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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

From the Inside: Treating Filtration Media

Delivering cutting-edge nanotechnology to the world’s largest and most prestigious manufacturers is no easy feat. The From the Inside blog series will take a deeper look into the elements that make up P2i’s successes.    

In this blog post Dr. Nick Rimmer, Vice President - Filtration and Business Development, will be discussing P2i’s revolutionary advances in the filtration industry. Nick has over 20 years’ experience working with thin film deposition technologies across a range of industries including microchips, LEDs, lasers, MEMS devices, semiconductors, electronic devices, footwear and filtration media. He is the driving force behind P2i’s successes in the filtration industry. 

What does P2i bring to the filtration industry?

We have been working on many new and interesting applications with a diverse range of manufacturers who seek protection against a variety of liquid hazards. We help companies improve the performance of their current offerings, everything from filters for car headlamps to applications in gas turbines, and enable them to create new products with liquid repellent solutions. 

What makes P2i unique?

P2i applies a nano-coating which dramatically lowers the surface energy of a product, achieving such high levels of liquid repellency that even difficult substances like oils and alcohols bead up and roll off. Oil is a major issue in the filtration industry and P2i provides levels of repellency higher than any other technology.

Traditional methods of coatings are often applied by spray, screen spreader or dip-coating and have many limitations. Often they have poor adhesion to the substrate and many are unsuitable for highly porous or breathable materials due to the blocking of the pore structure. P2i’s patented pulsed-plasma deposition process achieves high levels of liquid repellency without affecting the weight, breathability and mechanical strength of the product or material, because it is applied at the nano-scale - around 1000 times thinner than a human hair.
For our customers, realizing that our solutions are not only water repellent but also oil repellent is game-changing during product development stages.  

What recent developments have P2i made in the filtration industry?

Our new roll-to-roll system is a real triumph for P2i and will bring huge benefits to our filtration customers. By adapting our existing systems and working alongside partners who are highly experienced in roll-to-roll handling of materials, P2i has developed an exceptional new system. This system not only provides a high technical effect but has increased productivity and significantly lowered running costs. For me seeing the project progress from an initial idea to a system which is ready to go out to the customer is something I consider to be a career highlight.

What is your vision for P2i’s future in this industry?

P2i will continue to deliver exceptional service to our filtration customers, whilst ongoing research and development of new systems will increase throughput - essential for the cost-sensitive materials market. With faster speeds and the ability to process thin, fragile and porous media, P2i will be able to treat highly breathable membranes, opening new opportunities such as high-performance sportswear. And for an invisible liquid repellent technology, this just the tip of the iceberg! 


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