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Ocean Reef Snorkel Face Mask, Emergency PPE

Converting an Ocean Reef Snorkel Mark into emergency PPE.

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In order to help bridge the gap in personal protective equipment (PPE) we created a 3D printed adapter to connect 3M P100 respirator filters to Ocean Reef snorkeling masks. Quantitative testing has shown that when connected properly with putty and gaskets, the filters can turn the snorkeling mask into an effective piece of protective equipment for those helping with the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Pandemic response.

Disclaimer: We present these results for information purposes only.  The 3D printed adapter and the snorkel mask modification does not produce certified PPE or medical equipment. The authors of this page and their employer, Washington University in St Louis, waive all responsibilities regarding use and application of the information contained on the page. 


Background:

The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) [1]. COVID-19 is currently the leading cause of death in the United States[2]. Health care providers caring for COVID-19 patients or at high risk of being exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus benefit from a face shield to protect against aerosol droplets that could hit the face and minimize the chance of inadvertently touching the face with contaminated hands, and air filtration to filter out aerosolized SARS-CoV-2. Adapting commercially available full-faced snorkel masks (as Ocean Reef did here) have been proposed as an alternative to narrow the gap in PPE, to provide a combination face shield and filtration system. In this project we quantify the air filtration quality achieved with a full-faced snorkel mask, using a 3D printed adapter to attach commercially available 3M P100 particulate filters to an Ocean Reef snorkel mash provide air filtration.


1.         Alltucker, K. 'Can't expect nurses to be miracle workers': Mask, equipment shortages push nurses to brink across nation. USA TODAY, 2020.

2.         Geggel, L. COVID-19 is now the leading cause of death in the United States. LiveScience, 2020. 

3.         Group, O.R. EMERGENCY ONLY adaptations of full face masks to address COVID-19 CRISIS. 2020  [cited 2020 4/14/2020]; Available from: https://oceanreefgroup.com/covid19/.

OceanReef 3M dual filter adapter - Emergency PPE.stl

Adapter to attach two 3M P100 filters to an OceanReef snorkel mask. Updated 041520

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 1.59 MB - 04/27/2020 at 16:21

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  • Issues with 3D printing the threaded Honeywell adapter

    Lex Kravitz04/24/2020 at 20:44 0 comments

    We tried to make an adapter for both 3M and Honeywell P100 filters.  The 3M bayonet adapter is a simpler design that was fairly easy to print with FDM or SLA printers.  However, the threaded Honeywell part has proven far more difficult.  In PLA we basically gave up on this working.  The threading precision is critical or there can be leaks between the adapter and filter. We are attempting to print it with an SLA resin printer (photo below), but still had issues passing the fit test. 


  • Methods and Results

    Hiram04/16/2020 at 16:22 0 comments

    Methods and materials

    The testing equipment consisted of a PortaCount 8030 Respirator Fit Tester (TSI, Minnesota, USA), Particle Generator 8026 Tester (TSI, Minnesota, USA), Surface Pro (Microsoft, Redmond, WA), Nellcor OxiMax N-65 Pulse Oximeter (Medtronic, Minnesota, USA) (Figure 1), and a gauge manometer (Instrumentation Industries, Inc., Pennsylvania, USA). The PortaCount 8030 was calibrated March 6, 2020 by TSI. 

    Figure 1. From left to right: A) pulse oximeter, B) SurfacePro, C) PortaCount 8030, D) ARIA QR+ snorkel mask, and E) particle generator 8026. 

    Testing was done in an approximately 9 ft. x 9 ft. room with the particle generator on. A 3M 6800 series (3M, St. Paul, MN) full-faced mask served as the benchmark. 

    Full face snorkel-mask

    An Aria QR+ (Ocean Reef, Inc., California, USA) Medium/Large full-faced snorkel mask was tested since the design minimizes fogging problems and CO2 rebreathing.

    A hole was drilled into the mask and a PortaCount grommet for testing N95 masks was inserted. Silicone was added to seal the external and internal surfaces. Crazy glue was used to secure and seal the contact between the metal grommet and plastic tube to reduce air leaks that can impair accurate quantification of the fit factor.

    Filter 

    For filtration we selected a 3M P100 particulate filter with 99.97 % filter efficiency meeting NIOSH P100-series test criteria. 

    3D printed adapter 

    The adapter was a modification of the APA – Aria Protection Adapter available at the Ocean Reef website (https://oceanreefgroup.com/covid19/).  The original adapter was designed to accept a 40 mm particulate air filter with 1/7 inch thread. The design was modified to accept two 3M P100 filters.  We made an earlier prototype with a single filter but found it required too much breathing effort to use for long durations. The CAD design is available here: https://www.tinkercad.com/things/7dZnjwUKZRr The design reduced the printing material required compared to a vertical alignment of the filter. 

    The adapter prototype was a black polylactic acid (PLA) print. PLA prints are porous and without an airtight coating they will not work in an air filtration application. Two coats of XTC-3D (Smooth-On, Inc., Pennsylvania, USA) were applied to make it airtight. One 3M 3PRG7 (3M, St. Paul, MN) inhalation port gasket was placed at each of the two inhalation ports. Finally, one P100 filter was attached at each of the two inhalation ports. Sticky putty (Alcolin, Cape Town, South Africa) was used to ensure an airtight seal between the mask and the snorkel connector.


    Fit testing 

    Fit testing was performed using the OSHA 29CFR1910. 134 protocol in the PortaCount 8030. The fit test exercises include normal breathing, deep breathing, turning the head side to side, moving the head up and down, talking, grimace, bending over, and normal breathing. Each test exercise lasts one minute except for the grimace exercise which is 15 seconds. A passing fit factor for full face masks like this design is 500, while for half face masks is 100. The fit factor is expressed as the challenge aerosol concentration outside the respirator divided by the challenge aerosol concentration that leaks inside the respirator during a fit test. Therefore, the higher the number the better.

    Test scenarios

    Daily QA for the PortaCount with the particle generator active was performed and passed. We tested the 6600 series 3M mask as our benchmark and three experimental configurations of the snorkel mask. These four experimental setups were named as follows:

    • 3M 6800 series mask: benchmark
    • Snorkel mask duct tape: In this setup the front plastic cover was removed as shown in this video (skip to 1 minute): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewrsJ4lTgj4&feature=emb_logo
    • Snorkel mask no modifications: This setup preserves the original configuration of the snorkel mask including the mushroom valve and protective cover in front...
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  • New designed for Honeywell and 22mm ventilator filters

    Lex Kravitz04/16/2020 at 01:54 0 comments

    We adapted the dual design for two Honeywell North filters, or one 22mm ventilator filter.  We have only performed quantitative testing with the 3M design yet but will update this log with the results once we've done the others.  All three designs are hereWe tested the 3M design printed in PLA and coated in XTC 3D coating.  We're also printing in e-Rigid PU resin on an EnvisionONE printer (EnvisionTEC).  This is a semi-flexible airtight material that should be able to be used without coating.  We will confirm and post back after quantitative testing, but prints look very nice!


    Here is 3M P100 adapter:

    And the threaded Honeywell.  Unfortunately the threading on this has not worked out for us - we will keep tweaking the design but we think it may be difficult to print the threading precise enough.  One side is working but the other is not threading onto the filter well.  This was printed on the Envision ONE which has pretty high resolution.  We also tried in PLA on an FDM printer with abysmal results :)

  • Dual P100 filter design (passed quantitative testing!)

    Lex Kravitz04/14/2020 at 20:18 0 comments

    We next made a dual filter design to increase air-flow and enable easier use of the mask.  We chose a 3M P100 particulate filter with 99.97 % filter efficiency meeting NIOSH P100-series test criteria.  While this is an excellent filter, it has become hard to find so we will look into adapting our design for other filters.

    We modified the OceanReef adapter (found here) in TinkerCAD to adapt it to two 3M P100 filters. Editable file is here.  We designed this modification with a flat base to enable printing with almost zero supports. We printed in both PLA with an FDM printer and resin with a SLA printer and in both cases the flat base helped produce high quality prints.  For PLA, we set the infill density to 100% but the print was still porous and needed to be coated (we used Smooth-On XTC) to achieve an air-tight seal. 

    Breathing through this adapter with both 3M P100 filters installed was much better than our single filter model so we moved forward with quantitative testing.  For quantitative testing we printed the adapter in black PLA. NOTE: PLA prints are porous and without an airtight coating they will not work for this application! We coated the print in 2 coats of XTC-3D (Smooth-On, Inc., Pennsylvania, USA) to make it airtight. One 3M 3PRG7 (3M, St. Paul, MN) inhalation port gasket was placed at each of the two inhalation ports. Finally, one P100 filter was attached at each of the two inhalation ports. Sticky putty (Alcolin, Cape Town, South Africa) was also used to ensure an airtight seal between the mask and the snorkel connector.  Ideally, we would use a different process to create this adapter in a material that can form a perfect seal without the putty.  However, given the ubiquitousness of FDM 3D printers and ease of printing in PLA, we thought it useful to present results from our testing in this material, with putty to achieve the air-tight seal.  Here is a photo of the coated test adapter installed on a mask with putty:

    Fit testing was performed using the OSHA 29CFR1910. 134 protocol in the PortaCount 8030.  Here is the equipment used in the test:


    The fit test exercises include normal breathing, deep breathing, turning the head side to side, moving the head up and down, talking, grimace, bending over, and normal breathing. Each test exercise lasts one minute except for the grimace exercise which is 15 seconds. A passing fit factor for full face masks like this design is 500, while for half face masks is 100. 

    The 6800 series 3M mask served as our benchmark and reached its maximum fit factor in 1:15 minutes. O2 Saturation remained stable. Real time test results can be seen here: 

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hY2ZT3B8HeySWEC7M7wPVEo2ACfaUtaZ/view?usp=sharing

    The 3M mask passed the fit test results with a fit factor of 333867. Fogging or humidity were not an issue.


    In our test condition we removed the exhalation mushroom valve and plastic cover from the mask and covered the resulting hole with duct tape.  This makes the mask less comfortable but removes the possibility of an infected mask user inadvertently exhaling viral particles.  

    This configuration reached its maximum fit factor in approximately 2:11 minutes. O2 Saturation remained stable. Real time test results can be seen here:  

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ETWlNk0VjiZnSMaRXsm5R3HmVk0Zrd-M/view?usp=sharing  

    This configuration passed the fit test results with a fit factor of 32281. Increased humidity decreased the comfort of the mask although fogging was minor.


    Subjective user experience

    A radiation therapist wore the mask from 9 AM to 3 PM while performing daily work activities which require an increased level of exertion while positioning and moving patients to the treatment couch of the linear accelerator. She took off the mask for lunch and for a break to have a drink. Visibility was great and comfort better...

    Read more »

  • 3M filter adapter, version 1

    Lex Kravitz04/14/2020 at 19:58 0 comments

    We next modified the adapter provided by the Ocean Reef group (more info on that adapter can be found here) to include a single 3M P100 filter:


    We printed this in PLA to test the fit.


    While the fit was good, a test user found it took too much effort to breathe through a single filter (this is likely why most commercially respirators use two filters).  We decided to adopt a 2 filter design for our next test.

  • (Failed) Attempt to adapt a HEPA vacuum cleaner filter

    Lex Kravitz04/14/2020 at 19:52 0 comments

    Our first attempt to adapt a filter to the Ocean Reef mask was to use a HEPA filter from a vacuum cleaner.  This was attractive as these filters are cheap, widely available, and supply does not appear limited at the moment.  We modified the adapter provided by the Ocean Reef group, more info on that adapter can be found here.

    We provide our design notes below for the benefit of documentation, but unfortunately we were not able to achieve adequate filtration with this approach.  We believe the issue may have been the leaks between the walls of the filter and our adapter, although it is hard to be certain.


    Photos of filter:


    First design (printed in eRigidForm resin on EnvisionONE printer)


    Non-quantitative N95 quality testing (it passed this "smell" test)

    2nd smaller design:


    This design was tested at Washington University in St Louis and unfortunately it failed to achieve the filtration level of a P95 mask.  We abandoned this approach at this point and moved to testing 3M P100 filters (below).  That said, there are supply issues with obtaining the 3M filters at the moment so we may revisit this design in the future.


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