TorobinLeonard Torobin

Chief Executive Officer, Nanofiber Technology, Inc.

Leonard Torobin received a PhD in Fluid Dynamics from McGill University in 1960 and then Joined Exxon Corporation for an eighteen year career, first as a research director with Exxon Research then moving to Exxon headquarters in 1967 as a business advisor. He prepared the grass roots business plan for the formation of Exxon Nuclear and then joined its implementation as head of R&D and Marketing.

In 1978 he became Chairman and CEO of Materials Technology, and in 1984 CEO of Microcel Technology. In 1991 he joined Richard Findlow to form Nanofiber Technology, which has developed into the Nanofiber Group. (Findlow is currently its President and Torobin is its CEO) The Nanofiber Group has pioneered the industrial scale production of nanofiber and nanofiber products. Its novel process also allows production of large fibers as in the standard melt blowing range.

Thursday 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Concurrent Session II: Technology & Materials II

Industrial Scale Nanofiber from Molten Plastics

Abstract: Recent advances in nonwoven fine fiber manufacturing allow the arbitrary adjustment, on line, of the mean arithmetic web fiber diameters. The fiber diameters selected can range from approximately 15 microns, i.e. the current "melt blowing" fiber diameter upper limit, down to mean arithmetic fiber diameters of 0.25 microns, i.e. well into the nanofiber range. Electron microscope histograms indicate the fiber size distributions can be set to be unusually narrow. The filtration characteristics of filters incorporating nanofibers are shown to be superior compared with the performance of existing conventional filters. This is demonstrated by using PET, PBT, PP, and other resins.

Exploiting the performance advantages of nanofibers becomes complicated when using more than thin layers of nanofibers to constitute the fiber web system. At higher filter bed thicknesses, nanofibers are subject to buckling when compressed. Often, this may be irreversible, causing unacceptable product quality degradation over time. A proprietary Nanofiber Group technology is described which counters this by the intimate incorporation of reinforcing anti-buckling fibers into the interior of the beds during their manufacturing. Examples are discussed. The same technology can be used to prepare a wide range of composites using different fiber diameters and resin compositions.

Being able to employ supported nanofibers in wiper systems imparts to them very high rates and volumes of containment adsorption. Examples from commercial applications are presented.