Manufacturing of Copper Oxide Enhanced Electrospun Nylon-6 Membrane Based Reusable Facial Masks/Filters for Protection Against COVID-19
The use of facial masks has become omnipresent worldwide since the outbreak of severe respiratory diseases caused by the new coronavirus (COVID-19). Consequently, the world is currently experiencing a shortage of face masks, and some countries have placed restrictions on the number of masks that any individual can purchase. While the N95 surgical grade mask offers the highest degree of safety currently available, due to its broader pore size (almost 300 nm) its filtration capacity for sub-300 nm particles is about 85%. Since the COVID-19 virus has a diameter of about 65-125 nm, more effective reusable masks are required. We are demonstrating the creation of a nanoporous flexible copper oxide enhanced electrospun Nylon-6 membrane on regular fabric filter layer with enhanced filtration performance and reusability in order to solve these problems. Because of good antimicrobial properties and economical production, copper oxide has been selected as an antibacterial agent compared to other metal nanoparticles used as antibacterial agents. On regular fabric which is used as filter layer in surgical mask or N-95, we have deposited a thin layer of electrospun Nylon-6 nanofibers coated with functionalized Copper Oxide nanoparticles by electrospraying technique. Prepared nanofibers composites have been characterized for future research, including morphological characterization, surface area and porosity estimation using BET, mechanical properties using Universal Testing Machine, elemental analysis using XPS, crystallinity evaluation by XRD, upright cup breathability examination, air permeability monitoring, thermal analysis by TGA, and disinfectant antimicrobial properties. Excellent morphological, mechanical, structural, surface, and antimicrobial properties were observed in Nylon-6 fibers coated with copper oxide nanoparticles (amount of CuO in the Nylon-6 fibers has been estimated to be 3-5 wt.%).
Experimental Analysis of Epoxy with 2D Nanomaterials to Enhance Mechanical and Electrical Properties of CFRP
Carbon fiber composites are a promising developing alternative for many metals used in industry due to their high strength to weight ratios along with other superior mechanical properties. Composites are currently being commercialized in many industries, including the aerospace, defense, and automotive industries. Traditional composites usually do not show great interlaminar shear properties as there is not much reinforcement through the thickness; therefore, polymer reinforced composites have become more appealing due to the increase of mechanical strength they exhibit compared to current composites. Mechanical and Electrical properties of those composites can be strengthened through the process of electrospinning of epoxy and 2D Nanomaterials popularly known as Mxenes between the layers, which allows for aligned layers to be deposited in thin sheets. After deposition, we are trying to conduct some tests to check its electro-mechanical properties and compare with conventional carbon fiber composites.
Mxenes Based Supercapacitor for Electric Driven Vehicles
Supercapacitor is being considered as an alternative of battery in electric driven vehicles as it exhibits some outstanding characteristics such as high power density for car braking, engine start & acceleration, operational efficiency in adverse weather conditions, non-toxic and non-explosive materials, cheaper than li-ion batteries because of carbon abundance. Thin film 2D Transition Metal Carbides and Nitrides (Mxenes) based supercapacitor with superior efficiency having lightweight can be integrated into the shell of the vehicle, such as the body panels, roof, floor, and doors by keeping the mechanical properties of the composites as same as before. Mxenes has the potential to replace graphene in supercapacitor due to its high volumetric capacitance, high electronic conductivity, high thermal conductivity. We are trying to build a prototype of a part of the car shell with Mxenes based Supercapacitor and check its electrical and mechanical properties to support the above-mentioned claims.