Virtual Fall Conference Includes Session on “Recent Developments in Filter Media”

The American Filtration & Separations Society will devote its entire fall conference on December 2 and 3 to the air filtration industry’s response to COVID-19: What we have witnessed, what we have learned, and what is on the horizon.

To drill down into specific filtration areas that are responding to the pandemic, the conference is offering six sessions:

  1. Recent Developments in Filter Media
  2. Face Masks - Industry Update
  3. Laboratory Testing for Performance Against Bioaerosols
  4. Air Filtration for Confined Spaces I
  5. Air Filtration for Confined Spaces II
  6. Disruptions to the Filtration Industry

In the “Recent Developments in Filter Media” session on December 2, three subject matter experts will each deliver a 20-minute presentation.

Thad Ptak, consultant and co-chair of the AFS Fall Virtual Conference, will present “Filter Media Development Using Filtration Theory.”

The selection of a filter media structure that is optimal for specific conditions is not a simple process and, generally, is affected by several factors. Traditionally, the design and selection process are based on experience and professional instinct. This approach to filter media design and decision-making process lacks an objective basis for making comparisons between alternative media structures. In order to optimize the performance of filter media, the decision-making process should be placed on a rational and objective basis. In this study, the use of filtration theory in developing filter media, its benefits and limitations are presented. One of the biggest challenges is the prediction of the initial and real-life performance of electrostatically enhanced filter media.


Qishing Ou, Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Filtration Research at the University of Minnesota, will present “Alternative Face Masks Made of Common Materials for General Public.”

Wearing a respirator or a mask has been proven as an effective method to protect both the wearer and others, but commercially available respirators and masks should be reserved for healthcare workers under the current shortage. The use of alternative materials and do-it-yourself masks becomes an option for the general public, but their efficacy is seldom reported. This study tested commercial respirators and masks, furnace filters, vacuum cleaner filters, and common household materials, evaluating the materials’ fractional filtration efficiency and breathing resistance, which are primary factors affecting respiratory protection. To compare the efficiency-resistance tradeoff, the figure of merit of each tested common material was also calculated. The outcome of this study can offer guidance for the general public under the current pandemic and suggest appropriate alternative respiratory protection materials under heavy air pollution episodes.


Jay Forcucci of Cerex Advanced Fabrics will present “New Facemask Media Developments.”

The current pandemic has left our healthcare and medical frontline workers in short supply of facemasks and related PPE. The additional demand of consumers wearing facemasks in public has resulted in an already constrained supply of polypropylene spunbond and meltblown media becoming even more critical. This presentation will provide background on the market opportunities and recent media developments associated with the pandemic. New facemask value propositions associated with reusable/cleanable facemasks, antimicrobial capabilities and nanofiber-based technologies will be introduced and supported with data.


Registration for the AFS Virtual Conference is now open.






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