Reflective fabrics work on the principle of retro reflection. In retro reflection, the reflective fabrics, rather than scattering the light, reflect the light directly to the source. Hence, for instance, light sourced from a vehicle is reflected back at the vehicle. This enables reflective fabrics to be sewn into highly visible clothing. As very slight amount of light is scattered into other directions and thus, reflective fabrics tend to appear brightest to the observers in the vicinity of the source of light. It has been claimed by several manufacturers that a person wearing a vest made from reflective fabrics is visible even from a distance well over 100 meters. Reflective fabrics comprise retro reflective lenses bonded to a unique polymer layer with the help of special adhesives. Several processing
technologies have been adopted by the manufacturers of reflective fabrics, such as the hot pressing processing method to strongly bond the materials used. Reflective fabrics are prepared using a base cloth, adhesives and micro glass beads. The micro glass beads used in the production of reflective fabrics may be partially coated with metals, such as aluminium, to considerably enhance the coefficient of reflection.
Reflective Fabrics Market: Dynamics
There are several regulations and certifications by numerous national and international organizations that are setting the pace for the growth of the reflective fabrics market. Few of the certifications, such as EN 20471 (European Norms), AS/NZS 1906 (Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand), ANSI 107 (American National Standards Institute) and CSA-Z96 (Canada Standards Association), are majorly driving the growth of the reflective fabrics market as these mandate that professionals exposed to potential hazards must wear apparels made from reflective fabrics to improve their visibility in low-light conditions. These professionals mainly include emergency responders, airport ramp personnel, civil security, industrial foremen, mine workers, etc. It has been found that a majority of industrial fatalities are caused due to low visibility and this has been creating awareness among employers to provide garments made from reflective fabrics to employees.
Though they provide better contrast against background colors, reflective fabrics also tend to catch fire and fade due when excessively washed. However, technological advancements are being made to protect reflective fabrics from industrial laundering.
Reflective Fabrics Market: Segmentation
The reflective fabrics market can be segmented on the basis of application and end use.
On the basis of application, the reflective fabrics market can be segmented into:
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Transport Equipment
- Road Facilities
On the basis of end use, the reflective fabrics market can be segmented into:
- Maintenance & Utility
- Disaster Relief Management
- Safety and Security Systems
- Aviation & Aerospace
- General Industrial
Reflective Fabrics Market: Regional Outlook
The Asia Pacific reflective fabrics market is expected to grow at the fastest pace throughout the forecast period. The Asia Pacific region is expected to register a strong CAGR, owing to the firm industrial growth in countries such as China and India. The growth in the construction industry, mainly in North American countries, such as the United States of America, is set to be one of the prominent contributing factors to the consumption of reflective fabrics. The construction industry is also booming in Middle East countries, such as United Arab Emirates. Russia and Australia have been identified to be the major countries engaged in mining activities and thus, are vital regions for the sales of reflective fabrics. Transportation infrastructure is being modernized all around the world and with rapid urbanization occurring, the reflective fabrics market is expected to witness a massive boom during the forecast period.
Some of the market participants identified across the value chain of the global reflective fabrics market are 3M Company, Avery Dennison Corporation, Hangzhou Chinastars Reflective Material Co., Ltd, Textile Technologies Europe Ltd, schoeller Switzerland, Marketing Action Xecutives, Inc, ORAFOL Europe GmbH, Jinsung Corporation and Daoming Optics & Chemical Co., Ltd.
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