Growing Markets For Nonwoven Filter Media

Published - Dec 2002| Analyst - Ravindra Deshpande| Code - AVM043A
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Report Highlights

  • A 5.2% average annual growth rate (AAGR) is forecasted for the nonwoven filter media over the next five years, resulting in a $725 million market in 2007.
  • The market size for airlaid filter media is estimated to be $42 million in 2002. Though it is a relatively mature filter media production technology, it is expected to grow to $55 million at an average annual rate of 5.5% during the forecast period.
  • Liquid filtration applications consume a majority of the wetlaid filter media manufactured in North America in 2002. The present market size for wetlaid filter media is estimated to be $125 million.
  • Sales of spunbonded filter media will be $183 million and account for more than one-third of overall nonwoven filter media markets.



The goal of this study is to help the reader form a comprehensive understanding of the recent advances in nonwoven filter media manufacturing, its commercial applications, and its worldwide markets. For the purposes of this report, these materials will include filter media manufactured by airlaid, wetlaid, spunbonding, meltblowing and apertured films extrusion.

To attain the stated goal, several objectives will be met. The major types of nonwoven filter media manufacturing processes will be described. An overview of filtration process and key physical and chemical properties of raw materials will be provided. Commercial applications in which these materials are used will be discussed. Present consumption and future demand for these materials will be evaluated for the North American and worldwide regions.

Trends in technology will be analyzed and forecasted. The impact of governmental regulations will be ascertained. The structural dynamics of the nonwoven filter media industry will be outlined along with profiles of key manufacturers in North America and other parts of the world.


After enjoying decades of relatively faster growth, the nonwoven filter media industry is slowing down. It remains an enabling industry for critical filtration processes in several application sectors such as water filtration, HVAC, manufacturing and food processing. Since the end processes are designed to control pollution and purity of the fluid streams, they are heavily regulated. It clearly affects the nonwoven filter media industry. The recent terrorist events and economic slowdown has clearly impacted the nonwoven filter media industry. Increasing consumer awareness of product, water and air quality and their long-term effects on health are prompting new technological trends in the filtration industry.

Corporations engaged in the nonwoven filter media industry must understand the significance of these trends to effectively manage their enterprises and its resources. Stakeholders in these competitive technologies and products must understand the impact of these trends upon their operations. End users of nonwoven filter media must consider the effects of these changes to select the most cost-effective options among newly available products and technologies prior to committing significant capital resources.


Over the next five years, significant changes will take place in global nonwoven filter media manufacturing and applications. Consequently, the information presented in this study is very important to:

  • Members of the financial community who must understand, assess, and rate the effects of forthcoming changes in the nonwoven filter media industry on the financial performance of the companies active in this market segment.
  • Chief executive officers who must effectively manage the assets of their company so as to benefit from forthcoming changes in the nonwoven filter media industry.
  • Directors of planning who must incorporate anticipated changes in the nonwoven filter media industry into corporate planning documents.
  • Directors of manufacturing who must implement new nonwoven filter media technology and products into their operations.
  • Directors of engineering, research, and development who must incorporate the latest in nonwoven filter media technology and products into their designs and projects.
  • Decision makers directed at major nonwoven filter media consumers, such as the companies involved in water filtration utilities, HVAC designer, automobile and manufacturing industry filtration system designers, and food processing industry.
  • Executives at companies engaged in developing competitive filter media including woven materials, foamed and mesh filter manufacturers, separation membrane manufacturers, etc.


This report covers the technological, economic, and considerations of the nonwoven filter media industry. Although primarily a study of the North American markets, analyses and forecasts are also provided for global markets. Included in this report are descriptions of market forces relevant to the nonwoven filter media industry and their areas of application.

The North American markets are presented by type of nonwoven filter media along with growth forecasts through 2007. The estimates on the sales value relate to a point in the supply chain to the filtration industry where the media procured by the fabricators and filtration system manufacturers. The scope of this report was designed for filter media markets.

The driving forces in the industry and the structure of the industry are also examined. International aspects of the nonwoven filter media industry are discussed with respect to all the geographic regions and types of nonwoven filter media material. Lastly, brief profiles of the major manufactures in the North American and global markets are presented.


Estimates of current market demand are made for 2002 and projected over the next five years. Projections are made in terms of constant U.S. dollars (2002). Growth is presented as average annual growth rates (AAGRs). Confirmation of the numbers so reached was obtained by contacting several representative manufacturers in the nonwoven filter media industry and by analyzing published reports.


The primary source of information in this report was derived from interviews and communications with individuals in the industry. Other sources included searches of online and print media, including electronic databases, conference proceedings, patent literature, trade journals, and newsletters. Company financial publications and news releases, filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and their websites were also valuable sources of information.

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