The coating properties are optimised for efficient removal of sub-micron sized dust particles in the air, said a statement from the institute, adding that they were currently in the process field-testing the practical applications of the nano-coated filter media. After validation through field trials, it would be recommended for bulk manufacturing by collaborating with the industry.
Highlighting the unique aspects of the media, Prof K Arul Prakash, Department of Applied Mechanics, IIT-Madras, said the nano-coating fabricated through the electro spinning process have fibre diameter less than one micron, which can filter particles of one micron size. It can be positioned according to the need to enhance surface/depth filtration for healthcare workers or public responders.
According to the professor, the practical applications of this filter media include facemasks with an enhanced particle filtration efficiency, respirator devices, air purification system in operation theatres, cabin air filters on flights, filters for armoured vehicle engines, computer hard disk drive filters, and pneumatic equipment.
Currently, the researchers are trying to optimise the coating parameters of nano materials for bulk manufacturing at an affordable cost and testing the antiviral properties for broader utilisation in various applications.
They are also trying to develop composite nano-coated filter media having more than one nano material coating with the possibility of manufacturing multi-layered masks.
Arul Prakash added that the filter would not only be restricted for health care and defence applications but also in other places where air filtration of submicron particles is required.