Electrical and Computer Engineering Publications
Conversion of self-contained breathing apparatus mask to open source powered air-purifying particulate respirator for fire fighter COVID-19 response
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To assist firefighters and other first responders to use their existing equipment for respiration during the COVID-19 pandemic without using single-use, low-supply, masks, this study outlines an open source kit to convert a 3M-manufactured Scott Safety self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) into a powered air-purifying particulate respirator (PAPR). The open source PAPR can be fabricated with a low-cost 3-D printer and widely available components for less than $150, replacing commercial conversion kits saving 85% or full-fledged proprietary PAPRs saving over 90%. The parametric designs allow for adaptation to other core components and can be custom fit specifically to fire-fighter equipment, including their suspenders. The open source PAPR has controllable air flow and its design enables breathing even if the fan is disconnected or if the battery dies. The open source PAPR was tested for air flow as a function of battery life and was found to meet NIOSH air flow requirements for 4 h, which is 300% over expected regular use.