Army

Gas mask with improved filter connection

Minimizes the possible inhalation of contaminants during the filter switching process and thus allows filters to be changed in a contaminated environment

Military Technology

(DoD photo)

U.S. Army researchers have developed a new gas mask and filter design. It is available to businesses for productization.

Gas masks and respirators contain filters that must be periodically changed. Ideally this could be done while the wearer remains in a contaminated or potentially contaminated environment and certainly, designers of these systems aim for this level of use. But in real-world situations, the practice of switching filters can and often does allow for contaminants to pass to the wearer of the mask. With some toxins, it can take only a few seconds to inhale a debilitating or lethal dose. Thus, it is the current protocol for the wearer to leave the contaminated area in order to change filters. This presents obvious problems and in some situations, may not even be possible.

In response, the Army has developed a mask design that reduces the potential for the inhalation of contaminants during a filter swap. The approach addresses the weak points in existing designs – the air cavities between the filter mount and the filter canister which harbor toxins. These toxins can be pushed into the breathing space by air pressure during the changing of the filter. In this invention, these cavities are removed by a spring-loaded plunger and valve configuration which is activated when the filter is accessed. The system permits only a minimal amount of trapped air to exist in the mounting portion during the replacement of the filter.

Businesses or entrepreneurs can acquire the design for production and sales through a license agreement.

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