Roorkee Building Research Institute Develops Smart Mask For Construction Workers

Researchers at Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) in Roorkee have developed a battery-powered Smart Face Mask (SFM) for the manpower deployed on a building construction site.

In the dust-filled environment of any construction site, it gives relief to those manpower suffering with asthma, lung infections or other pulmonary diseases to the extent of a healthy and safe breathing.

Researchers associated with this project claimed that development of this type of mask is the first of its kind, SFM gives pure air for breathing purpose to the user as it has multi-levels filtration including electrostatic, HEPA and Laser arrangements attached with the device.

Though, some SFMs of branded companies like Siemens, Philips, LG, Razer Zephr etc generally used by medics are available in the market but its range and capacity in giving a “treated” breathable air to the user are less than developed SFM. Whereas branded SFMs are very expensive with a price of of thousands rupees but contrary to these, it is a cheap product of within price range of Rs 700 to 1,000.

“We have patented our product. If our product is manufactured at a mass level, the price of it goes down to an affordable three-digit figure” said Dr Anuj Kumar Chauhan, principal inventor of the product.

Battery-powered Smart Face Mask developed by Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee

There are two main parts of the invented mask, SFM. In the first part of SFM, a mask, which has three holes, covers the mouth and nose fully. There are two holes in the mask opposite to each other while third is on top of the mask beneath the nose.

The left side hole is covered with a polypropylene-based filter whereas its opposite (right) side hole is connected with an active air filtration (AAF) unit through a piece of rubber tube. This AAF unit, who is a home of four-staged filters, a blower, sensor and a battery with charging circuit, has a hook fixed outside their body to be hanged with the collar of user’s shirt.

As user inhales air for breathing, left-side pre-filter prevents large dust particles and this air goes to AAF units to pass through a four-staged filters ie pre-filter, electrostatic filter, HEPA filter and activated carbon filter. In four-staged filtration arrangement, its pre-filter prevent again dust particles after that electrostatic filter kills bacteria and viruses and synthetic fiber-based HEPA filter then prevents particulate matter like PM2.5 to PM 10 and other irritating allergens from the air.

The activated carbon filter does the work of air and gas purification. It removes the pollutants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and odours from air and detects and absorbs radon and works as an Ozone killer in the air. Third hole, for exhale of discharged air, keeps a LASER-reflector arrangement which again minimize the effect of viruses and bacteria.

The SFM does not allow to increase moisture level surrounding the mouth and nose, which makes user’s specs blurry, as it reduces CO2 level in discharged air with the help of corbon filter and blower. Besides, the mask body is easily disinfected with a soap wash and battery of AAF is easily charged with the help of a mobile charger.

“In our SFM, pre-filter is 1 mm thin which has porosity of 10 to 20 microns with an efficiency of 90 percent. HEPA filter has porosity of 0.3 micron with an efficiency of almost 100 percent. And the carbon filter of 1.5 mm thickness is the porosity of 0.5 micron with efficiency of over 99 percent. Whereas, in laser-reflector arrangement, an infrared rays ranging from 600-10,000 nm kill many bacteria and airborne viruses. In market available face masks, such capacity is missing from them,” claimed Chauhan.

Tapan Susheel is a journalist who writes for Times of India

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19 Comments

  1. says: Priyabrat Gochhayat

    Congratulation to Dr Anuj Kumar and his team for such innovation. Hopefully CBRI will gives more opportunity to this dynamic team under the leadership of Dr Anuj Kumar for product based research and innovation.

  2. says: Nishant Raj kapoor

    This is the must required innovation especially for highly polluted cities, AQI is reaching at dangerous levels and health of general public is at stake… Congratulations and best wishes to all the scientists who devoted their time and developed this product. Much required innovation and a very useful product.

  3. says: Nishant Raj kapoor

    This is the must required innovation especially for highly polluted environments, AQI is reaching at dangerous levels and health of public is at stake… Congratulations and best wishes to Dr. Anuj and his team who devoted their time and developed this product. Much required innovation and a very useful product.

  4. says: Sanjeev kumar

    I am very much delighted to know that you are doing progress by leaps and bounds.knowing about your reserch i am filled with excitement.i pray to God may you reach glory to glory in the journey of your life.i feel proud to say that you are shining the name and fame of your family.keep it sky high.👍👍from-sanjeev kumar

  5. says: Dr. Anurag Verma

    Congratulations to Dr. Anuj Kumar and his team for this great work and great prototype. This will help the construction workers from preventing respiratory diseases. Also, this product has very less cost.

  6. says: Priyanka Patel

    Heartiest Congratulations Anuj Sir. This product needs commercially available. Government should also involve taking the steps for commercialisation.

  7. says: Dr.Manoj Chauhan

    Great work done Dr. Anuj . It’s help to all worker to construction for building and shopping mall etc. Really good invation for breathing the fresh air. Congratulations 👏

  8. says: Aman kumar

    इस प्रकार के छोटे सस्ते और सुलभ उपकरण , एक तरफ तो जीवन को आसान बनाते है अपितु स्वास्थ के लिए भी
    उपयोगी हो, तो विज्ञान के लक्ष्य को प्राप्त करते है ,
    सी एस आई आर सी बी आई आई, का यह उत्पाद लाखो लोगो के लिए वरदान सिद्ध होंगा ,
    Dr अनुज कुमार और उनकी टीम लगातार बेहतरीन कार्य कर रहे है , शुभ कामनाएं,

  9. says: Priyanka Patel

    Heartiest Congratulations to team This product needs commercially available. Government should also involve taking the steps for commercialisation.

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