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Future of Desalination Industry Innovation May Rest on Conwed’s 3D Printed Feed Spacers

by • March 8, 2016 • No Comments

conwedWater: Without interference by humans, it’s intended to be a pure substance that manufactures up around 70 percent of the planet Earth, with most of it contained in the oceans. We enjoy the beauty of water in most different types of states, of cascading waterfalls to the yet pond that allows for us to skip stones—to a fun family day at the beach or out fishing for flounder in a bay or on the ocean in our boat. Whilst that may all seem pretty easy, sustenance is the sizeablest priority regarding our relationship with water, and that’s a quite difficult subject. Water—and our require for it—is in addition big business around the world regarding numerous processes and methods for working to manufacture it accessible to equiteone, as well as filtering and purifying, so that we don’t get sick of the quite thing that is ultimately supposed to act as our life force.

Companies such as Conwed, headquartered in Minneapolis, are dedicated to providing quite necessary components to the water filtration and reverse osmosis (RO) industry. They are in addition known as pioneers in the use of 3D printing for items like their feed spacers—parts that assist to allow for uniform water flow in membranes for difficult structures like spiral-injure reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) membrane processs.

RO_Filter_IllustrationConwed’s specialty yet is in producing and selling plastic netting around the world. Recently, this global industry leader in addition assisted with a water research study by providing their 3D printed spacers for research comparison.

The study, led by researchers of both Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands, was the subject of a not long ago published paper, ‘Development and characterization of 3D-printed feed spacers for spiral injure membrane processs.’ discovered in Water Research 91 (2016) 55-67, and authored by Amber Siddiqui, Nadia Farhat, Szilárd S. Bucs, Rodrigo Valladares Linares, Cristian Picioreanu, Joop C. Kruithof, Mark C.M. van Loosdrecht. James Kidwell, and Johannes S. Vrouwenvelder.

The study offers a new strategy for dealing with biofouling, an issue that spans numerous sectors where components are subjected to ongoing exposure to water and therefore suffer performance issues due to accumulation of microorganisms, plants, or animals on their surfaces. The objective of this particular study was to create, characterize, and test feed spacers with numerical modeling, 3D printing, and experimental membrane fouling simulator (MFS) studies.

The topic and impending research were sparked off by the idea that indeed hydrodynamics and biofouling issues may be improved on with advantageous feed spacers. Due to the efforts Conwed is famous for inside the RO industry, as well as being known for producing a full line of diverse RO feed spacers, they were asked to collaborate with the researchers. Conwed has a deep dedication to not just providing desalination materials, but in addition finding ways to improve the corresponding processs.

UntitledDue to their use of 3D printing, Conwed is known as an innovator inside their industry. They’ve experimented with 3D printed spacers on a tiny scale so far, but this has allowed for much additional expedient research and createment of new creations that simulate conditions that may in fact be discovered in desalination facilities. With 3D printing, they’ve been working with a range of scientists to see how they can impact issues of:

BiofoulingMembrane injurePressure drop

“Our R&D and engineering teams have explored 3D technologies for a few years now. We pioneered the use of 3D technology in feed spacers to test new geometries and creations for the reason we knew it may be an alternative to speed up the process of create creation to actual performance testing replicating live conditions in real RO processs,” said Ivan Soltero, Sr. Strategic Marketing Manager at Conwed. “We are proactively looking for alternatives to impact water desalination processs of a feed spacer perspective.”

Use of Conwed’s 3D printed feed spacers was crucial to the study by researchers as they were comparing both 3D printed and commercial feed spacers with both identical and different types of geometries. It is in addition informative to note that the Conwed team had may already obassistd differences in performance when spacer specifications like width, angle, and chemical manufactureup were adjusted.

“A great agreement was discovered for the modeled and measured relationship between linear flow velocity and pressure drop for feed spacers with the same geometry, indicating that modeling can assist as the initially step in spacer characterization,” noted the team in their research study.

The current joint research encompasses numerical modeling as well as a number of experimental readings that are relevant to both hydraulics and biofouling.

“These types of research studies assist us know how our future-generation feed spacers may impact biofouling, membrane injure and pressure drop, the three main challenges in equite RO process. We truly believe the future wave of technology in the desalination industry can come of the feed spacer,” said Soltero.

In via a feed spacer that was adjusted with a low pressure drop, and 3D printed, the researchers discovered that when compared to a traditional part, it offered a lower pressure drop during hydrodynamic testing, as well as offering a lower drop increase in time with the same biomass. Their conclusion with the comparison that with these adjusted, 3D printed spacers, the new geometries may assist improve membrane performance.

“The combination of numerical modeling of feed spacers and experimental testing of 3D printed feed spacers is a promising strategy (rapid, low cost and representative) to create high end feed spacers aiming to reduce the impact of biofilm formation on membrane performance and to improve the cleanability of spiral-injure NF and RO membrane processs,” noted the researchers in additional conclusion.

UntitledIt is in addition yett that this strategy outlined in their research may assist for forward osmosis processs, reverse electrodialysis, membrane diyetation, and electrodeionisation membrane processs in addition.

This study marks another way that 3D printing is offering improvements to different types of elements of water processs. We’ve followed 3D topics inside the water industry on numerous different types of levels, of sizeable companies via 3D scanning to assess corrosion levels to other organizations researching 3D printing to streamline water technology altogether. From new guide water pumps to 3D printed components for revolutionary water filters, this new technology is being utilized in combination with water for a host of reasons, all employing the benefits of 3D printing, beginning with customization and material use options, as well as speed in production, and quite importantly—greater affordability, producing it simpler to effect changes around the world, and especially in places where people do not have clean drinking water.

How do you ponder these new parts can assist the water industry? Discuss in the 3D Printed Feed Spacers forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: Water World]