Engineering and medical researchers at McMaster University have been racing to assist Woodbridge Foam Corporation in getting a new made-in-Canada mask designed, tested and certified, as supplies of existing medical masks become less certain. As it stand now, It is anticipated that the masks, which are now certified as Level 3 surgical masks, will soon also be certified as safe for filtering pathogens, which would in turn permit them to be designated as N95. Level 3 masks are used in procedures where heavy to moderate amounts of fluid, spray and/or aerosols are produced.
Woodbridge, primarily a manufacturer of auto parts and materials, has begun manufacturing a new high-filtration mask to supply health-care workers, whose inventories have been dwindling
McMaster researchers in numerous disciplines are working urgently on COVID-19 projects, including developing tests, treatments and preventions, and improving the availability of personal protective equipment.
Woodbridge, in collaboration with Canada’s Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, turned to the university two weeks ago for help. McMaster researchers were able to expedite aspects of the design and technology and regulatory certification for the masks, which are an alternative to the masks that are in short supply due to the COVID-19 pandemic.