High-voltage nanofibre production, using very high voltages of up to 120,000 volts, is a principle that has been known for a long time.
Naturally, there is inherently a high risk of injury if equipment operators handle the high voltage electrodes or created nano-material before the residual surface charge has been safely discharged. Until now, hand-operated external grounded electrodes have been used in apparatus used for electrostatic nanofiber production, or manufacturers didn’t deal with safety of equipment at all.
A new patented solution discharges the residual surface charge safely, reliably and automatically at the end of each production cycle.
“The biggest advantage of the new solution is the benefit for electrostatic nanofiber production in industry and laboratories. In the laboratory, it is necessary to discharge the accumulated charge before the researcher or student touches anything. If this is watched by automatic system, we have not always think about the safety and remind students.
The same is also true for industrial production, where operators are required to handle components or products quickly inside the equipment, directly during brief interruptions in production processes,” says one of the patent’s creators, scientist Jiri Rebicek from Contipro Biotech.
The full title of the patent is “Mechanism for discharging residual surface charge, especially for apparatuses intended for electrostatic spinning and spraying”. The patented solution is already incorporated into 4SPIN, the nano-material production apparatus developed in Contipro’s labs. Although this is only a one-metre-high piece of laboratory equipment, many technically new solutions are used on it because of the enhanced safety and ease of operation it offers. Contipro is keen to build on the 4SPIN laboratory apparatus by rolling out pilot and operational versions.
Contipro is a biotechnological company with a huge emphasis on innovation and in-house research, which explains why almost 100 of its employees are R&D lab experts. Contipro's scientific activities are focused on nanotechnology, tissue engineering, wound healing, delivery systems and anti-aging.
4SPIN is a desktop laboratory device used in the nanofiber and nano-material production from solutions of biopolymers and/or synthetic polymers. It can create 97% uniaxially-aligned nanofibers and excels in ability to spin solutions.