Coated fabrics are coated by plastics, rubber, varnish and lacquer among other materials. Application of a coat results in increasing the flexibility, water resistance and durability of the fabric. These fabrics are used in a variety of end-use products such as transportation, manufacturing, construction, automotive and apparel among others. Based on the type of raw material used, coated fabrics can be segmented into three categories, viz., polymer-coated fabrics, rubber-coated fabrics and fabric-backed wall coverings. Increasing demand for automobiles in the U.S. is one of the primary drivers which are expected to drive the growth of the market over the next few years. In addition, the rising industrial production rate is expected to boost demand for coated fabrics in industrial applications over the forecast period. Furthermore, recovery of construction industry after the economic crisis in 2008-09 is expected to contribute to the demand for coated fabrics. However, availability of substitute products to coated fabrics coupled with rising environmental concerns regarding pollutants emitted from these fabrics are expected to hamper the growth of the market.
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Polymer coated fabric was the largest product segment and accounted for over 85% of the market in U.S. in 2011. This segment is expected to grow significantly within the forecast period on account of its increased use in automobiles as air bags and seat covers. In addition, implementation of standardized safety measures for protective clothing in all industrial sectors by regulatory bodies is expected to boost the demand for polymer coated fabrics. Fabric backed wall covering is expected to be the fastest growing segment on account of its increasing use in residential and non-residential structures.
Demand for coated fabrics from transportation sector was the highest and accounted for over 30% of the market in 2011. However, application of coated fabrics in furniture is expected to show the fastest growth within the forecast period on account of rising economically favorable conditions which in turn leads to increased government spending and increased disposable income of consumers. Transportation is expected to be the second fastest growing segment present within the market on account of increasing safety measures in vehicles coupled with growing demand for automobiles.
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The U.S. market for coated fabrics is highly fragmented with top six participants of the market contributing approximately 26% of the total coated fabrics market in 2011. Omnova Solutions was the market leader in supplying coated fabrics in the U.S. market in 2011. Saint Gobain, Takata Corporation, Canadian General Tower, Trelleborg AB and Spradling International Incorporated are some of the leading manufacturers of coated fabrics in the U.S. Other prominent manufacturers include Bo-Tex Sales Corp and Mauritzon, Inc. among others.
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