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    Breathing Easy: Improving Gas Mask Filters

    M50 Gas Mask Filters

    Courtesy Photo | M50 Replacement filter cartridges (M61)... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Chemical and Biological Technologies Department

    When a chemical agent is deployed, the first thing a warfighter does to safeguard themselves is don a protective mask. After all, if you cannot breathe, you cannot fight. Now a new filter developed by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Chemical and Biological Technologies Department is improving that layer of defense by providing a seven-fold increase in protection of the current carbon-based M61 filter in the M50 mask.

    DTRA-funded researchers developed the new, high-performance filtration, Ammonia Removal Zirconia (ARZ), without changing the form factor of the current M61 system. This work, in support of the technology advancement for the M50 mask, will provide warfighters with significantly better respiratory protection from chemical threats.

    Researchers combined current filtration materials with two novel sorbents — ARZ, primarily composed of zinc chloride, and a metal oxide composite made of cobalt (Co), zinc (Z), silver (A), and triethylenediamine (T) additives (CoZZAT) — in a tri-layered M61 filter bed to improve toxic industrial chemical and chemical warfare agent (CWA) protection.

    The prototype M61 filters made with the ARZ-CoZZAT combination demonstrated effective performance against a wide range of chemical challenges, including toxic industrial chemicals and CWAs, significantly outperforming the current M61 filters. The sorbents can be incorporated into existing filtration systems, eliminating the need for filter redesign. These filters offer better protection from a greater variety of threats, offering warfighters a new assurance.

    The CoZZAT and ARZ sorbents were successfully transitioned from the laboratory to the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense to undergo further testing and begin the acquisition process. The new filters are expected to replace current M61 filters. Additionally, the data gathered from the CoZZAT and ARZ project is being applied to ongoing mask programs to create a new class of respiratory protection. Overall, three M61 prototype designs, funded through the Rapid Innovation Fund, are undergoing transition to the next development phase.

    Warfighters can breathe easier knowing DTRA CB developed novel sorbents for increased filter protection against chemical threats.


    Date Taken: 06.22.2017
    Date Posted: 06.22.2017 10:35
    Story ID: 238782

    Web Views: 1,182
    Downloads: 2