IUPUI engineer creating upcoming-generation filters for masks and ventilators

INDIANAPOLIS – IUPUI Associate Professor Jing Zhang hopes a undertaking he and his pupils are performing on could direct to the next era of virus-stopping filters for masks and ventilators.

Zhang, with IUPUI’s Mechanical and Strength Engineering Office bought the thought more than the summer time to use a 3D printed filter design and style and coat it with a layer of copper alloy.

“To give additional security,” Zhang said.  “It’s extremely essential perform I want to do.”

Copper is recognised as a virus inhibitor because its unique properties can end a germs’ vibration and make it tough for a virus to dwell on a surface coated with it.

“Copper is utilised on a range of merchandise like handrails and doorknobs and these types of surfaces,” said Regenstrief Institute Director of Community Wellbeing Informatics, Dr. Brian Dixon.

Zhang utilised a process identified as electroplating to coat the plastic filter with the copper alloy.  To layout the filament’s structure, he turned to one particular of nature’s fantastic filters the gills of a fish.

“It’s superior to study from character,” Zhang mentioned.  “So, we genuinely have to have to make the framework truly great with a great deal of information.  This can be only attained by 3D printing.”

Whilst the filter style is advanced, Zhang claimed it can be simply reproduced by a 3D printer.

“I imagine that it has a large amount of guarantee in generating masks much more successful at blocking the virus,” Dixon claimed.

Zhang is still doing the job with his engineering students, as nicely as authorities in the Chemistry and Medical Colleges at the college.  He even now has some screening to do in order to decide how the copper-coated filters interact with a live virus.

“The prototype, I feel, is high-quality,” he claimed.  “But we are continue to making an attempt to improve the layout and the high-quality of the portion.”

Zhang says he’s presently been given curiosity in the structure from one U.S. company and a college in the U.K.  At the time screening is entire, he hopes the venture will go to mass production at some issue down the highway.