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The advantages of this innovation are:
• a substantially reduced mask weight
• a better field of vision (practically the whole mask is transparent)
• the weight is held by a rigid structure, unlike the traditional rubber body which is flexible
• protection of the face is guaranteed by the impact and cut resistant structure
• for the above reasons and the consequent lack of discomfort due to limitation of field of vision, the mask fits comfortably which increases the amount of time a person can wear it
• the wearer can be easily identified due to the total transparency of the face-piece, helping to normalize conditions and maintain discipline
Integral Face Piece
This stiff, transparent structure is the actual supporting body of the SGE 400 protective masks. Its task is to replace the rubber bodies previously employed by traditional designs to bear the weight to which the mask is subjected.
This unit supports the head harness, valves, filters, regulators, etc. The main part of the face-piece, which consists of a large round surface in front of the eyes, is set back in the structure, thus keeping the overall dimensions to a minimum, reducing the risk of scratching and allowing the use of optical instruments so often used in today’s armed forces.
The material used is a specially coated polycarbonate (SGE 400; SGE 400/3; SGE 400/3 BB only), which transmits at least 90% of available light while absorbing U.V. rays. General features In the SGE masks, the entire body of the masks is made of a strong, rigid material (polycarbonate) and is therefore able to allow full protection for the face and eyes against extremely violent impacts.
Laboratory tests have been carried out proving that the polycarbonate body is left unharmed by a 6.35 caliber bullet hitting it at a speed of more than 150 m/seconds. This means that the whole face is given the same protection afforded by the protective helmet.
Treatment of the outer surfaces (SGE 400; SGE 400/3; SGE 400/3 BB only) makes the polycarbonate resistant to aggressive substances.
Samples of the treated material have been subjected to mustard gas penetration tests. After over 50 hours, mustard gas failed to penetrate through the tested specimens. The treated face-piece may also be decontaminated an unlimited number of times without deterioration, using all the normal decontamination methods including immersion in boiling water. Resistance to chemical agents Face-piece: Transparent polycarbonate - Treatment (SGE 400; SGE 400/3; SGE 400/3 BB only): Polysiloxane resin.
Due to the use of an integral load-bearing facepiece, it was possible to make the rubber faceseal much lighter, as its only function is to act as a seal. Traditional masks consist basically of a load-bearing rubber structure fitted with two sealed eye-pieces, and since the rubber body has to bear the weight of all the accessories attached to the mask it has to be made rigid and thick (heavy and uncomfortable) and will therefore not adhere comfortably to the wearer’s face. Our face-seal, on the other hand, is made of very soft rubber with a supple bellows type structure which allows perfect sealing and a very high degree of comfort even after very prolonged use. The bellows type structure also allows it to adjust easily to all face shapes, so that it is no longer necessary to stock large numbers of different sizes of masks, many of which will go unused. The face-seal has a seat into which the edge of the load-bearing face-piece is inserted, and the coupling of these two parts is ensured by the fixing rim. As a whole, the straps, face-seal and stiff body of the mask together provide far more comfort than traditional masks. In the case of traditional flexible rubber bodies, the tensile stress exerted by the ends of the straps are discharged only on the points where these join the body. In order to obtain uniform sealing all around the edge of the mask, it is therefore necessary to pull the straps very tight. Naturally, this situation is one of the greatest causes of discomfort when using traditional masks. SGE’s stiff body means that the effort applied by the straps is distributed evenly and perfectly all around the edges of the mask so that it is not necessary to tighten the straps excessively and uncomfortably. Platinum-catalyzed grade silicone rubber 3D seal.
The SGE masks have a threaded fitting for application of standard filters (DIN 3183, UNI EN 148-1). The fitting is contained in a single unit which also comprises the exhalation valve. The shape of the internal ring nut allows perfect ventilation of the whole face-piece, preventing misting even at low temperatures. Mechanical characteristics The material used is black polyarilamide, created for aeronautical and aerospace requirements. In addition to very high impact resistance, it is not affected by aging or atmospheric factors. Its abrasion resistance is such that after testing with over 3000 assembly/disassembly operations, the filter had sustained no wear. Technopolymer parts: Polyarilamide reinforced with mineral charges Membrane: Polyisoprene mixture.
As already seen, the exhalation valve is fitted onto the same unit containing the filter fitting. Externally the valve has a structure which, although it covers the whole membrane, still allows easy discharging of the exhaled air. The purpose of this covering structure is to keep a sufficient volume of uncontaminated air in continuous contact with the membrane.
The exhalation membrane has been made to require minimum effort even at very high flow rates. The excellent memory of the membranes has been achieved by a combination of good design and high grade material. A considerable increase in resistance to chemical agents, has been achieved, using blends containing butyl rubbers instead of the traditional natural rubber used by other manufacturers.
The design of this component is critical to the effectiveness and comfort of the mask. Because it comes in direct contact with particularly sensitive areas of the face, the correct choice of shape and material was vital. The oral-nasal area of our mask is made of soft medical grade silicone rubber, designed specifically for use in contact with the human body for indefinite periods of time without causing irritation or allergic reactions of any kind. The shape is designed to provide optimum comfort and efficiency; the U shaped peripheral lip performs the following important functions: • it adheres softly and evenly to the face, following its contours perfectly • it has a sufficiently rigid structure to ensure effective sealing during inhalation • it is sufficiently soft to open and swell under the slight pressure caused by exhalation, isolating the nose and mouth area perfectly from the rest of the mask Breathing valve system Two very light inhalation valves are attached laterally to the oral-nasal unit, the lower part of which is connected to the auxiliary drainage valve. The front part of the oral-nasal unit is attached into the exhalation/speech/feeding valve unit. This union is obtained by using the rubber’s elasticity, guaranteeing perfect sealing. Membrane: Polysoprene. Oral-nasal unit: Platinum-catalyzed medical grade silicone rubber.
Fixing Rim Strap
The fixing rim has the role of connecting the straps to the frame of the mask and at the same time fixing and locking the face-seal and the incorporated hood, if used. Once the rim is tightened in place by means of the special screw, it fits into a special seat in the frame of the mask. In this way, the pull exerted on the fixing points of the head harness is transferred and distributed evenly around the whole circumference of the mask, allowing perfect adjustment of its tightness for maximum comfort and optimum sealing on the face of the wearer. It should be pointed out that this is not possible with the traditional mask, as the pull exerted by the strap itself is secured, thus requiring the wearer to over-tighten the mask, drastically reducing the level of comfort. Rim: Polyamide 11 - Head-strap: NBR rubber.
Cleaning and Decontamination
The mask design makes decontamination and cleaning easier. In fact, even when rubber is made of mixtures capable of providing a chemical shield, its structure does absorb and is penetrated by the contaminants. The SGE masks are made of two main parts: face shield and face seal. So the majority of the mask is made of plastic materials which are not permeable to aggressive agents, and are not penetrated by them even after very long exposure times. It is advisable to clean the mask each time after use. This is easily accomplished by washing with soap and water. Hot water can also be used. The mask can be disinfected using non aggressive disinfectants or by immersing it briefly in boiling water. At least once a year the inhalation and exhalation membranes must be checked, as well as the sealing gasket of the fitting on the mask.
Mestral Safety Credentials
Mestel Safety understands the importance of testing and certifying products. Therefore, over the years, Mestel Safety has undergone many certification processes and testing. The following are some of the certifications and countries that the Mestel Safety Gas Masks have been certified in: (more information is available upon request) 1. Certification ISO 9001-2008 2. University of Genoa Certification 3. Spain (Centro Nacional de Medios de Protec- tion, Certificate of Approval No. 3082) 4. Denmark(Societa Generale Elastomeri S. p. A., Ar- bejdstilsynet) 5. Australia(Work Cover Authority, Certificate of Ap- proval No. 1778) 6. England( Health and Safety Executive, Certificate of Approval, CA/156/89) 7. Complies with BS EN 136 UK, Germany, Denmark, HSE, DIN, EN 136:98 8. NATO classified supplier.