Enabling & Support

Advanced Fluidic Filter

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ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Engineering & Technology
642 - Abstract:
The proposed invention is a filter to be used in fluidic systems to trap contaminants, preventing them from reaching components sensitive to contamination.

Description

Multi-layer mesh filter for fluids with an improved structure that maximizes the surface and prevents particle build up. The filter is obtained by an additive manufacturing process and, thanks to this, some unique features can be achieved. The main feature is that the filter is a single piece, which provides advantages such as avoiding weld joints, reducing the manufacturing time and avoiding spread of filter passages found in wire mesh filter elements. Furthermore, the filter is manufactured with a Titanium alloy, which makes it corrosion resistant. However, other materials are possible if they are more appropriate for specific applications.

More information about the advanced fluidic filter can be found here

Innovations and advantages:

Due to limitations in the manufacturing process of in-line fluidic filters, these products have always been manufactured as an assembled group of pieces. For some applications, this technique and the results obtained may be suitable, but for other applications, a higher quality of the final product is needed. Thanks to the rise of additive manufacturing, older manufactured products can be redesigned and highly improved, both in terms of materials and functionality. This invention proposes a filter with the following features: 

  • High corrosion resistance.
  • Light weight.
  • Monolithic, built in one single piece, which allows avoiding weld joints, CTE (coefficients of thermal expansion) mismatch associated with the usage of components of different materials, movement and associated dislocation or wear of filter components, and spread of filter passages found in wire mesh filter elements.
  • Multi-lobe cross-section that maximizes the surface and minimizes the filter clogging and pressure drop.
  • Fluted cone tip of the filter that disperses the fluid, preventing particle build up at the entrance of the filter and spreading them through the whole surface.
  • Multi-layer mesh, which has a pattern displacement from layer to layer to reduce the size of contaminants that can pass through the filter and also prevent the passage of long slender contaminants.

Commercialisation aspects

Applications and Markets

This technology can benefit those applications in which a fluid shall be filtered from pollutants or impurities. The main markets and applications include:

- Aeronautics and automotive sectors for fuel impurities removal.

- Chemical industry applications such as for high pressure liquid chromatography systems, capillary based systems.

- Industrial biotechnology for example on enzyme production.

- Thermo-nuclear plants (cooling systems). 

Intellectual property status

An international patent application has been filed.

Sectioned filter prototype
Sectioned filter prototype

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