News Column

Patent Issued for Process of Forming a Nanofiber Non-Woven Containing Particles

August 20, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Scrivens, Walter A. (Moore, SC); Zhou, Hao (Boiling Springs, SC), filed on September 29, 2010, was published online on August 5, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8795561 is Milliken & Company (Spartanburg, SC).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Both particles (especially nano-particles) and nanofibers have been in the interest of various industries due to the high surface area to volume ratio offered by these materials. By incorporating nano-particles (or other sized particles) in a nanofiber non-woven matrix, one can add additional functionalities that can be useful in many applications such as catalysis, microelectronic, medicine, antimicrobial, sensing, magnetics, electrochemistry, and optics. By designing the appropriate particle size to fiber size, interesting flow or filtration properties can also achieved.

"The market applications for nanofibers are rapidly growing and promise to be diverse. Applications include filtration, barrier fabrics, insulation, absorbable pads and wipes, personal care, biomedical and pharmaceutical applications, whiteners (such as TiO.sub.2 substitution) or enhanced web opacity, nucleators, reinforcing agents, acoustic substrates, apparel, energy storage, etc. Due to their limited mechanical properties that preclude the use of conventional web handing, loosely interlaced nanofibers are often applied to a supporting substrate such as a non-woven or fabric material. The bonding of the nanofiber cross over points may be able to increase the mechanical strength of the nanofiber non-wovens which potentially help with their mechanical handling and offer superior physical performance. Thus there is a need for a bonded non-woven containing particles."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present disclosure provides a process for forming a nanofiber non-woven. This includes mixing a first and second thermoplastic polymer and a plurality of particles, then subjecting the mixture to elongational forces when the first and second polymers are in a softened condition forming nanofibers of the first polymer. Next, the mixture is brought to a condition where the temperature is below the softening temperature of the first polymer forming a first intermediate. The first intermediate is consolidated forming the second intermediate where at least 70% of the nanofibers are fused to other nanofibers. Next, at least a portion of the second polymer is removed and at least 50% of the particles are positioned adjacent a surface of the nanofibers."

For additional information on this patent, see: Scrivens, Walter A.; Zhou, Hao. Process of Forming a Nanofiber Non-Woven Containing Particles. U.S. Patent Number 8795561, filed September 29, 2010, and published online on August 5, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Nanofiber, Nanotechnology, Milliken & Company, Emerging Technologies.

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Source: Journal of Engineering

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