Skip to content

Larry C. Wadsworth

Professor Emeritus

Ph.D., North Carolina State University – Fiber and Polymer Science

Brief Bio

Dr. Wadsworth received his bachelor’s degree in Textile Chemistry from N. C. State University in 1968; M.S. in Textile Technology from the Institute of Textile Technology in 1970; and his Ph.D. in Fiber and Polymer Science from N. C. State University in 1978.  Between his M.S. and Ph.D. studies, he worked for three years as a Development Chemist for Chicopee Nonwovens Division of Johnson & Johnson in Benson, NC.  After completing his dissertation towards a new solvent system for regenerating cellulose, he joined the Kendall Company in Walpole, MA, for two years as a Fiber and Binder Specialist and Senior Research Chemist, and developed the base fabric for new hospital drapes and gowns.  In 1979, he rejoined Johnson & Johnson, Surjikos, in Arlington, TX, where he obtained the world’s first patent for the ambient temperature electrostatic charging of surgical face masks for enhanced bacterial filtration.  Dr. Wadsworth joined UTK as a faculty member in the textile science program in March 1981.  His research at UTK focuses on spun-melt nonwoven process studies and product development with emphasis on filters and breathable protective barrier fabrics. He has also served as an international consultant to several companies. He has obtained research grants in excess of $8 million; equipment donation grants of $5.5 million; and has over 50 refereed journal publications, 150 conference papers, 30 patents (with over $1.7 million in royalties to UTRF) and a textbook with Oldrich Jirsak titled Nonwoven Textiles.

Research Areas

» Process/property studies of melt blown and spunbond nonwovens
» Composite nonwoven fabrics of spun-melt and cotton
» Electrostatic charging of fibers and films for enhanced filtration
» Development of protective apparel for medical, military and industrial applications
» Development of cardiovascular stents and grafts
» Melt blown carbon fibers

Selected Awards and Honors

2001 Best Paper Award (Absorbents Session), INDA-TAPPI International Nonwovens Technical Conference
1998 Best Overall Paper, TAPPI Nonwovens Conference
1998 Arch of Achievement Award for Research, College of Human Ecology, The University   of Tennessee
1993 Recipient, TAPPI Nonwovens Technical Achievement Award
1992 Selected as Alumni Distinguished Service Professor, one of 25 at UT
1991 Chancellor’s Citation for Extraordinary Service to The University of Tennessee
1984 One of nine UT faculty recognized at the Chancellor’s Honors Banquet and inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappi Phi
1983 Awarded First Place in the 1983 and 1985 Intersectional Paper Competitions at the International Meetings of the American Association of Textile Chemists & Colorists

Professional Activities

» President, Sigma Xi, The University of Tennessee Chapter, 2000-2001
» Member TAPPI since 1993, Active in Nonwovens Division Vice Chair, TAPPI Nonwovens Division, 2005-Present Chair, Fibers and Process Technology Committee, 2005-Present
» Member, Technical Advisory Board, INDA Association of Nonwoven Fabrics Industry since 1990
» Member, INDA/TAPPI Planning Committee for Annual International Nonwoven Technical Conferences, 1998-Present
» Member American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) since 1968 Organizing Committee for 2006 and 2007 AATCC International Technical Conferences
» Chair, Annual TANDEC Nonwoven Conferences, 1991-1999
» Founder and Director of Textiles and Nonwovens Development Center (TANDEC), 1990-1997
» Editorial Advisory Board-Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics since 2006

Selected Publications

Wadsworth, L. C., H. S. Suh and H. C. Allen, Jr., “Cotton-Surfaced Nonwovens for
Short-Wear-Cycle Apparel,” International Nonwovens Journal 9 (2), 13-17, 2000.

Zhao, R., L. C. Wadsworth, D. Zhang and C. Sun, “Polymer Distribution During Bicomponent Melt Blowing of Poly)propylene)/Poly(ethylene terephthalate) and Its Improvement,” Journal of Applied Polymer Science85, 2885-2889 (2002).

Zhou, R. and L. C. Wadsworth, “Study of Polypropylene/Poly(ethylene terephthalate) Bicomponent Melt-blowing Process: The Fiber Temperature and Elongational Viscosity Profiles of the Spinline,” Journal of Applied Polymer Science 89, 1145-1150 (2003).

Lee, Y. E. and L. C. Wadsworth, “Process Property Studies of Melt Blown Thermoplastic Polyurethane Polymers for Protective Apparel,” International Nonwovens Journal, 2-9, Winter 2005.

Wadsworth, L. C. and P. P. Tsai, “Cotton-Comfortable Face Masks with Protective Finishes and Electret Filter Media for Safety from Microbial Threats,” Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, December 2006.


Selected Patents

Tsai, P. P., C. B. Hassenboehler, L. C. Wadsworth, and G. Heismeyer, “Meltblown Composites and Uses Thereof,” U. S. Patent 6,197,709 , March 6, 2001, assigned to UTRF

Hassenboehler, C. B. and L. C. Wadsworth, “Post-Treatment and Consolidation of Laminated Nonwoven Webs,” U. S. Patent 6,030,906, February 29, 2001, assigned to UTRF

Wadsworth, L. C., O. Jirsak and P. P-Yi Tsai, “Mechanically Interlocked & Thermally Fused Staple Fiber Pleated and Non-Pleated Webs,” U.S. Patent No. 6,090,469, July 18, 2000, assigned to UTRF

Wadsworth, L.C. and P.P. Tsai, “Method and Apparatus for the Electrostatic Charging of a Web or Film,” U.S. Patent 5,686,050, Nov. 11, 1997, assigned to UTRF

Hassenboehler, C.B. Jr. and L.C. Wadsworth, “Post-Treatment of Nonwoven Webs,” U. S. Patent Re-Issue 35,206, April 16, 1996; Re-issue of U. S. Patent 5,244,482, Sept. 14, 1993, assigned to UTRF

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.