David Conrad, Vice President of Business Development
For over 60 years, PTI Technologies has always been part of the innovative response towards identifying and solving technical challenges in the aerospace industry. It is widely known that worldwide environmental consciousness impacts the aviation and aerospace industry. First and foremost, the idea of going green with net-zero carbon emission has popularized the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels(SAF) and other biofuels in aircraft. Hybrid and electric propulsion technologies are also gaining momentum. In light of all these trends, air, fluid, and fuel filtration play a crucial role in enhancing aircraft parts’ operability, performance, and life. The pandemic has also bought about a heightened interest in filtration innovations for improving cabin air quality.
PTI aligns with these trends and needs with several patented solutions and products. The company is a world leader in designing, developing, manufacturing, marketing, and distributing highly engineered filtration and fluid control subsystems and equipment. “From the early days of both commercial and military aviation, PTI has consistently been there to listen, understand, and deliver innovative, value added solutions to complex filtration and fluid flow problems. As a result, our products have successfully flown for decades on various commercial and military aircraft. Our solutions support the hydraulics, fuel, thermal management, lubrication, bleed air, environmental air/cabin air and water systems on aircraft,” says David Conrad, Vice President of Business Development at PTI Technologies.
With companies like United Airlines proving possibilities of leveraging 100% SAF in the commercial sphere and OEMs like GE, CFM is introducing new engines with electric or hybrid propulsion —working under high engine temperature— thermal management has become an issue of cardinal importance. To this end, PTI’s new fluid filtration offerings not only withstand high temperatures, but also perform well with several chemical compounds. PTI has even worked with Rolls Royce on their E-FAN X program to provide a new fluid filtration solution that increases equipment reliability and longevity.
On the fuel filtration side, PTI’s internally funded R&D has seen the company bring about a novel metal fiber media, trademarked 421®
, which outperforms the shortcomings of standard micro-fiberglass media filtration and protects critical system components from particulate contamination, among other benefits. The product materialized from the company’s partnership and R&D with the US Army, who approached PTI to solve a problem. Motivated by a helicopter crash investigation that revealed critically contaminated hydraulic systems, PTI was challenged to provide a robust filtration solution which could endure the harsh operating conditions of the dynamic flight environment.
Tested at Fort Rucker, Alabama, the 421®
metal fiber media filter was proven to better withstand a high dynamic environment and provided improved Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) results. The US Army has since mandated these filters be incorporated on all UH-60 Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache series fleets. In addition, the filtration media was found to reduce millions of dollars annually in maintenance costs. Owing to its value proposition and proven use on the military side of the aisle, PTI is gearing up to launch 421®
metal fiber media filtration into the commercial landscape for bleed air and other engine filtration applications.
When it comes to the air filtration domain, PTI offers superior technologies for improving cabin air quality. Through their early work on the Orion space program and B2 military aircraft, they have proven their expertise in this area. Unlike existing HEPA filters that are excellent at only removing particles, PTI’s CabinSafe®
product line converts ozone and filters VOCs. It even rids odor during cabin air recirculation eliminating the recent health-related concerns around cabin air quality. Additionally, the company is incorporating activated carbon within its HEPA air filters for improved air quality.
The filtration of the bleed air system on an aircraft has become a hot topic in the commercial aviation industry as of late. Currently, the existing solutions for bleed air are bulky and require separate membranes for filtration that are highly sensitive to certain chemicals and gases. Using patented technology designs, PTI is developing and testing solutions to meet this industry challenge. Their product will serve as a lightweight all-in-one package. It can occupy a lesser volume, filter VOCs, and convert ozone to O2 efficiently.
From the early days of commercial and military aviation, PTI has consistently been there to Listen, Understand and Deliver innovative, value-added solutions to complex filtration and fluid flow problems
In addition to several such impactful products furnishing their portfolio, PTI has more products in the hopper that promises to deliver aircraft filtrations of the future. For example, PTI is currently working on transfiguring their current filter design for ozone conversion at low temperatures.
They are also looking for more robust filtration methods that mitigate knock-on effects created inside the air filter separation module. In addition, the company is also working towards improving its catalytic technology expertise, which can do more VOC removal, ozone conversion and enable faster air cleaning.
These aspects exemplify PTI’s commitments towards eco friendly solutions that result in cost savings and operational efficiency for all players, be it OEMs, Airlines, or other stakeholders. “We always try to listen to our customers’ needs, and provide solutions, it is also what drives our IR&D program,” concludes Conrad.