat, flame, chemical, and personal protection risks associated with bullets, will also find this report to be of use when identifying and comparing products and manufacturers and when sifting through the massive amount of personal protective industry regulations and standards.

SCOPE AND FORMAT

This report should serve as an analytical and informational tool with the primary purpose of examining the growth in the marketplace that is related to the terrorist events of September 11 and the changes affecting the regulations associated with the forms of personal protective clothing, as well as the shrinking marketplace. Each of these areas is covered in terms of applications and end use. A summary follows this introductory section and is followed immediately by an overview of the development of the protective clothing industry and of the market. Each following section analyzes the current and future market growth and trends.

The protective clothing market is a very fragmented industry. There are three significant segments of the industry. Within each of those segments lies a variety of players, including government organizations (that create, develop, and enforce regulations and standards), raw material suppliers, fiber manufacturers, mills and fabric producers, finished goods manufacturers, and suppliers and distributors. This study of the protective clothing market focuses on the following major clothing types:

  • Chemical protective garments and equipment, including chemical-resistant clothing, chemical warfare and protective suits, and gloves, used in industrial applications.
  • Heat and flame-resistant clothing, including firefighters' turnout gear for structural, proximity, and wildland fire service, as well as industrial fire-resistant garments for use in electric and gas utilities or industrial applications where electric arc and flash fire may be hazards.
  • Body armor, including bullet-resistant garments used in law enforcement and military applications.

Each of these areas of the personal protective clothing industry will be analyzed and discussed in detail in this report. Within each segment-chemical, fire, and bullets-the regulations, raw materials, manufacturers, technologies, market size, and anticipated growth will be covered in detail.

The final segment of the report will include the company profiles of the major players in this industry.

METHODOLOGY

The material gathered for and presented in this report is based on information gathered from personal contacts within government agencies, individuals involved in raw materials and finished goods manufacturing's materials and techniques technological aspects, industry consultants and experts, and manufacturers of the finished goods and raw materials.

Additional data was obtained from extensive review of secondary sources, such as trade publications, trade-associated company literature, government documents, and on-line sources of data and related information. This was done in an effort to supplement the application, market, and trend data gathered from primary sources. All dollar projections presented in this report are U.S. 2001 constant dollars.

AUTHOR'S CREDENTIALS

Joy LePree is an experienced freelance writer, editor, and researcher with much knowledge about the personal protective garment and equipment industry. After working for such magazines as Industrial Safety & Hygiene News and Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation for ten years and authoring the Facility Manager's Newsletter, Joy has become well versed on the topic of worker safety. She brings knowledge about the garments, equipment, and regulations related to this diverse industry.

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