News | Mar 24, 2020

US Army granted patent on new chem-bio helmet shroud

The Army's patented shroud system can be licensed by qualified businesses for production.

Illustration via U.S. Patent 10,595,580

A group of U.S. Army researchers was issued U.S. Patent 10,595,580 today for newly designed personal protective equipment known as the “Helmet Mounted Protective Shroud.”

The Army’s M40 respirator (gas mask) often includes a protective hood or is worn with a hooded jacket, which is donned (uncomfortably) beneath the helmet and typically requires adjustment of the chin strap.

The new shroud relieves those pain points by mounting to the outside of the helmet, where it can be stowed and unfurled when needed.

This will “eliminate the donning time associated with removal and re-donning of the helmet to position a CB protective hood under the helmet,” according to the patent. “In addition, eliminating the need to position a hood underneath the helmet maintains the position of the helmet on the head and thus its area of protective coverage.”

The Army’s patent lists the Avon Protection C50 respirator as an example of a shroud-compatible mask (U.S. M50/Joint Service General Purpose Mask), paired with the high-cut Ops-Core FAST helmets preferred by many in the special forces.

The eight inventors listed in the patent include Army engineer Doug Wilkie and Daniel Barker, chief of the Respiratory Protection Branch at U.S. Army’s CCDC Chemical Biological Center (formerly known as the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center).

The center’s research and development activities include the design and engineering of next-generation respiratory protection technologies for the Department of Defense and law enforcement officers.

Technology Transfer Business Opportunity

In collaboration with Army technology transfer professionals, Matthieu Dumont, senior licensing manager at TechLink, is helping companies understand how government inventions can quickly become new products.

Through technology transfer agreements, e.g., cooperative research and development agreements (CRADA) or patent license agreements, private businesses can leverage the Army’s R&D, using it to build a final product for their customers.

Dumont said that the current situation showed the need to maintain the defense industrial base and that technology transfer agreements were a good way for businesses and government labs to connect on meaningful projects.

“Whether it’s this technology or another from the Chem-Bio Center’s portfolio,” Dumont said. “A CRADA or a license agreement is the beginning of an important relationship that benefits everyone.”


Contact Matthieu Dumont at matthieu.dumont@montana.edu or 406-994-7733.