Geosynthetics demand is projected to increase 4.4% per year through 2010 to 870 million yards2. Geosynthetics include geotextiles, geomembranes, geonets, geogrids, geosynthetic clay liners, preformed geocomposites, geocells, and geofoams.
Advances will be fueled by a recovery in nonbuilding construction. Additionally, geosynthetics will continue to increase their use in a wider range of applications, such as building construction and mining. Ongoing industry efforts to increase awareness among engineers and other specifiers of the benefits of geosynthetics in various markets will also support demand.
These and other trends are presented in “Geosynthetics,” a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm. In 2005, geotextiles accounted for the largest share of demand (in area terms), with approximately 75% of the total. However, in value terms, geomembranes accounted for the largest share of the market, with about half of the total.
Smaller volume geosynthetic products such as geogrids, geonets, and geocomposites are expected to achieve strong growth through 2010, benefitting from the ongoing development of new applications and new composite combinations. Among the various markets for geosynthetics, the construction market was the largest in 2005 in terms of square yards, with one-third of the total. In addition, total penetration of geosynthetics into building and some nonbuilding applications remains low, providing growth opportunities. In fact, the construction market will see the strongest gains through 2010 among the major geosynthetics markets, according to the study.
The road and other transportation construction market will also see above average gains. Prospects for highway and street construction will be buoyed by the implementation of projects financed by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFE/TEA-LU), which was passed in August 2005 and secures funding for projects through the 2010 fiscal year.
Liquid containment and mining and other markets are expected to see a recovery from the 2000-2005 period, but will see growth below the industry average through 2010.