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The market for nonwovens in Brazil.

Medical applications represent one of the growing markets for disposable nonwovens in Brazil. Nonwovens are used in a variety of finished medical products, including those listed in Table 1. The medical products can be divided into two principal categories, Surgical and General Care.

In Brazil the major medical market for nonwovens is in the general care area. For surgical applications, special requirements, such as impermeability, are needed; suppliers to the market cannot yet provide these properties

Spunbonded and resin bonded technology are the two primary technologies in the Brazilian medical nonwovens market. Due to the very low price of polypropylene spunbondeds, these materials should overcome resin bondeds in the medical area in the next few years. The carded resin bonded technology uses polyester and rayon fiber. Weights in both technologies range from 20-40 grams sq. meter.

As an overview of the medical market in Brazil, it can be said that is dominated by general care technologies and represented in only two nonwovens technologies - spunbonded and carded resin bonded. Roll good suppliers to the market include Fitesa Nao Tecidos and Nonwoven Kami, which use spunbonded technology, and Fiorella, Matflex, 3M, Johnson & Johnson, M.A.S. and Freudenberg, which utilize resin bonded technology.

The market is also concentrated in the area of converters, including companies such as Fiorella, under the brand name "Celutex," and the above-mentioned Johnson & Johnson.

In Brazil, technologies such as spunlaced, melt blown and spunbonded/melt blown/spunbonded (SMS) composites are not available. Although these technologies have been tested in the past and were approved in market research, high import taxes make the final cost prohibitive.

Material for end uses in the surgical medical market, such as gowns, overwrap, CSR wrap, drapes, mayo stand covers and shoe covers, will be produced in the near future. As a result, fabric volume is expected to increase significantly in the next five years.

The number of nonwoven roll goods suppliers and converters are declining, however, because of the lack of growth in demand that is needed to justify technology investments to offer fabrics and products at lower costs and higher qualities.

To gain share, manufacturers and users will have to be convinced that nonwoven medical products offer better barriers and lower cost and reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired infections when compared with conventional fabrics.

Another positive point will be the integration among nonwoven manufacturers, converters and hospitals to specify and standardize the medical products used in hospitals and nursing homes. A committee supported by the Brazilian nonwovens industry association (ABINT) was recently formed to do this.
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Title Annotation:Latin American Report
Author:Rewald, Freddy Gustavo
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Nov 1, 1992
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