Analysis of US Technical and Industrial Textile Industry

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Title: Analysis of US Technical and Industrial Textile Industry
Author: Chang, Woon
Advisors: Richard kotek, Committee Member
Helmut Hergeth, Committee Member
Peter Kilduff, Committee Chair
Abstract: The production, distribution and consumption of technical and industrial textiles are a large economic activity. However, the scope of this activity, in terms of products, processes and markets is not well defined or measured. Therefore, the size, importance and development pattern of this 'sector' is not well understood. This difficulty is compounded by the fragmented availability of information on these in official US statistics. The statistical definitions that are used to measure the textile industry are based on traditional classifications. Many individual technical and industrial products are not specifically identified in official data but are typically classified according to fiber, yarn content and process. In addition, the diversification of technical and industrial products and applications over the years has both expanded and blurred the traditional boundaries of the sector. There are overlaps with other materials sectors, including metal, plastics, minerals and ceramics, foam etc - all substrates used singly or in combinations as engineered materials. Compounding this problem, many final products pass through multiple levels of processing and, during the course of this, often pass to (or originate within) companies in other industries. In these supply chains, many textile suppliers are often unaware of the array of second-tier customers and applications for their products. Related to the problem of definition, is the inadequacy of the terminology that is used to describe technical and industrial textiles. Historically, they have been described simply as industrial textiles. However, the broad and growing range of applications have led to recognition of the inadequacy of this term in describing textiles used in agriculture, construction and medical applications, among others. Therefore, the aim of this thesis is to provide a clearer definition and measure of the industrial and technical textile sector in the US in terms of its products, activities and markets. It will also provide an overview of industry development patterns, business drivers and supply chain characteristics. The research has involved a review of published resources, including academic and trade journals, research texts, and statistical publications by government agencies and industry associations. The approach taken has been to evaluate definitions, terminology and measures used to describe and quantify technical textiles in order to develop a more integrated perspective and an assessment of how it is defined and documented.
Date: 2002-12-03
Degree: MS
Discipline: Textile Technology Management

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