Adjunct Prof. Dr. Anek Laothamatas, the Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation (MHESI), Thailand, had a visit to the field hospital at Suranaree University of Technology (SUT), Nakhon Ratchasima, on Thursday, 22 April 2021. On this occasion, the Minister visited an exhibition on innovations created and presented by SLRI to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at SUT Administration Building.
In supporting the handling of COVID-19 situation, SLRI researchers created outstanding various innovations. The first innovation is studying and developing Thai silk mask for use as an alternative to surgical mask. In this research, SLRI researchers applied synchrotron light to analyze three-dimensional structure of Pak Thong Chai silk and later created the silk mask for use as alternative to surgical mask. The result showed that the created silk mask was more than 80% efficient at PM 2.5 and 0.3 micron filtration capacity. The mask was also better than masks made of other fibers using for droplet transmission prevention and it was durable. The mask development not only helps solving shortage of surgical mask but also increases quality of natural fabric in the region and raises income of community enterprise in Nakhon Ratchasima.
Another innovation created by SLRI is the development of particle permeation test for surgical mask. A high-speed camera was applied for the test to examine permeation of sneeze and cough droplets through the mask. The camera can take photos at high frame rate of up to 1,300 frames per second. In studying permeation of sneeze and cough droplets, the qualified rate is just 200 frames per second to examine droplet permeation through the mask and detect motion occurred during recording and the researchers can examine droplet permeation through surgical masks. The result showed that the created silk mask was better than a surgical mask at preventing saliva droplet permeation.
In addition, SLRI engineers worked with Lt. Col. Bura Sindhupakorn, M.D. from SUT Hospital in developing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to acquire same quality as imported ones. The development was conducted by applying knowledge of engineering, control system, and output designs to examine liquid permeation property. SLRI also applied knowledge in vacuum technology which has been experienced for more than 20 years as well as bodies of knowledge in various fields of engineering technology such as power supply and control system to design and build many inventions. Such inventions are a positive pressure Throat-Swab-Box donated to Pakthongchai Hospital in Pak Thong Chai district, a negative pressure capsule for COVID-19 patient isolation donated to Kham Thale So Hospital in Kham Thale So district, and a negative pressure chamber donated to Debaratana Nakhonratchasima Hospital, Muang District, Nakhon Ratchasima. These innovations indicate potentiality of SLRI in applying expertise and bodies of knowledge to help handling COVID-19 situation in Thailand.
Coordinators: Ms. Sasipun Tritan, Ms. Kallayanee Abking
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