Inside of test chamber (with tray open)
The Industrial Research Institute of Niigata Prefecture is a technical support facility which works together with companies towards the development and growth of the region's industries, through conducting research and development into core manufacturing techniques and progressive industrial techniques. The Applied Materials Technical Support Center is one of six such facilities within the prefecture, providing technical support for the region's businesses and also a wide-ranging technical service beyond that.
Equipped with a variety of test equipment geared towards activities such as testing requests, loaning of apparatus, and small joint research projects, the center installed a Pulsed Xenon Sterilization Machine in February 2021. Seeking to assist regional businesses which had been approved for the starting up of face mask production to combat the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, the equipment was installed for the purpose of investigating the performance of the non-woven fabrics intended for use in the masks. The implementation of the Pulsed Xenon Sterilization Equipment was decided upon due to its effectiveness in cases where subject materials are sensitive to heat or moisture and therefore unsuitable for autoclave sterilization (sterilization through pressurized steam), where they would need to be subjected to high temperatures for around 30 minutes; by way of contrast, the powerful light of Xenon lamps with their high disinfectant properties can be used in dry conditions and offer instant sterilization.For the sterilization test, Golden Staph Cocci (Staphylococcus Aureus) is applied to the surface of a Trypto-Soya Agar which is then processed through the Pulsed Xenon Sterilization Machine, before being assessed to measure the effectiveness of sterilization; at a charging voltage of 2.8kV, a sterilization rate of 91.2% has been recorded even after only one pass. Currently at the preliminary testing stage, adjustments and preparations are being made ahead of practical application.
With minimal impact on the tested material, the conducting of highly reliable sterilization testing will be a helpful tool with which to support the mask production efforts of Niigata's textile industries, which are renowned nationwide for the craftsmanship and quality of their knitted materials and silk materials.
Pulsed Xenon Sterilization Equipment - 1