Dorma Filtration teams up with the National Research Council of Canada to develop a one-size-fits-most version of its 3D-printed N95 mask
Dorma Filtration is proud to announce an innovative, cost-effective and environmentally friendly line of reusable Canadian-sourced fine particle-blocking N95 masks. Dorma’s designed-and-produced-in-Canada solution meets a pressing need among Canada’s healthcare workers for personal protective equipment (PPE), and accomplishes this task at a significantly lower per-use cost than existing solutions.
- Filtration efficiency – Meets requirements for a minimum 95% filtration efficiency against solid and liquid aerosols that do not contain oil.
- Reusable – The Dorma N95 mask is reusable and can be easily disinfected. The only thing that needs to be changed is the filter. Reusable filters are also available from Dorma Filtration.
- Lightweight construction – Provides comfort and durability during long working hours.
- Customized fit – Adheres to the shape of the face, providing an effective seal.
Dorma provides a 3D-printed customized version of the N95 mask that is produced using an exclusive mobile application based on facial scanning technology and generative design. Once the user’s facial dimensions have been measured by the app; the data is immediately transmitted to 3D printers, which then employ laser power to sinter powdered polymers into a form-fitting comfortable mask with superior sealing efficiency that can be sterilized and reused multiple times.
Dorma Filtration is partnering with the NRC to adapt its N95 mask to create a one-size-fits-most injection-molded version capable of being mass produced. This innovation will help meet a pressing need among Canadian healthcare workers for a reliable high-volume supply of PPE, while reducing production costs and speeding up manufacturing.
“Being a healthcare worker myself, once COVID-19 hit, I was immediately attuned to the lack of reliable supply of personal protective equipment on the front lines,” said Dr. René Caissie, co-founder of Dorma and Montreal-based maxillofacial surgeon. “Without delay, we teamed up with leading domestic designers and suppliers of the raw materials needed to build these masks, as well as great scientific minds from the National Research Council of Canada, to rapidly develop this innovative line of lightweight masks that fit like a second skin.”
Dorma is also collaborating with the NRC to fine tune the manufacturing process and to run these injection molded masks through a gamut of tests for the purpose of obtaining Health Canada approval.
“With more than 30 years of experience in polymer processing, including in injection molding and 3D printing, the researchers from the NRC have developed an important expertise in polymers. Using our unique facilities and high level technologies in Boucherville, Quebec, our team will provide valuable expertise to optimize the use of 3D printing and injection molding processes for the manufacturing of N95 masks,” says Dr. Mihaela Mihai, the NRC’s lead researcher for this project. “The NRC has the capacity and expertise to help our country in these difficult times”.
As part of its efforts to support COVID-19 community initiatives, mining group Rio Tinto also made a financial contribution to the project for the development of the filters used in Dorma’s masks by its partner Sefar BDH. In addition, Rio Tinto’s Regional Economic Development team acted as a facilitator between various Canadian stakeholders involved in the manufacturing of this innovative product.
Dorma will source and manufacture its reusable masks in Canada and wishes to initially make them available to healthcare workers through provincial and federal government procurement agencies. Once the frontline healthcare workers are assured of a reliable supply of reusable N95 masks, Dorma intends to make its line of PPE more widely available, so that other essential front-line workers—be they law enforcement professionals or workers in the mining and construction industries—and eventually all Canadians, can enjoy superior protection against virus-laden particles.
The Dorma 3D Mask has undergone testing at Montreal’s Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST), one of the leading occupational safety and health (OHS) research centres in Canada. Health Canada approval for the 3D mask is pending.
“We are innovators driven by a desire to find a locally manufactured solution offering superior protection, at a substantially lower per-use cost. Our product is reusable, meaning a single mask effectively replaces huge quantities of disposable ones,” said Andrew Sisnett, President of Dorma. “The Dorma line of N95 masks offers a comfortable and form-fitting tested design, and we are ready to produce hundreds of thousands of masks just within the first month of receiving federal government approval.”
Both the Dorma 3D Mask and the one-size-fits-most model can be fitted with either a N95 membrane that boasts an Assigned Protection Factor (APF) of 10, being the equivalent protection offered by a disposable N95 mask, or a reusable P100 cassette, which boasts an APF of 50 and can easily be cleaned and sterilized. Thus, the masks offer superior protection, while being the most cost-effective option.
Indeed, the Dorma line of reusable thermoplastic masks provides protection that is equal or superior to the widely used, but difficult-to-procure, disposable N95 masks. As such, it can be rolled out to healthcare workers more rapidly, and because it is reusable, it lessens procurement challenges, with a significantly lower per-use cost.
In addition, the Dorma N95 masks are more environmentally friendly. With hospitals going through disposable N95 masks at 10 to 15 times their normal rate, the health crisis is becoming an environmental challenge; far too many of these polypropylene masks are ending up in landfill. Hospitals with access to multiple-use Dorma N95 masks will be able to decrease the level of waste they produce by several degrees of magnitude.