Canadian Manufacturing

McRae Imaging gets a boost from NGen funding

McRae’s nano-material fabrics are being built in conjunction with other Canadian companies, Lumentra and DOT Automation as well.

February 1, 2021  by CM Staff

McRae Imaging has built a nano-material seat shield to combat the pandemic.

Ngen (Next Generation Manufacturing Canada, a supercluster of manufacturers), recently announced the winners of its Strategic Supply Challenge, spotlighting a number of companies that are involved in promising domestic manufacturing capabilities. McRae Imaging stands out as a domestic producer of nano-material fabrics for manufacturing applications.

McRae Imaging is currently exploring how their nano-material fabrics can be used to create an anti-microbial barrier to combat COVID-19. As businesses and government try and transition into a post-pandemic climate, they will be looking to solutions that provide a level of safety that was not there prior to COVID-19. McRae Imaging intends to launch anti-microbial seat covers and barriers in areas that cannot be sanitized between use on a regular basis. Classrooms, public transportation, movie theatres, airplanes and event venues come to mind as ripe areas for an anti-microbial seat shield.

McRae’s seat barrier product works through silver nano-particles which possess an anti-microbial element, and are highly photocatalytic and sensitive to light. When light hits the barrier, the silver nano-particles spread oxygen and expand, pushing and squeezing harmful microbes out.

Dr. Venkat Venkataramanan went into more detail about McRae Imaging’s challenges as well before receiving the funding.

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“When the pandemic struck we were still very much a digital imaging company. We were challenged to come up with a solution and we realized that demand for nano-material fabrics would exist in a post COVID-19 world. Cleaning surfaces with chemicals is not feasible between each use in many cases, so we realized that textile-based seat covers could be a long term solution for this problem.”

Beyond the seat covers, McRae Imaging is also exploring spray solutions that are different from regular disinfecting sprays. Their testing on doorknobs, handles and other high touch areas in public has been promising so far.

When asked about their production process, Dr. Venkataramanan said that McRae is currently in the midst of testing, and is still 4-6 months out from being able to commercially produce the product, but had engaged with the transportation and entertainment industries to explore the product.

McRae’s nano-material fabrics are being built in conjunction with other Canadian manufacturers, Lumentra and DOT Automation. Lumentra is testing the capabilities of the UV light to detect and eradicate harmful microbes and DOT Automation is familiar with the manufacturing process of textiles.


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