The demand for airbags yarn is expected to increase by five per cent annually over the next five years. Reason for the increased demand for airbag yarns is the global rise of road safety requirements. India has revised vehicle safety rules and regulations. The new version, which comes into force in 2017, demands greater occupant safety, particularly with regards to side and front impact. Compliance with these new safety rules and regulations can only be achieved with the installation of airbags.
The average volume of textile fibers and filaments in automobiles is around 30 kg; just under 19 per cent of this is airbag yarn. This opens up a highly-profitable growth market for industrial yarn manufacturers. Greater safety in vehicles is also a much-discussed topic in Latin America, which is having a positive impact on the airbag and safety belt manufacturing industry: two South Korean airbag producers have already announced investments in Central America.
To date, airbags have been predominantly manufactured using polyamide 6.6 yarns. However, there is a noticeable trend towards polyester. Industrial yarn producers are increasingly perceiving the airbag yarn segment as a growth market. To this end, four projects for manufacturing airbag yarns from polyamide 6.6 and polyester supplied by systems builder Oerlikon Barmag have been successfully commissioned in the past 12 months alone.