Geosynthetics: Materials, Applications and Markets
- The U.S. market for geosynthetics will increase from $2.1 billion in 2007 to an estimated $2.2 billion by the end of 2008. It should reach more than $2.3 billion by 2013, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.7%.
- Sales of geomembranes, the largest market segment, will reach $809 million by the end of 2008. This will increase to $923 million by 2013, for a CAGR of 2.7%.
- Liquid and gas containment applications, which accounted for about 44.9% of the market in 2007, will continue to dominate through the end of the forecast period and represent 48.2% of the market by 2013.
Geosynthetics is the term coined to describe a class of synthetic materials that has been developed for geotechnical applications, i.e., applications relating to geological materials, earth structures and foundations. Geotextiles made from natural fibers have been used for thousands of years. For example, they were used to stabilize roadways in ancient Egypt, where the dryness of the climate offset natural fibers' tendency to deteriorate when submerged in the soil.
However, more widespread use of geotextiles had to await the development of suitable synthetic fibers that resisted deterioration in the ground. The development of polymer-based geosynthetics provided the needed stimulus, and acceptance and use of geosynthetics has expanded rapidly since the early 1980s.
Today, geosynthetics are used in a growing range of applications, including roads and railways, construction, flood and erosion control, waste containment, mining, and agriculture. The U.S. is the world's largest market for geosynthetics, consuming over $2.0 billion worth of geosynthetics in 2007.
In the U.S., geosynthetics are the object of increased interest as a tool in the rebuilding and expansion of the U.S. infrastructure. Geosynthetics are especially useful in an environment of increasing land scarcity, increased awareness of seismic hazards, and more stringent environmental regulations.
SCOPE OF STUDY
This report contains:
- Descriptions of various types of geosynthetics including geotextiles, geogrids, geonets, geomembranes, geocomposites, geocells and geofoams
- Discussion of applications for each type of geosynthetics material
- The current U.S. market status for geosynthetics, with trends and forecasts for growth over the next 5 years
- Technological issues including the latest trends and a thorough patent analysis
- Company profiles.
METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES
The report's findings and conclusions are based on information gathered from a wide range of sources, including geosynthetics vendors, users, engineering and consulting firms. Interview data were combined with information gathered through an extensive review of secondary sources such as trade publications, trade associations, company literature, and on-line databases to produce the projections contained in this report.
The base-year for analysis and projection is 2007. With 2007 as a baseline, market projections were developed for 2008 to 2013. These projections are based on a combination of a consensus among the primary contacts combined with our understanding of the key market drivers and their impact from a historical and analytical perspective.
The methodologies and assumptions used to develop the market projections in this report are discussed at length under the various segments addressed. The report carefully documents data sources and assumptions. This way, readers can see how the market estimates were developed and, if they so desire, test the impact on the final numbers of changing assumptions such as price.
Andrew McWilliams, the author of this report, is a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm, 43rd Parallel LLC. He is also the author of numerous other Business Communications Co. reports on advanced materials and related technologies, including the recent Advanced Materials and Technologies for Public Works Infrastructure Projects (AVM062A), as well as Smart and Interactive Textiles (AVM050B), Lightweight Materials in Transportation (AVM056A), Advanced Materials and Devices for Renewable Energy Systems (EGY053A), and Materials and Devices for High Performance Sports Products (AVM053A).