Nano Sun, a water technology start-up founded by a scientist from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), has launched a 3D-printing facility to manufacture a new type of water treatment membrane.
The new membrane is more resistant to breakage and biofouling, requiring less maintenance and brings about greater cost efficiencies.
Nano Sun has demonstrated the printing of the industry-standard PVDF (Polyvinylidene fluoride) polymer used in conventional water filtration membranes, which is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
Using a proprietary 3D printer, Nano Sun can print millions of PVDF nano-fibres per second, which is accumulated on a backing material and compressed into an ultra-thin sheet of membrane.
This gives the membrane a much bigger surface area to trap or repel pollutants while allowing water molecules to pass through at a faster flow rate.
Further studies are now underway to develop even better anti-fouling additives which can be combined with other materials during the 3D-printing process.