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Product Development

While The Nonwoven Institute (NWI) works with prominent corporate names in the nonwovens industry, its services and expertise also support promising entrepreneurial ventures and the expansion of small, private firms. NWI collaborates with companies at all stages of growth to embrace exciting new discoveries in areas relevant to nonwovens. The Institute is committed to enhancing the competitive posture of the nonwovens industry, which holds lucrative economic development potential for communities in North Carolina and beyond.

NWI’s Product Development pillar cover Technology Readiness Level (TRL) categories 4-7. Our guiding principal around Product Development projects is that they must be transformative, in that the new product or activity must:

  • Challenge what is possible
  • Disrupt existing learning curves
  • Leap beyond today’s technologies

Our Product Development activities are funded by the individual sponsor, with:

  • No student involvement
  • Support by NWI’s expert staff and research scientists
  • Typically, IP generated
  • Sponsor receives option to license IP
  • IP agreement in place from start of project
  • Results only shared with the sponsor

As part of its Product Development pillar, NWI offers services in forecasting technology and market needs through market and patent intelligence. The market intelligence and technology assessment provides a systematic approach at the current and future direction markets and technologies are moving to provide decision makers with information that helps them anticipate, drive and plan for the research and development that leads to breakthrough technologies and products. This activity is useful to individual companies, but also helps the NWI Industrial Advisory Board and the Executive Committee in identifying technology gaps and new research directions for NWI’s core programs.

Product Development examples:

  • Durable, micro and nanofiber launderable nonwovens for apparel
  • High surface area shaped fiber filters, wipes and nonwovens
  • High strength nonwoven for shelters
  • 3-D meltblowing
  • Meltblown filters
  • High efficiency spunbond filters
  • New spunbond respirators (Low pressure drop)
  • Beverage filters
  • High capacity, low pressure drop particle-loaded nonwoven
  • Microfiber durable, charged webs (wipes, filters)
  • PLA spunbond