10 NEWEQUIPMENT.COM I MAY 2020COVER STORY | BREATHING EASIER
Within 12 hours after receiving the NanoNet material, the team at the University of Minnesota tested it anddetermined it would provide wearers of the prototypeswith N95-level protection.
“The first thing we recognized from our experts in theCenter for Filtration Research, who work directly withCummins, is that not all filtration materials are createdequal,” said Jakub Tolar, campus health officer and medical school dean at the University of Minnesota.
NanoNet is a fully polymeric material made of sub-micron-sized fibers bonded together in various layers.The synthetic fibers don’t shift and come apart underdynamic conditions, which preserves their ability tocapture particles as small as 0.2 micron.
As a material for respirators, NanoNet has two otherimportant advantages.
It incorporates Dupont technology that helps enhancethe breathability of the material while maintaining a highfiltration efficiency of particulates.
Filtering Small Particles is a Balancing Act
LIKE THE DROPLETS containing COVID- 19,the size of contaminants in fuel, oil, and air movingthrough a diesel engine is measured in microns.
A micron is a unit of length equal to 1 millionth ofa meter or 39 millionths of an inch. For context, ahuman hair is 50 to 70 microns in diameter. Dust,sediment, and other types of hard particles that canwear down engine components are typically in the5 to 15-micron range or less.
Filter designers want to stop these tiny contaminants but they have to balance three things: thefilter’s efficiency, or the size of the particles it cancapture; its capacity to hold contaminants duringthe filter’s service life; and the flow restriction thatnaturally increases as the filter collects more unwanted contaminants.
The challenge is to remove small particles at thehighest efficiency. But it’s not possible to simultaneously improve efficiency, capacity, and flow restriction using traditional media.
In response, Cummins Filtration created a newtype of synthetic media that allows filter performance to progress past many of the tradeoffsthat traditional media present. The company introduced NanoNet for Fleetguard fuel filters in 2012and developed a variant for lube filter applicationsbeginning with the LF14000NN used in Cumminsheavy-duty engines.
NanoNet media is comprised of five layers of thin,tightly woven polymer fiber in a mesh material nothicker than a dime. In a heavy-duty filter application, it can capture particles as small as 4 microns99.9% of the time. That means of 100,000 particles flowing into the filter, only 100 would make itthrough the media. NanoNet is capable of capturing particles as small as 0.2 micron.
Tougher emissions standards have led to enginesthat require extremely clean fuel, air, and lubricants.Synthetic, multilayered filtration media like NanoNetis a big step forward in terms of being able to remove the smallest contaminants while retainingvery high efficiency and capacity. The result is better performance, less risk of unplanned downtime,and the service life you expect from your engine.
CAN YOU GO?
The same media that keeps engines clean can help meet the demand for masks. Produced in sheets, NanoNet media is now available to N95mask manufacturers worldwide. Photo Credit: Cummins
A cutaway of a Fleetguard LF14000NN lube filter shows two levels of filtration: StrataPore media on top removes larger particles during enginestart-up, while the NanoNet media below captures smaller particles toprevent long-term engine wear. Photo Credit: Cummins