Global Non-woven Abrasives Market: Overview

Abrasive products used for the finishing of metallic and non-metallic work-pieces are typically categorized into bonded and coated abrasives. However, there also exists a third category called non-woven abrasives that provides final finish to the surface. Non-woven abrasives are also known as three-dimensional abrasives. Under non-woven abrasives, abrasives grains are bonded to flexible nylon fibers with synthetic resins such as phenolic and epoxy in order to provide consistent and controlled finish. Synthetic resins such as phenolic and epoxies are petrochemical derivatives. The prices of these resins depend upon the crude oil prices. Hence, fluctuation in crude oil prices significantly affects the resin prices. This, in turn, affects the prices of non-woven abrasives. However, increase in application of non-woven abrasives in the transportation industry is likely to drive the market in the near future. These fibers are impregnated with abrasive grain, producing a durable, cushioned, three-dimensional material that is pliable and conformable to the work-piece. Non-woven abrasives are widely used for performing operations such as deburring and cleaning to provide desired finish on a various surfaces.

Non-woven abrasives impart excellent finishing on a broad range of surfaces due to the relatively non-aggressive nature of nylon and the abrasive grit used in non-woven. Because of their open mesh structure, non-woven abrasives are waterproof, washable, and resilient. The standard design of non-woven comprises abrasive grains distributed uniformly throughout the nylon web, providing a continuous supply of new grain as the old grain and fibers wear away during usage. While 60-80 grit abrasives are considered intermediate sizes in other products, they are considered coarse for non-woven products. Non-woven abrasives are used on a range of metals such as aluminum, brass, copper, nickel, chrome plate, stainless steel, and titanium. They are also used on other hard-to-grind materials such as ceramic, glass, and plastic.

Global Non-woven Abrasives Market: Key Segments

In terms of product type, the non-woven abrasives market can be segmented into hand pads, rolls, discs, belts, and wheels. Hand pads are designed to offer excellent conformability and flexibility while providing manual finish to the work surface. They are generally available in 6 × 9 inch sizes, but are easily folded into smaller sizes as needed. Based on end-user, the global non-woven abrasives market can be divided into construction, household, transportation, electronics & semiconductors, and industrial (such as machinery and medical devices). Industrial was the major end-user segment of the non-woven abrasives market in terms of revenue in 2017. It is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period due to the rapid growth in industrial, medical devices, and power generation sectors. Transportation was also a key end-user segment of the non-woven abrasives market. Non-woven abrasives re employed in various applications such as maintenance and repair operations in rail transportation. Expansion in the automotive industry coupled with rapid industrialization and booming construction sector in developing economies is expected to drive the market for non-woven abrasives during the forecast period.

Non-woven abrasives market is expected to witness significant growth due to the increase in infrastructure development in Asia Pacific. Rise in population in Asia Pacific is likely to lead to an increase in expenditure on transportation, homes, etc. This, in turn, is expected to boost the demand for non-woven abrasives. Rise in disposable income in developing countries and growth in industrial and manufacturing activities are the key factors augmenting the non-woven abrasives market.

Global Non-woven Abrasives Market: Key Players

Non-woven abrasives market is a mature market with established players dominating the market. There also exist collaborations and agreements among manufacturers, distributers, and marketing firms. For instance, in December 2017, 3M entered into a collaborative agreement with KUKA Robotics Co., Ltd. and FERROBOTICS Co., Ltd. of Germany to unveil the joint polishing station at 3M Shanghai R&D Centre. Prominent players operating in the global non-woven abrasives market include 3M Company, AE Abrasives Edge Pvt. Ltd, Osborn, Steel Shine (Uppal India), Sia Abrasive (A Bosch Company), Samadhan Group, Stacke Abrasives India Pvt. Ltd, Saint-Gobain (Grindwell Norton), Wolcut Abrasives Private Limited, Scrubex Corporation, Amazon Brush Company, Humac Abrasives Private Limited, and Mirka Ltd.

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