Fighting COVID-19 with Nonwovens—#Coronafighters

The Nonwovens Institute (NWI) at North Carolina State University is proactively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our aim is to fully leverage and fortify our facilities to produce facemasks that are desperately needed in the coronavirus fight. Join the fight and DONATE NOW.
The challenge in the USA and, indeed, the world is a shortage of both the most critical component – the meltblown nonwoven filtration media – and of the converting capacity to make a facemask.

Thus, with the full support of NC State, NWI is dedicating its meltblown and spunbond large scale pilot facilities and expertise to produce specially designed fabrics that can be delivered to USA manufacturers to assemble facemasks and is also investing in new converting equipment to locally assemble ready-to-use face masks for healthcare workers, and for public use. To learn more, please see the description (*updated* 8/09/20) of face mask technologies and products.

There are many opportunities for collaborators, partners, suppliers, and customers to engage in this fight by contributing to the needs for money, equipment, and materials as captured below.

What’s Needed and How You and Your Company Can Help


  • Cash Donation (online, check, wire transfer)
  • Equipment & Materials Donation


  • Investment support to scale-up nonwoven production, invest in new converting equipment, and increase capacity.
  • Equipment for production and maintenance, e.g., Reicofil Spare Parts for Production, nonwoven belts, SB and MB resins (polypropylene & PLA), forklifts, and product handling and storage equipment.


  • Accelerate time to full production of affordable facemasks that make a difference.
  • Ensures production reliability and resin supply for production.

If you have any questions, please contact nonwovens@ncsu.edu or Lorena McLaren, Executive Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations as lnmclare@ncsu.edu.

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How Will This Impact Normal Operations and Services at NWI During the Crisis?

NWI continues its efforts on forming filter media for facemasks to help in the current crisis.

We are monitoring the situation carefully and make a decision about how to hold the Fall IAB meeting soon.

Short courses will be offered online for the remainder of the year.  Details will be posted on our website shortly.

Access to facilities continues to be limited.  Starting on July 1, we have started offering virtual trials on our lab and pilot equipment.  Clients cannot be present during these trials.  

  • 1.2-meter wide Meltblown pilot line: Dedicated to producing filter media for facemasks.  Limited virtual trials will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • 1.2-meter wide Spunbond Labs: Dedicated to producing filter media for facemasks.  Limited virtual trials will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Analytical Lab: Open for business.
  • Staple/Carding Lab: Open for business.
  • Fiber Science Lab: Open for business.

Labs and full service will resume fully when possible.  We look forward to continuing to serve your needs.


The Nonwovens Institute at NC State University Receives Accreditation for ISO 9001 and Good Manufacturing Practices Certifications

PRI Registrar recognizes The Nonwovens Institute for its commitment to continual improvement in their management system


The Nonwovens Institute at NC State University announces that it has received accreditation for ISO 9001 certification of its state-of-the-art labs, which have also received the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification, a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards.

“The Nonwovens Institute has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to provide the best quality services and advanced materials to protect our health care workers and communities,” said Behnam Pourdeyhimi, executive director of the Nonwovens Institute. “We are proud to receive this accreditation which underscores our devotion to nonwovens innovation for a greater good.”

The Nonwovens Institute received accreditation for demonstrating their ongoing commitment to quality by satisfying customer requirements and industry specifications.

“The Nonwovens Institute has demonstrated its commitment to world class quality management by implementing and becoming certified to the ISO 9001 standard. They have joined an elite number of organizations worldwide who have achieved certification to this globally recognized quality standard,” said Randy Daugharthy, Director of the Registrar Program at the Performance Review Institute Registrar. “PRI Registrar is proud to partner with The Nonwovens Institute in this accomplishment and look forward to continued support of their objective of quality excellence.”


The Nonwovens Institute Introduces New Comprehensive Spunbond and Meltblown Course—Virtually—in Response to Urgent Manufacturing Needs


Professionals in the nonwovens/engineered fabrics industry are invited to advance their technical skills in a new 2-day nonwoven short course in the “Virtual Introduction to Spunbond and Meltblown Technology”. This course was developed by North Carolina State University’s The Nonwovens Institute and launched by INDA, the Association of Nonwoven Fabrics Industry. The all virtual course is designed to help manufacturers meet the demand for comprehensive training in the spunbond and meltblown web forming processes used to manufacture respirator/medical face masks, wipes, absorbent hygiene, filtration media, sorbents, and insulation among other end uses.

The course will be held on consecutive Wednesdays, March 24 and March 31, 2021, for a total of 11.5 hours of rigorous training, and available for a two-week review after the course concludes. Production tours of NWI’s spunbond and meltblown lines led by NWI’s renowned team of industry and nonwoven expert instructors are a key component of the virtual agenda.

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NWI Expands Its Filtration Testing Capabilities



NWI has expanded its analytical capabilities and is offering services for testing and validation of filter media.  The additions include a new laboratory dedicated to testing masks and respirators.

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The History of Masks



The current facemasks are built on two key developments: 1) meltblowing technology for the creation of fine fibers and 2) electrostatic charge.  These technologies date back to the early 1960’s…

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The Nonwovens Institute (NWI)

is the world’s first accredited academic program for the interdisciplinary field of engineered fabrics. Based at the Centennial Campus of NC State University in Raleigh, the NWI is an innovative global partnership between industry, government, and academe.

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