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LSP breathing masks in times of Corona from FAU for the University Hospital Erlangen

Many clinics and medical facilities have seen a shortage of respirators these days – demand has exploded during the current corona pandemic. The procurement is difficult, the replenishment is partly missing.

For this reason, Prof. Dr. habil. Dirk Schubert from the Chair of Polymer Materials (LSP) has developed a simple process for how he and his team at the Chair for Polymer Materials can quickly produce respiratory masks from so-called meltblown filter fleece.

Picture: Siegfried Werner, LSP

The fiber expert first analyzed a commercially available FFP2 mask.

In a second step, he converted the meltblown systems at the LSP to the production of comparable filter fleeces within a few days.

Step three: Schubert and his scientific staff have developed and implemented a simple assembly concept. The particular challenge was to comply with the current contact restrictions.

The mask designed at the LSP even has one advantage over conventional FFP2 masks: The LSP variant has no valve for exhalation, so that a wearer cannot contaminate his environment with the unfiltered exhaled air. In contrast to the currently popular DIY masks made of textiles, these masks from LSP are made of finer and water-repellent material, so that droplets, such as those released when speaking or sneezing, are retained more efficiently.

Picture: Siegfried Werner, LSP

According to the current estimate, Prof. Schubert and his team can produce up to 600 masks a day for the Erlangen University Hospital.

Important to know: Due to the high time pressure in the current crisis, the mask cannot go through any of the usual certification processes or a sophisticated quality assurance system. If the supply situation improves, it is planned to also send aid mail to corresponding crisis areas, in which no masks are otherwise available. Furthermore, the optimized concept will then also be made available to other interested institutes in order to counteract the shortage.

Contact

Siegfried Werner
Chair of Materials Science (Polymer Materials)
siegfried.werner@fau.de

From FAU for FAU

FAU-LSP employees help the employees of the University Hospital Erlangen:

Production of protective masks