Associate Dean For Industry Research And Extension, North Carolina State University College Of Textiles
Dr. Pourdeyhimi Holds a PhD from the University of Leeds, UK.
He is The William A. Klopman Distinguished Chaired Professor of Materials in the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University. He is also a Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He is currently serving as the Associate Dean for Industry Research and Extension in the College of Textiles and is also the Founding Executive Director of the Nonwovens Institute. Prior to joining NC State, he was a professor at the School of Textiles and Fiber Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Previously, he served for eleven years on the faculty in Textiles; and Materials & Nuclear Engineering at the University of Maryland. He spent two years at Cornell as a research scientist studying biomaterials. He is the recipient of the 1994-1995 Distinguished Achievement Award by the Fiber Society, The 2007 TAPPI Technical Achievement and Hollingsworth award and the 2008 INDA Lifetime Technical Achievement Award. He has served as the President of the Fiber Society and has also been elected as the Fellow of the Textile Institute in United Kingdom.
Dr. Pourdeyhimi's research interests are in the area of nonwovens, responsive fibrous systems, filtration, computational modeling, materials, failure mechanisms, software algorithms, optics and image analysis. He has published several books and monographs, has authored or co-authored over 200 refereed publications, has more than 30 patents and has made over two hundred presentations in his areas of interest.
Societal trends and modern consumer trends for disposable products are quite clear to discern: a growing elderly population, increasing number of well-to-do families in currently Emerging Markets (Indonesia, India, China, Brazil, etc.), public pressure towards sustainable industry, higher demands to combine high performance and convenience with comfort and elegance. Are today's nonwoven technologies ready to fulfill all those demands? Or are today's technologies at the end of an S-curve and need to either be re-invented or be challenged by capable technologies such as foams in absorbent or comfort/fit application or additive (3D) manufacturing making custom fitting products that we are already seeing today in niche markets? We can approach this question with a perspective of the strengths and trends and challenges/opportunities (unmet needs) of more traditional and more mainstream technologies.
The intent here is to look around the corner and identify potential disruptors to nonwoven fabrics as we know them today. The main intent is to show a window into the future based on current innovations, investments, and newcomers to the nonwovens industry when viewed through the filter of the major markets/societies in the 2020's.
Specific technologies where we wonder what the future may hold for them and if/how they can meet product/consumer needs and become significant business: Near end of S-Curve? Carded staple fiber nonwovens (thermobond, spunlace, air-through-bonded), spunlaid/spunbond technology, melt-blowing, solution/ dry-spinning, Ascending S-Curve? Electro-spinning, centrifugal spinning, "3D printing"/3D-Layering, maybe a synergy of textile (woven/knitting) and "non-woven" technologies? What is potential of 3D printing in nonwovens industry, or better said for producing engineered fabrics (initially for lab and R&D purposes, but longer term for commercial production); what problems does it solve? What about foams? Related example is TamiCare product and manufacturing process (spraying, "3D printing" in its video). Looking to feedstocks to make fibers and nonwovens, what about biologically-derived fibers like man-made silk? What bio-sourced polymers besides PLA will be large-scale commercial options for hygiene/medical / industrial nonwoven applications?