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Durability is another factor. NanoNet is designed to be tightly pleated, placed in a filterhousing, and then work over thousands of miles of use to prevent tiny pieces of metal,dirt, and other contaminants from circulating through a heavy-duty engine. The material is resilient and retains its filtration qualities after it’s been processed and formedinto shape by the mask manufacturer, Salvi said.
The next steps for the University of Minnesota team are to define ways to produce themasks quickly and cost effectively, and then to manufacture a limited run for Minneap-olis-based healthcare systems.
Ultimately, the project will publish open-source instructions that other healthcaresystems and groups can use to make their own masks.
Cummins Filtration is also manufacturing high-efficiency particulate filters for usein 3M’s Powered Air Purifying Respirators.
Powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs) are an important piece of equipment forfront-line healthcare workers responding to the COVID- 19 pandemic. PAPRs use a bat-tery-powered blower that sends filtered air into a hood or head top that covers the wearer’shead or face; and can provide increased levels of respiratory protection, especially for critical healthcare situations such as aerosol-generating procedures.
PAPRs may also be more comfortable to wear for those who need respiratory protectionfor long periods of time.
Cummins Filtration is using its existing manpower and equipment at its Neillsville, Wisconsin, facility to pleat the media, assemble it into cartridge housings, and do final testingbefore shipping the filters to Valley, Nebraska, where 3M’s PAPRs are manufactured.
The partnership has the potential to more than double the current production offilters for 3M’s PAPRs. The additional filters are needed as 3M has ramped up production of PAPRs to meet a surge in demand for personal protective equipment due to theCOVID- 19 outbreak.
With the need for N95 respirators and other types of PPE continuing to grow, Salvi isproud of the company’s role among manufacturers and the University of Minnesota team tofind innovate ways to relieve the burden.
“Our team has a long history of success with high-performance filter media for truckingand other heavy-equipment applications,” she said. “It’s especially gratifying to use our resources and expertise to help protect people, too.”
For more, visit newequipment.com/21130133