Herty Launches CRADA With The Nonwovens Institute To Develop Specialty Fibers

SAVANNAH, Ga. — December 16, 2014 – The Georgia Southern University Herty Advanced Materials Development Center (Herty) and the Nonwovens Institute at North Carolina State University (NWI) announced today the launch of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to the accelerate the development of novel specialty fibers including islands-in-the-sea and other advanced bi-component fibers.

Specialty, tailor-made fibers could have an immediate impact on technical textiles as global nonwovens sales continue their explosive grow from $26 billion in 2014 to $46 billion in 2020. Performance bi-component (bico) fibers could have particular impact in the medical and filtration industries with 2014 sales of $1.5 billion and $3.5 billion, respectively.

The CRADA brings together two world-class research organizations to overcome the technical challenges in commercializing specialty fibers. Specific technical areas that will be addressed include: the continuous spinning of specialty fibers; the chemical and mechanical processes needed to economically utilize INS fibers in both fiber and fabric forms; and rapid prototyping of novel product concepts, such as high performance filtration media and medical fabrics.

“Islands-in-the-sea (INS) fibers represent a game-changing platform for product development ranging from water purification to homeland defense,” said Dr. Walter Chappas, Herty Director of Advanced Material. “Although a small number of these kinds of fibers have been commercialized, major technical hurdles separate their use from broader applications in large industrial markets.”

“The CRADA allows the two organizations to bring together their unique expertise and capabilities in materials development as well as product development,” said Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi, Director of The Nonwovens Institute. “This scale up will bring about novel solutions to address many critical needs. This cooperation will help bridge the gap from bench scale to commercialization.”

The CRADA leverages the unique strengths and capabilities of two leading organizations in an effort to scale up basic research in fiber technology. The NWI will provide the overall approach to polymer processing and Herty will provide for rapid prototyping using Herty’s wetlay capabilities. “This CRADA is a reflection of Georgia Southern University’s commitment to becoming a leader in applied research and development and an excellent example where Herty can translate basic research ideas into commercial reality,” said Herty President Dr. Alexander Koukoulas.

Posted December 17, 2014

Source: Herty Advanced Materials Development Center