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US demand to rise 3.8% annually through 2019
Demand in the US for geosynthetics is forecast to grow 3.8 percent annually to 1.3 billion square yards in 2019, valued at $2.5 billion. A projected rebound in building construction spending and a modest recovery in expenditures on transportation infrastructure will spark an acceleration in demand for geosynthetics. Additional support for geosynthetics demand will come from environmental regulations that focus on preventing harmful materials from contaminating groundwater supplies.
Construction to remain largest market
Construction was the largest market for geosynthetics in 2014, representing onethird of all demand in area terms. Going forward, the construction market is forecast to remain the largest application for geosynthetics, with growth being driven by a rebound in construction expenditures. Geotextiles find use in these applications as a means of sediment control, capturing sediment suspended in storm water runoff and preventing it from contaminating bodies of water. Geogrids are embedded into the ground in order to stabilize weak soil or reinforce aggregate base materials. This spreads out vehicular and equipment loads to a larger surface area, reducing the pressure applied to the subgrade. The transportation infrastructure market represents another important application for geosynthetics, as geotextiles and geogrids find significant use in the construction and repair of the nation’s roads and highways. Through 2019, demand growth is expected to lag the overall average, in part due to uncertainty surrounding federal transportation infrastructure funding, which may cause new and reconstruction roadway projects to be put on hold, limiting demand for geosynthetics used in these applications. Geosynthetics have a variety of functions in this market, including geotextiles used for separation purposes to allow the base aggregate to maintain its drainage and strength properties, as well as geogrids used to redistribute pressure from above and provide a greater reinforcement.
Environmental regulations to boost geosynthetic gains
Regulatory activity designed to address environmental concerns is expected to further boost demand for geosynthetics. For example, in December 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized regulations regarding the disposal of coal combustion products (CCPs). Concerns over the leaching of these harmful materials into groundwater led the EPA to require that storage sites be lined to prevent leakage, which will bolster demand for geomembranes.
Geotextiles to remain top product segment by area
Geotextiles accounted for the largest share of geosynthetics demand by area in 2014, and are expected to remain the dominant product type going forward due to their versatility, which makes them appropriate for a wide variety of applications. In value terms, geomembranes, which are significantly more expensive per square yard than other types of geosynthetics, accounted for the greatest share of the market in 2014. Geomembranes find significant usage as liners in landfills, and are also used in CCP containment and water impoundment applications at shale oil and gas sites. More application-specific products such as geogrids, geonets, geosynthetic clay liners, and geofoams are also expected to register demand gains, although from smaller bases.
This upcoming Freedonia industry study, Geosynthetics, is available for $5300. It presents historical demand data (2004, 2009 and 2014) plus forecasts (2019 and 2024) by product, market, and US region. The study also considers market environment factors, evaluates company market share and profiles 40 US industry players.
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