Nonwovens Innovation & Research Institute Ltd.

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NIRI upgrades its pilot-scale capability with the latest Meltblown Technology

NIRI upgrade pilot-scale meltblown capability (original image courtesy of FET)

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”.

Applications of meltblown fabrics

Thermal consolidation of meltblown fabric - (original image courtesy of FET)

Meltblown fabrics are highly versatile and can be found across a broad range of sectors and applications, ranging from use within the specialist biomedical field for the manufacturing of medical devices to use within the healthcare field for sanitary products. Meltblown fabrics are also used within air and liquid filtration, including industrial respirators and automotive cabin filters. 

Accelerating the next generation of meltblown fabrics

NIRI’s scientists and engineers discuss the topic of meltblowing and how this upgrade in facilities will help accelerate the next generation of meltblown fabrics for existing and future clients. 

Watch the below video to learn more

For more information on how the expansion of our facilities can further facilitate R&D and prototyping for your business, contact Dr Ross Ward at

Nonwovens, you say?

NIRI's CEO, Matthew Tipper, participates in EDANA's #NonwovensYouSay campaign, which features leading players within the nonwovens industry.

NIRI develops commercially-viable nonwoven products, using its unique blend of scientific excellence and prototyping capability. NIRI is trusted by the industry and has completed over 550 projects for over 250 customers.

#nonwovens #textiles #innovation

'Airlaid's Rebirth' - NIRI feature in Nonwovens Industry article

NIRI's CEO, Dr. Matthew Tipper, comments on how NIRI is helping companies develop the next wave of sustainable products, using airlaid technology:

“With the EU Directive on single-use plastics, the nonwovens industry is focused on experimenting with processes that work towards increased sustainability”.

“Manufacturers are exploring airlaid technologies as these use a high percentage of natural fibers—predominantly fluff pulp which is both cost-effective and sustainable, biodegradable and renewable.”

Our clients come to us to develop their airlaid products on a small scale, which enables them to develop iteratively and accelerate their innovation and time to market.

Introducing Airlaid Technology

NIRI's New Business Development Manager, Dr. Ross Ward, providing a brief overview of Airlaid Technology. Airlaying refers to a family of dry-laid web formation processes used in the manufacture of disposable, single-use products and durable products. The general properties of airlaid fabrics are high isotropicity; high loft (if required); high porosity (95-99%); high absorbency and wicking rate; soft handle; adequate tensile strength; good resilience (compression recovery); and high thermal resistance.

These properties make airlaid nonwovens suitable materials for medical textiles, hygiene and feminine products, nappies and wipes, geotextiles, roofing, insulation felts and automotive filters. In combination with NIRI’s chemical, thermal, hydroentanglement and needlepunch bonding capability, we have the ideal pilot-scale facilities for prototyping all the products listed above and more.

NIRI is pleased to support and feature within the Leeds City Region Textiles Sector Showcase

NIRI is pleased to support and feature within the Leeds City Region Textiles Sector Showcase. With a remarkable textile history and heritage, Leeds City Region continues to lead the way in textile innovation, sustainability and design.

"Locating our business in the Leeds City Region has been instrumental to NIRI’s success. Having world-class manufacturers on our doorstep has enabled us to innovate, develop and scale-up nonwoven and textile technologies - helping companies speed up getting new products into the market", Dr Matthew Tipper, CEO.

Download the Leeds City Region Textiles Sector Showcase document:

#textiles #success #LEP #innovation #business #nonwovens #Leeds #heritage #sustainability


We are hiring | Innovation Scientist

1. Are you passionate about innovation and product development?

2. Do you want to help companies around the world develop new products?

3. Do you have broad experience and knowledge in the nonwovens industry?

4. Are you familiar with nonwoven raw materials and converting processes?

NIRI is searching for an Innovation Scientist capable of working at the highest scientific level, whilst delivering commercially-viable results.

How to Apply:

1. Tell us “Why NIRI?” in >200 words, in your cover letter.
2. Send us your C.V.
3. Email

#innovation #development #research #sustainability #circulareconomy #career #textiles #nonwovens #leaders