Inside INdiana Business

Purdue team trying to extend life of N95 masks

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A team at Purdue University is attempting to find a way to extend the shelf life for an N95 mask, which is a key piece of PPE being used by health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team says their technique focuses on the elastic band that attaches to the front of the mask.

“The shelf life for an N95 mask is primarily affected by the elastic band holding the mask together, since the elastic disintegrates after a certain period of time,” said Hersh Rai, a computer and information technology graduate student at Purdue. “We designed a way to create the masks using the same filter material on the front, but with different materials for the band and with novel attachment locations and methods.”

The group made several designs that work with other materials to allow for the band to be swapped out, and it also provides more attachment points for a more secure fit. The team patented their work through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization.

They are currently looking for partners to continue developing the technology.