Citing estimates by press-release distributor Business Wire, Swiss materials developer Oerlikon notes the demand for airbags will increase by 5 percent annually over the next five years.
To date, airbags have been predominantly manufactured using polyamide 6.6 yarns, the company notes. However, there is a noticeable trend with these challenging industrial filament yarns toward polyester.
Industrial yarn producers increasingly perceive the airbag-yarn segment as a growth market. To this end, four projects for manufacturing airbag yarns from polyamide 6.6 (PA6.6) and polyester (PET) supplied by systems builder Oerlikon Barmag have been successfully commissioned in the past 12 months. The systems cover titer ranges of between 235 and 700 dtex for PA6.6, and between 470 and 550 dtex for PET.
The reason for the increased demand for airbag yarns is the global rise of road-safety requirements, the release notes. According to the estimates of numerous automobile manufacturers, compliance with these new safety rules and regulations can be achieved only with the installation of airbags.
The average volume of textile fibers and filaments in automobiles is around 30 kilograms. According to analysts at PCI Fibres, just under 19 percent of this is airbag yarn. This opens up a highly-profitable growth market for industrial yarn manufacturers.
With its Oerlikon Barmag and Oerlikon Neumag brands, the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers segment develops manmade fiber filament spinning systems, texturing machines, BCF (bulked continuous filament) systems, staple fiber systems, nonwovens and artificial turf systems, and offers engineering solutions for the entire textile value added chain.