UFI Filters, a specialist in filtration and thermal management, presented its latest technology at Autopromotec 2019 in Bologna – a material that may mark the beginning of a new generation of cabin air filtration.
Named ARGENTIUM for the unique nature of its structure and materials, this new filter medium, developed and produced by UFI Filters, is made of synthetic polymer fibres that contain a combination of elements with an increased antibacterial function.
Developed from UFI Filters’ experience in the research and development of new materials, this filter medium consists of a non-woven fabric incorporating silver particles – hence the name ARGENTIUM. The fabric has a powerful antimicrobial action which contains the ability to neutralise bacteria, fungi and mould; supposedly reducing the bacterial load by over 99%.
Tests carried out at the UFI Innovation Centre (UFI Filters R&D Centre) have shown that this new product maintains its antimicrobial characteristics, and therefore its ability to destroy bacteria, throughout the filter’s entire lifetime. Significantly, with UFI ARGENTIUM filters, the antimicrobial principle lies inside the fibres themselves, so their ability to destroy bacterial load is extended over time. In the other solutions currently available on the market, these properties tend to diminish just a few working cycles after installing the filter on the vehicle.
UFI Filters’ new ARGENTIUM medium therefore offers a marked improvement in the air quality produced by cabin air filters, as well as better driving conditions thanks to a specific active carbon combination. Tests run by an independent German laboratory, certified in accordance with Standard ISO 11155-1, show that this combination guarantees more than 98.5% filtration efficiency of particles with a diameter of 2.5 microns (such as pollen and dust), whilst also ensuring the elimination of harmful gases like nitrogen oxide (NOx) and bad odours.
The material used in UFI ARGENTIUM filters will be introduced into the company’s anti-pollen and active carbon aftermarket cabin air filter ranges in the coming months. It will gradually replace the traditional filter panels, differentiated by the characteristic blue of its fibres but keeping the same product code that is currently used.
UFI Filters Group recommends changing cabin air filters once a year, as failure to replace them regularly leads to poor air quality in the vehicle. The accumulation of dust and polluting materials puts the occupants’ health at risk, fostering not only allergies, throat problems and sneezing, but also fatigue and poor concentration after long periods of driving. Visibility is also hampered by the condensation that builds up on the windscreen and windows.
Luca Betti, UFI Group Aftermarket Business Unit Director, says, “UFI Filters has chosen to give a meaningful name to this innovative filter medium. ARGENTIUM is produced exclusively by UFI Filters at its production plants and is destined to become another milestone in the history of filtration, just as other group products already have been: from fuel filtration with DFM (Deep Filtration Media), to oil filtering with DURAFILTER, and not forgetting UFI MULTITUBE for engine air. We’re proud of this result from our UFI Innovation Centre, which rewards the constant investment in R&D and will ensure greater health protection inside the vehicle. UFI Filters has once again proved itself to be a leader in this sector, able to produce not only complete modules internally, but also the filter media themselves.”