2 R&D projects concurrently carried out at TÜBİTAK Marmara Research Center (MAM) Materials Institute and Istanbul Technical University National Membrane Technologies Application and Research Center (ITU MEM-TEK) in the localization of medical mask filters have been successfully completed.
Due to the new type of coronavirus (Kovid-19) outbreak that affected the world, mask manufacturers experienced disruptions in the supply of equipment and equipment, while the Ministry of Industry and Technology accelerated efforts to meet this need. In this context, R&D studies were prioritized in order to localize mastered mask filters that provide high protection.
Speaking about the projects, the Minister Mustafa Varank said that they took action as soon as they saw the need.
Varank said that they brought together the mask manufacturers with the team that will localize the filters and stated that a significant distance was taken in the transition to mass production with a very short time. Minister Varank used the following statements: “Our main goal was to provide well-being equipment and supply continuity in the fight against coronavirus outbreak. Accordingly, we immediately took action to meet the market demand of basic materials, similar to disinfectant, cologne, mask and domestic inhaler device. We commissioned TÜBİTAK MAM Material Institute for the domestic production of filters of high protective masks called N95 and N99. We used to import these filters from Germany and France before. Kilogram price increased from 14 euros to 50 euros. However, with the spread of the epidemic, both countries banned the sale of these filters abroad. Our team at TÜBİTAK produced nanofiber based filters in a short period of time, similar to 1 month. Test processes are successfully carried out. Another labor expenditure continues at Istanbul Technical University MEM-TEK. Almost all of the technologies developed in this Center, which was founded 10 years ago with state support, are financed by our Ministry. N95 filters developed by the research team here have passed the tests. ”
SERIAL PRODUCTION VERY CLOSE AFTER THE TESTS
Varank stated that it will be going to serial production after the tests and that the mask producers who will use the filters will be given consultancy on the transfer of technology and the establishment of the infrastructure.
Pointing out that the firms can benefit from the support of the Ministry's KOSGEB and development agencies during the investment process, Varank continued: “With the introduction of production lines, foreign dependency in this area will be completely eliminated. We expect at least four companies to gain mass production capability. Our investments in R&D, technology and science for years have played a key role in this success we have achieved in a short time. With a rapid coordination, we brought all parties together, acted in a result-oriented manner and achieved what we wanted with the devotion of our researchers. We continue to make the National Technology move rapidly in the field of health. We are working with all our strength to strengthen the power of our healthcare professionals, and we are furthering our capacity in product supply. ”
“LOCAL MASK FILTERS COMPARE WITH AVAILABLE PRODUCTS”
TÜBİTAK MAM Materials Institute Director Dr. Metin Usta said that upon the request of the Ministry of Industry and Technology, they started working on the filters of N95, N99 type masks.
The master stated that the production and testing of nanofiber filters are carried out in laboratories within the institute and they receive support from the MFA Mask company in accordance with the relevant European standards, and he used the following expressions: With a thin and light material, we managed to produce mask filters with high sealing and low breathing resistance on a laboratory scale. These masks offer significant advantages in terms of high protection and wearing comfort compared to commercial products available in the market. ”
150 THOUSAND CAPACITY DESTINATION ON DOMESTIC FILTER
Stating that the efforts to meet the last criterion of the European standard related to respiratory resistance are continuing, Usta said that the nanofiber filters to be produced on a pilot scale by TÜBİTAK MAM will be integrated into the masks by MFA Mask.
Stating that the conformity tests will be carried out immediately after the integration, Usta explained that the successful technical tests will be provided to the MFA Mask company to pass mass production, and that the necessary infrastructure cost is determined simultaneously.
Turkey, saying that targeted daily for at least 150 thousand mask production by the company to meet the needs in this area of Masters, "the global Kovid-19 outbreak that occurred shortage in supply due to the N95 and N99 mask filter has become the domestic production necessity. As a result of our project, nanofiber based filter production technology has been gained. ” found the assessment.
ACTIVITIES ARE SPEEDED BY THE OUTBREAK
ITU MEM-TEK Manager Dr. Emphasizing that domestic mask production has gained more importance recently, İsmail Koyuncu explained that they have accelerated the R&D projects on the development of the filters of N95-N99 type masks that they started a few years ago due to the Kovid-19 outbreak.
Koyuncu stated that since the first week of March, they have developed 100% local N95 mask filter materials in accordance with international standards, whose tests are carried out in accredited laboratories, and that the production is carried out not only in the laboratory, but also in the pilot and real-scale facility.
Stating that his projects are supported by İTÜ Arı Teknokent and TÜBİTAK, Koyuncu said, “We have developed the nanofiber production technology within the scope of the project and started to produce N95 / FFP2-FFP3 selection mask filters. We have developed a unique conception for ourselves not only with a mask filter, but also in the machine that will produce these kinds of things, we are at the stage of making our patent applications. ” said.
Koyuncu mask filter to prevent the supply problem and Turkey, stressing that they started to produce series of filters developed in order to maintain the mask production, brought this matter to the industrial scale are feeling the pride of being one of the few teams capable of manufacturing.
Stating that they have the infrastructure to produce mask filters with N10 / FFP20-FFP95 features between 2-3 thousand per day, Koyuncu stated that they aim to increase this figure to 500 thousand per day to meet the needs of all mask manufacturer companies.
MEETING WITH N95 / N99 MASK MANUFACTURERS
Stating that they had meetings with all N95 / N99 mask manufacturers in the country under the leadership of the Ministry of Industry and Technology, Koyuncu said: “We stated that we can bring this technology to the infrastructure of participating mask manufacturers. We have started our works to provide production mask to many mask manufacturer companies, it will be completed within one month at the latest, and the mask manufacturer companies will have no dependency on abroad in the N95 mask filter. We are doing our best to help our country overcome these difficult times without saying day and night on this matter. ”