Mining Contract: Development of Components for Breathing Escape Apparatus (DSOV/HMC/VHPC)
This contract will deliver working prototypes of docking/switch-over valves and hoods/masks with passive communication elements that will be used in the next generation of escape breathing apparatus.
Contract Status & Impact
This objective of this project is to deliver working prototypes of docking/switch-over valves and hoods/masks with passive communication elements that will be used in the next generation of escape breathing apparatus; and very high pressure oxygen cylinders for use in the next generation SCSR designs. These components must be designed and developed with due consideration to ease of use, compact size, durability and adaptability to selected breathing apparatus.
The primary deliverables for this project are the functional prototypes for the three components, namely, docking/switch-over valves and hoods/masks with passive communication elements fitted to current selected SCSRs and DOT approved, very high pressure oxygen cylinders.
The Contractor will provide NIOSH with a complete Technical Data Package and unrestricted data rights; namely Drawings, Solid Model files, Bill-of-Materials, Data acquired during testing of the components etc. to provide NIOSH with a comprehensive library of information to assist with their Test & Evaluation efforts and dissemination to prospective manufacturers towards developing the next generation of SCSR devices.
The design of the components will be based on the contractor’s experience with breathing apparatus design as necessary to meet the design requirement in the SOW. The contactor will use all resources necessary to meet the intent of this project.
Component 1. Docking and Switch-Over Valves (DSOV)
DSOVs would enable connection of two breathing apparatus (either two SCSRs or an SCSR to an SCBA) to allow a seamless transfer to breathing from one device to the other. The SOW includes a study and DSOV designs for selected MSHA approved SCSRs and any one of the NIOSH approved SCBAs. From the study, at least one DSOV design will be selected by NIOSH, however more than one DSOV design can be selected for prototype production if mutually agreed upon by both parties. The scope of work required for this component is to produce a prototype DSOV, or prototype DSOVs of different designs, that is compact and easy to use in a mine emergency situation by minimally trained users; and to demonstrate their functionality with selected SCSRs and SCBAs.
It is not the intent in this component of the project to have a NIOSH certified HMC equipped breathing apparatus, but a technology demonstrator that is able to meet the relevant parameters of the 42CFR Part84 rules and regulations for future certification of such an apparatus.
Component 2. Hoods/masks with passive communication element (HMC)
Hoods and masks are easier to use than current SCSRs fitted with a bitepiece, allowing natural breathing through the nose and mouth as opposed to breathing only through the mouth. They further eliminate the need to fit nose clips and goggles, thus simplifying the donning process. Hoods and masks also allow speech diaphragms to be incorporated, enabling the wearer to communicate verbally during escape, which is not possible in current SCSR designs.
The SOW includes a study to determine the feasibility of developing one common Hood and/or Mask with a passive communication element (HMC) design for the selected MSHA approved SCSRs and any NIOSH approved SCBA. The HMC should have a small collapsible form factor and an integrated communications diaphragm. The Contractor will propose designs to meet these objectives. From the study, at least one HMC design will be selected by NIOSH-OMSHR, however more than one HMC design can be selected for prototype production if mutually agreed upon by both parties. The scope of work required for this component is to produce a prototype HMC, or prototype HMCs of different designs, to demonstrate their functionality with selected SCSRs.
It is not the intent in this component of this project to have a NIOSH certified HMC equipped breathing apparatus, but a technology demonstrator that is able to function effectively and safely while meeting the relevant parameters of the 42CFR Part84 rules and regulations for future certification of such an apparatus.
Component 3. Very High Pressure Oxygen Cylinder (VHPC)
High pressure cylinders are used in oxygen breathing apparatus such as SCSRs to store and deliver pure oxygen to the user through the device. Current oxygen cylinders are designed to 3,000 psi service pressure. Higher pressures are now achievable with new manufacturing techniques. The scope of work for this component is to design and produce for a mining SCSR, two D.O.T. cylinder designs certified to 10,000 psi working pressure and to contain oxygen volumes of 70 Liters and 140 liters when expanded to ambient at STP.