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Title: On the design of particle filters inspired by animal noses
Passive filtering is a common strategy to reduce airborne disease transmission and particulate contaminants across scales spanning orders of magnitude. The engineering of high-performance filters with relatively low flow resistance but high virus- or particle-blocking efficiency is a non-trivial problem of paramount relevance, as evidenced in the variety of industrial filtration systems and face masks. Next-generation industrial filters and masks should retain sufficiently small droplets and aerosols while having low resistance. We introduce a novel 3D-printable particle filter inspired by animals’ complex nasal anatomy. Unlike standard random-media-based filters, the proposed concept relies on equally spaced channels with tortuous airflow paths. These two strategies induce distinct effects: a reduced resistance and a high likelihood of particle trapping by altering their trajectories with tortuous paths and induced local flow instability. The structures are tested for pressure drop and particle filtering efficiency over different airflow rates. We have also cross-validated the observed efficiency through numerical simulations. We found that the designed filters exhibit a lower pressure drop, compared to commercial masks and filters, while capturing particles bigger than approximately 10 μm. Our findings could facilitate a novel and scalable filter concept inspired by animal noses.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2028075 2028069 2028090
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of The Royal Society Interface
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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