NIRI has expanded its facilities by investing in the latest pilot-scale meltblown technology. This new state-of-the-art equipment from Fibre Extrusion Technology (FET) will further facilitate R&D and prototyping across a whole host of applications.
Dr Matthew Tipper, CEO at NIRI explains: “We were mindful when specifying the new equipment that we wanted to invest in the most flexible and adaptable technology available, to enable the development of a wide range of nonwoven structures – with the potential to develop unique filament and mechanical properties, further facilitating our clients’ R&D and prototyping.”
Impact of COVID-19 on meltblown demand
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand and value of meltblown fabrics increased, due to its critical usage within medical grade textiles, including face masks, surgical gowns and PPE more generally.
Dr Ross Ward, NIRI’s New Business Development Manager, comments: “In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, at NIRI we’ve been using our expertise and extensive facilities for the continued development of PPE and medical devices. This is clearly an area where our new equipment will benefit clients and ultimately, the general public. We are keenly interested in exploring the wider opportunities for meltblown nonwovens, such as developing products from bio-polymers, chemically recycled polymers and novel masterbatches with enhanced functionality. This latest development will help us facilitate the rapid development of innovative and commercially viable products for our customers”.