Conversion of self-contained breathing apparatus mask to open source powered air-purifying particulate respirator for fire fighter COVID-19 response

Benjamin R. Hubbard, Joshua M. Pearce*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

To assist firefighters and other first responders to use their existing equipment for respiration during the COVID-19 pandemic without using single-use, low-supply, masks, this study outlines an open source kit to convert a 3M-manufactured Scott Safety self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) into a powered air-purifying particulate respirator (PAPR). The open source PAPR can be fabricated with a low-cost 3-D printer and widely available components for less than $150, replacing commercial conversion kits saving 85% or full-fledged proprietary PAPRs saving over 90%. The parametric designs allow for adaptation to other core components and can be custom fit specifically to fire-fighter equipment, including their suspenders. The open source PAPR has controllable air flow and its design enables breathing even if the fan is disconnected or if the battery dies. The open source PAPR was tested for air flow as a function of battery life and was found to meet NIOSH air flow requirements for 4 h, which is 300% over expected regular use.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00129
Number of pages32
JournalHardwareX
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • 3-D printing
  • Additive manufacturing
  • COVID-19
  • Medical hardware
  • Open hardware
  • PAPR
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Powered Air-Purifying Respirator
  • RepRap
  • Safety equipment

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