The market for protective clothing is expected to be catapulted to stratospheric heights for being inseverable from operations of a wide range of major industries that include chemical, construction, manufacturing, oil, and gas, as well as healthcare, has given the current scenario of the COVID 19 pandemic. The rising awareness and the need for preventing accidents and fatalities at the workplace are central to the growth of the protective clothing market. Further, the increasing investments in R&D to bring about enhanced cutting-edge products which are also preferred by industries of aerospace and defense is another factor that is expected to drive the growth of a variety of protective clothing.
Further, the strict policies that have been institutionalized by various national governments as well as the multilateral agreements on workers’ health and safety, which are being increasingly put in place in emerging economies that mandates the apex leadership of various industries around the world to ensure that their loss prevention measures adequately extend to the core of their brigade: the staff. With regards to the staff, it should be noted that the increasing working population around the world owing to profusion of investments in a variety of endeavors of construction, manufacturing, processing, energy, pharma, pathology, border security, earth sciences and so on are also facilitating the growth of the protective clothing market. Also, the increasing availability of lightweight protective clothing with greater chemical, fire, and wear and tear resistance is an enticing factor that is spurring more engagement amongst the players engaged in protective clothing production.
Global Annual Petroleum and Other Liquids Production (Thousand Barrels per Day)
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
The Oil and Gas Industries Are Poised to Propel the Market of Protective Clothing in the Next Few Years
As of 2018, and as per the United Nations (UN), oil comprised 37% share of primary energy. While consumption of coal globally is poised to phase off the demand for oil demand will continue to grow owing to the rising demand for fuel which is derived from crude oil that finds its application in aviation, long-distance freight, petrochemicals, and shipping. Despite the proliferation of alternative energy sources like wind farms in certain developed economies, the offshore segment is gaining traction due to available expertise and infrastructure in offshore oil extraction. Moreover, global oil companies on average hold 13 years of reserves at current rates of production in assets. Conversely, approx.25 countries around the world have bonds that are substantiated by an expectation of extractable reserve spanning over years that range from 25 through 50 to 100 years. Consequently, leading to investments in various oil exploration projects and downstream processes, which necessitates the unquestionable incorporation of the protective clothing, thereby driving the market for the same.
A few prominent and recent projects illuminating the aforesaid to a greater degree are: as of May 2020, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has reportedly approved the construction and operation of the Alaska LNG project estimated at US$43 billion, and has granted the authorization for liquefication and exportation of LNG liquefied natural gas from the North Slope to an export facility in Nikiski, Alaska to an independent, public corporation of the State of Alaska, Alaska Gasoline Development Corporation (AGDC). The other, as of April 2020, with a revised capital investment for 2020, which is to the tune of $23 billion (15% decrease from earlier $33 billion) the Rovuma LNG project in Mozambique is expected see scheduled start in 2025, which is a project with a total LNG nameplate capacity of 15.2 mtpa.
With respect to the type of protective clothing, there has been a trend of product innovation in recent years with the rationale of ensuring both safety and comfort for the wearer.
The automation industry is witnessing a series of launches that substantiat the importance of such clothing as well as reaffirms the variety of applications that caters to. In July 2020, Carrington Textiles announced NFPA 2112 certification for its fabrics that are flame retardant and reengineered in response to customers who wish to offer protection against chemical splash, electric arc, electrostatic discharge, flash fire, ultraviolet radiation concomitantly comfort with the reportedly strikingly low average percentage of body burn. The product has been made commercially available with impressive colorfastness, industrially launderable guarantee, shade consistency, wash shrinkage, and in a variety of weights. In October 2019, it was announced that Lakeland Industries, Inc. has reportedly launched a new line of apparel that is characteristically mid-weight and has high visibility intend to be used by electrical utility professionals that offer the most important aspect that is safe with the added benefit of comfortable stretch that features permanent moisture-wicking technology. In November 2019, Virgin Galactic reportedly unveiled space suits which have been made out of fire retardant Nomex, with the capability of being tailored to fit and is intended for its private astronaut aboard its SpaceShipTwo.
Again, in the same year in September, a leading industrial thread company Coats was reported to launch a product called FlamePro Splash Protect that is engineered to be soft, flexible lightweight concomitantly ensuring durability thereby providing along with lasting wear. Further, the product has been designed with the rationale to incorporate thermal resistant and metal shedding properties that can protect against flame, metal molten splash, radiant heat, and other smelting hazards. It is also reportedly to withstand molten aluminum at a temperature of up to 760 degrees centigrade. Earlier, in February 2018, a knitted cut resistant fabric was reportedly launched with a pH value that is similar to that of water, making it extremely low-risk skin irritation. It's variant in black that was launched in March 2020, reportedly offer cut resistance level E and level 5 based on the previous EN 388:2003 standard, which is EN 388:2016. The year 2018 also marked joint technology and commercial partnership for Australasia and Southeast Asia markets announced between Westex™ by Milliken™, which is a leading US-based flame retardant textiles brand and Teijin Aramid which is a globally renowned producer of aramid fiber with the rationale to improve the renowned FR solutions in the Asian market based on aramid.