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Slovenian researchers developed a device for in situ determination of permeability. The materials are not extracted for the measurement, which is very important for fragile materials. The method is non-destructive and non-invasive. The researchers are looking for partners who would like to adapt the developed prototype to specific requirements and sign licensing and/or research cooperation agreements in the EU and beyond.
The client is a higher education and scientific institution founded in 1919, which maintains close relations with Slovenian and foreign companies and enterprises. The client offers innovative technology that can be used in freeze-dried pharmaceuticals, building materials, fabrics and textiles, drug/vaccine penetration, artificial bone scaffolds, filters and membranes.
Permeability is a porous material property that describes how easily can fluids penetrate through the sample material. Many products require the determination of their permeability. It is the most important property of filter and membrane materials, and a very influential property for textiles, freeze-dried products, etc. Accurate and fast measurement of permeability is therefore crucial for many applications in the fields of freeze-dried products (pharmaceutical and food industries), textile industry, manufacturers of filter and membrane materials, additive manufacturing (3D printing), artificial bone implants, manufacturers of composite materials, etc. Currently available methods for measuring permeability are problematic when fragile and randomly shaped samples need to be analyzed.
The present invention overcomes most of the drawbacks of currently available methods and techniques that can be used to determine the permeability rate of non-extractable and arbitrarily shaped materials. The summary of the invention discloses preferred concepts and embodiments.
The present invention describes a method and apparatus for measuring the permeability rate of sample materials of any shape and size. The working fluid can be liquid, gas or even vapor, if such experimental conditions are preferred. The main objective of the invention is to facilitate a well- controlled initial and boundary experimental conditions at which the working fluid is permeating through the sample material. The main advantage and novelty of the present invention is the ability to perform experimental measurements on non-extractable materials, as well as the adaptable design of the apparatus for measuring permeabilities of arbitrarily shaped sample materials under steady-state or transient experimental conditions.
One of the main advantages of the disclosed invention is the adaptability of the device and the sample material. For example, the measured response can be adjusted by adding a larger number of identical samples connected in series or in parallel. The result of a parallel connection of samples is an overall smaller response, which enables measuring materials with high permeabilities; whereas the in series connection increases the measured response due to the overall higher permeability of the samples compared to only one sample. The series and parallel connection of additional samples is useful if the permeability of the samples is too low or too high for the measurement setup.
The researchers are looking for international partners involved in freeze-dried products (pharmaceutical and food industries), textile industry, filter and membrane materials manufacturers, additive manufacturing (3D printing), artificial bone implants, composite materials manufacturers, etc., who can tailor the developed prototype to specific requirements and manufacture the final device on a larger scale under research cooperation agreements. The researchers are also interested in offering the technology to interested companies under licensing agreements.
Advantages & innovations
Main Advantages: • quick measurement (< 1 sec.) • real-time measurement • suitable for inline measurements • non-invasive, non-destructive, in-situ measurements • appropriate also for fragile arbitrary shaped materials • liquid or gas working fluid • applications: freeze-dried pharmaceuticals, contruction materials, fabrics and textiles, drug/vaccine penetration, artificial bone scaffolds, filters and membranes.
Stage of development
Prototype available for demonstration
Contact/ source: Enterprise Europe Network (europa.eu)
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