The global hygiene breathable films market was valued at US$ 611.6 million in 2017. The market is forecast to expand at a CAGR of 5.9% during the forecast period, 2018-2026.
Hygiene breathable films are used as back sheets in diapers, sanitary pads, under pads, laminates, and tapes. Hygiene breathable films provide a high barrier against moisture and water. Microporous hygiene breathable films are used in disposable medical products such as surgical gowns and gloves as well as hygienic products such as baby diapers, feminine hygiene products, and adult diapers. Polyester-based hygiene breathable films have a wide acceptance in various end-use applications.
Materials used to manufacture hygiene breathable films include polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, and polyurethane. The diaper segment is further segmented into baby and adult diaper. Hygiene breathable films used in baby diapers are expected to witness a positive growth, registering a CAGR of 5.7%. The adult diaper segment is expected to witness a meteoric growth due to the increase in the aging population suffering with incontinence problems.
Hygiene breathable films are used as back sheets to prevent the leakage of liquid from diapers and sanitary pads. The easiest way to manufacture hygiene breathable films is by adding calcium carbonate, a very fine mineral just like talc. CaCO3 powder is added to the PE pellets and homogeneously mixed before the melting screw. Hygiene breathable films are extruded from this mixture and then stretched with a group of rollers while the film is still warm. This stretching results in millions of micro holes that are turned into hygiene breathable films. Water vapor can pass through hygiene breathable films, but not a single drop of water as these are liquid impervious.
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Manufacturers of hygiene breathable films are experiencing better and efficient results with the blown film extrusion process. According to the experts, there are a great number of benefits associated with the production of hygiene breathable films using blown film extrusion. g/m², the diaper hygiene breathable films produced by the blow film extrusion have an inline stretch and are comparatively thinner with a basis weight of 12 g/m². According to an independent research, it is estimated that by 2050, more than 5% of the American population would be aged above 85 years, and will play a key role in driving the growth of the hygiene breathable films market. The adult diapers and under-pads segment is expected to show positive growth in the U.S due to the aging population.
North America has shown impressive growth in the production and consumption of hygiene breathable films, such that it towers over rest of the countries in the APAC region, and beyond. The Chinese hygiene breathable films market currently accounts for more than 25% of the Asia Pacific hygiene breathable films consumption alone. North America’s hygiene breathable films market was significantly boosted, owing to the increase in geriatric population and is expected to continue the momentum of growth of hygiene breathable films market during the forecast period. The manufacturers are expected to eye the Asia Pacific region for potential business expansion. Therefore, the outlook for the global hygiene breathable films market is expected to be positive during the forecast period.
Hygiene breathable films are conventionally made using mineral parogens such as calcium carbonate. Hygiene breathable films include a biodegradable resin, a thermoplastic starch, a filler, and a protein. Manufacturers are nowadays are producing biodegradable and highly-breathable films without inorganic parogens. A thermoplastic cross-linked natural polymer (corn starch) was used to create tortuous passages for film breathability. The hygiene breathable films made from corn starch polymer have increased breathability and mechanical properties, as compared to the conventional hygiene breathable films. It was found that the hygiene breathable films made from thermoplastic starch or CaCO3 contained an irregular filler.
There is an increasing demand for the incorporation of more recyclable and/or degradable components in disposable products. The design of hygiene breathable films is made such that they can be disposed of by means other than by incorporation into solid waste disposal facilities such as landfills. For example, disposable absorbent hygiene breathable films can be easily and efficiently disposed of by composting. Alternatively, disposable absorbent hygiene breathable films can be easily and efficiently disposed of to a liquid sewage system, wherein disposable absorbent hygiene breathable films are capable of being degraded.