GE Energy Debuts Aspire Hydrophilic EPTFE Membrane

Raytown, Mo.-based GE Energy has introduced Aspire, a patent-pending hydrophilic expanded
polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) membrane that eliminates the need for filter manufacturers to
pre-wet cartridge filters with alcohol before shipping, which not only reduces process time and
costs but also helps to prevent bacteria growth during storage because the filters are shipped and
stored dry.

According to GE Energy, the membrane displays similar performance characteristics to those of
hydrophobic ePTFE membranes in regards to bacteria retention, high flow rate and chemical
resistance, while exhibiting durable hydrophilic characteristics and very low extractables. In
testing, Aspire membranes were shown to wet immediately after three autoclave cycles at 130ºC and
remained hydrophilic after 24-hour exposure to chemicals such as 0.1N hydrochloric acid, 0.1N
sodium hydroxide, dimethylformamide, acetone, isopropanol and 40ºC water. 

“This innovation can reduce up to 40 percent of a customer’s cost per cartridge,” said Chris
Keller, senior product manager, GE Energy Services. “There’s no longer a need to pre-wet the
membrane to flow water across it. End users will receive a membrane that can hold up during liquid
microfiltration even after exposure to steam autoclave cycles, certain corrosive chemicals and
other severe conditions. The new membrane also helps reduce the environmental impact of the alcohol
waste stream.”

“This is an exciting breakthrough,” said Bill Laidlaw, global product manager, filtration, GE
Power & Water. “We have always had to pre-wet just to test the cartridge, but now, if we can
ship it dry, we’ll have a product that’s better for our customers and for us.”

February 15, 2011