A year ago the Jack Filter company which I owned and managed was taken over by MANN+HUMMEL. One of the reasons I found the step positive at that time was the interesting and successful technology which MANN+HUMMEL implements in the automotive business. This also applies to the biofunctional filtration technology from MANN+HUMMEL which we now wish to introduce in the field of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Even at that time I thought the technology was unique on the market and thought it gave our company a real competitive edge. In my opinion that remains true today.
What’s so special about this technology?
Well, nowadays particle filtration itself is no longer a great feat. In the meantime almost every filter medium can filter particles out of the air. But the biofunctional filtration technology of MANN+HUMMEL and therefore our new product FreciousComfort for HVAC systems can do considerably more. It has additional anti-allergenic and anti-microbial abilities, i.e. the filter blocks fine dust and airborne allergens and also inhibits the growth of mold and bacteria. We can also equip the filter with activated carbon in order to eliminate unpleasant odors and harmful gases.
3 plus 1 function
To understand how that works we need to take a look inside the filter. FreciousComfort consists of a number of layers and coatings where each one is responsible for a certain function. One layer handles the filtration of fine dust according to the new ISO 16890 standard. According to the standard, depending on the product the filter efficiency in HVAC systems is ISO ePM1 50% to ISO ePM1 60%.
A further layer of the filter medium (2) has an anti-allergenic coating on the basis of polyphenol and also an anti-microbial coating. Polyphenol is a natural agent which, for example, is found in grape skins, green tea or citrus fruits, i.e. completely safe. Polyphenol deactivates airborne allergens by more than 95% and through this makes them harmless. The allergic reactions which today millions of people suffer from are prevented and are reduced in number. The antimicrobial coating also prevents the proliferation of mold and bacteria on the filter medium and therefore prevents mold and bacteria from reaching the clean side of the filter. The elimination of odors and harmful gases with activated carbon is a further option which is gaining in importance in numerous modern applications.
Further extend the period of use?
I have been working with HVAC filters all my life. In the 1980s and 1990s a number of operators of these systems frequently suffered from hygiene problems. At that time it was established that people were more often ill when they spent time or worked in buildings which had a mechanical ventilation system. And this was the case even though the incoming air was filtered. At some point it was noticed that the use of filters of an inferior quality and unfavorable operating conditions led to the microbial growth in the ventilation systems which in turn led to the mentioned increased frequency of illness.
In the last two decades a lot has been done to counteract this. The filters have become better in terms of their separation efficiency and guidelines have been issued which have led to filters being changed more often. The VDI 6022 guideline, for example, describes a replacement from six to twelve months for the first filter stage. The frequent replacement of filters, however, has a catch. The costs are high and in fact the filters are not given a chance to function until the end of their service life. Our new FreciousComfort 3 plus 1 technology enables us to deliver filters which remain stable in terms of hygiene for a longer time period. In future, this could lead to filters again being allowed to be in use for longer periods. This would naturally have to be written into the standards and guidelines, but the potential is there.
Complete filter platforms in the pipeline
In the course of the development of FreciousComfort for HVAC systems we naturally had to make a number of technical changes. The biofunctional filtration technology originally came from the automotive field. The particle filtration with HVAC systems, however, is considerably more restrictive than the automotive field and in particular at the start of 2017 the ISO 16890 standard was introduced as the new global standard for HVAC air filtration. In the course of the product development we therefore had to combine a particle filter medium with an excellent function with our technology. There were many questions to answer, such as, for example, which medium should we take, how can we combine it without negatively influencing the characteristics, how can we use the existing production technology efficiently to produce a filter, and how can we ensure that the end product will have a competitive price for the market.
The FreciousComfort pocket filter is the first biofunctional filter product we have introduced to the market for Intelligent Air Solutions (IAS). Our aim is to build up a whole platform of filters for all the areas of IAS, i.e. many products are set to follow. There are almost no limits to the possible applications, from a small air purifier which can be set up inside rooms, to room ventilation systems in passive houses, and also HVAC systems in trade fair halls, hotels, shopping centers and airports. The pharmaceutical industry and medical engineering industry have shown a strong interest in the unique characteristics of FreciousPlus.
MANN+HUMMEL Intelligent Air Solutions presents FreciousComfort with LEADERSHIP IN FILTRATION