University of illinois Urbana-Champaign

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Water Purification Membrane

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Created 8/31/2004

Membranes for water purification must be supported by an underlying porous structure that provides mechanical stability and allows rapid flow of water molecules through its internal pores. This 3-D membrane support structure, using a robotic deposition technique, was created in a layer-by-layer build sequence via direct write assembly of concentrated colloidal alumina inks. This directed assembly allows membrane supports with engineered porosity to be constructed from colloidal building blocks with feature sizes well below 100 microns. The assembly was photographed using the Canon EOS-1Ds in the VMIL. The EOS is a single lens reflex (SLR) camera system, and the ITG provides a variety of lenses for use in macro photography. The membrane was placed upon a blue gel-covered light box, providing back-lit illumination with sufficient contrast to the white surface of the membrane. Two detachable macro flash units were used to bolster the ambient illumination provided by the copy stand's tungsten bulbs. These flash units were placed near the plane of the light box surface, and at varying angles to lessen the incidence of specular reflection from the membrane and gel surface.


  • John Bukowski , Materials Science & Engineering
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