SEPTEMBER 28-30, 2021
Virtual Conference
SEPTEMBER 28-30, 2021
Virtual Conference

Conference Speakers


Behnam Pourdeyhimi, Ph.D.

William A. Klopman Distinguished Professor, And Executive Director, North Carolina State University, The Nonwovens Institute


Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi joined NC State immediately after completing his PhD at the University of Leeds in 1982. Soon, he left for other opportunities, Cornell (2 years), University of Maryland (11 years) and Georgia Tech (4 years) before returning to NC State in 1998-1999 Academic year.

Behnam is the William A. Klopman Distinguished Professor of Textile Materials in the Wilson College of Textiles at NC State University and is also a professor in the departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and the Biomedical Engineering. He also serves as Associate Dean in the Wilson College of Textiles and is the Executive Director of The Nonwovens Institute.

Early in his career, he focused on the development of tools for characterizing various materials including nonwovens, medical devices, composite materials, etc. For this body of work, he received the ASTM D-13 Dewitt Smith Medal. In particular, his work on image analysis won him the Fiber Society Distinguished Scientist award in 1994. He also was selected as the Fiber Society Lecturer where he travelled broadly to present his work to industry and academia. He later served also as the vice president, and the president of the Fiber Society.

He is best known for his contributions to nonwovens and establishment and the growth of nonwovens at NC State. His work in the area of filtration won him the O’ Max Gardner award in 2015 (The Highest award by the University of North Carolina System), and in 2018, he received The Holladay Medal for Excellence (The highest faculty award bestowed by NC State University).

He joined NC State in part to take on a leadership role in the Nonwovens Cooperative Research Center (NCRC). Under his vision, the center morphed into the Nonwovens Institute (NWI). NWI is the largest university-based research institute in the nation across all disciplines. Today, NWI is the world’s first accredited academic program for the interdisciplinary field of engineered fabrics. Operating on an “Open Innovation” platform, the Nonwovens Institute engages experts from industry and higher education in building next-generation nonwoven applications while also providing training and guidance to the field’s future leaders.

Tuesday, September 29
9:00 am - 10:00 am
Societal Issues Affecting the Nonwovens Industry

Surgical Mask Particle Filtration Efficiency: Time for Change

The particle filtration efficiency (PFE) of surgical (procedure) masks is a key differentiator of their classification and therefore, their use by healthcare workers. Surgical masks are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA Guidance document has adopted a number of ASTM standards for establishing the criteria for the classification of masks. ASTM F2299 is recommended for the measurement of PFE with minor modifications. Both ASTM F2299 and the FDA Guidance Document fail however to establish standard test procedures and therefore, it is possible to attain diverging results. This creates a major problem in one’s ability to be able to relate the measured performance across different masks on the market. In this presentation, we outline the deficiencies of these test methods and discuss the challenges that must be addressed by the FDA and other regulatory agencies.

Wednesday, September 30
3:15 pm - 3:45 pm
RISE® Innovation Award Presentations

Spunbond High Efficiency Filter

This is a completely new approach to creating a filtration media with the right efficiency at low pressure drop at high throughput. There are no spunbond filters as filtration media with similar properties.The fabric has pressure drops that is unrivaled by any meltblown structure and does not require electrostatic charging. The material can be fine-tuned to produce face mask media, as well as MERV 13 to 16 and HEPA. There are 3 key technological advances that NWI has made that led to this technology. These include fibers used, the types of polymers used as well as the methods used for bonding. All, a throughput of 350 kg per meter per hour.

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