NWI

 

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

NEED AREA

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

WHAT'S NEEDED

  • 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.

IMPACT

  • 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.

Learn More

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 Spring IAB meeting soon.

Short courses will be offered online until the summer of 2021.  Details will be posted on our website.

Access to facilities continues to be somewhat limited.  We have started offering virtual and in-person trials; clients can be present during these trials but need to coordinate with NWI for ensuring safety.    

  • 1.2-meter wide Meltblown pilot line: Partially dedicated to producing filter media for facemasks.  Open for business.
  • 1.2-meter wide Spunbond Labs: Partially dedicated to producing filter media for facemasks.  Open for business.
  • Analytical Lab: Open for business.
  • Staple/Carding Lab: Open for business.
  • Fiber Science Lab: Open for business.

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 its 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 the 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.

The new ASTM standard (F3502-21) released recently is a welcome addition.  Over the last year, we have seen an incredible amount of misinformation regarding the efficacy of masks and other PPE, and to date, that continues.  The new ASTM standard defines various levels of performance, but most importantly, the labeling requirements are intended to inform the consumer regarding the performance of the masks they are purchasing.  There is also the option of offering reusable masks that can be laundered and/or decontaminated and the performance must be performed by competent laboratories accredited to ISO/IEC 17025, and the testing performed must be within the scope of the laboratory’s ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation.

NWI’s facilities are equipped with TSI 3160, TSI 8130A, Palas 3,000, conditioning chambers, TSI PortaCount as well as prototyping capabilities so that various forms of masks can be produced from various layers of nonwovens and tested as a system.

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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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