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A high-performance low differential pressure filter medium for use in respiratory protection and air filtration

CSIRO has developed a high-performance filtration fabric that can be used in a wide range of existing and new products for respiratory protection, air conditioning and industrial applications.

ES3216 is a high-performance filtration fabric that can be used in a wide range of existing and new products for respiratory protection, air conditioning and industrial applications.

ES3216 is characterised by a high level of particle filtration efficiency with a corresponding low pressure drop. This offers clear advantages in respiratory filtration products, making for significantly easier breathing and consequently lower burden on the user. This combination of attributes makes for a unique value proposition in the air filtration market, but especially so in respiratory protection.


ES3216 is a blended wool/polypropylene needle punched non-woven fabric. The fabric is an alternative to melt blown polypropylene typically used in the manufacture of surgical masks and industrial respiratory filters such as P2 or N95 masks. The fabric may be manufactured in a range of areal densities (i.e. g/m2), is free of allergens and/or processing additives, and importantly also has the potential for use in applications other than respiratory protection where the filtration of particles or aerosols is a requirement.

The fabric has a high electrostatic charge capacity and performs with a minimum of 95% particle filtration efficiency with potential to perform higher than 99% with a very low pressure drop. It is therefore potentially suitable for employment in respiratory protective masks that are intended to comply with Australian Standard AS1716:2012 (Respiratory Protective Devices) and international standards such as NIOSH N95. It may be suitable for use in surgical masks when combined as a layer with other materials.

The fabric may also be employed in applications where particulate filtration is required such as high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration (e.g. ISO29463).


  • Respiratory protective devices
  • Air filtration
  • Industrial particulate filtration
  • Vacuum systems

Intellectual property

The technology is based on published scientific principles on which patents, now expired, had been lodged in the 1970s. The combination of materials, treatments, processing methods, quality control measures and practices to manufacture the product exists as confidential know how of CSIRO.

The team

The CSIRO team is expert in the design and creation of technical and industrial textile products for high performance applications in defence, health and emergency applications.

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