ROCKLEDGE, FL – January 11, 2016 – Mainstream Engineering Corporation, a 29-year Brevard County research and manufacturing company, has been awarded a contract from the Chemical and Biological Defense (CBD) agency to continue developing enhanced self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) equipment. Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) environments present airborne contaminants, putting military personnel, first responders, rescuers and victims at risk. Full-face respirators and SCBA equipment provide protection against hazardous environments, and this new technology will improve SCBA systems by increasing comfort, mobility and safety.
Currently, SCBA systems use an O2 cylinder, an adsorption-based CO2 scrubber and a positive-pressure breathing loop to provide an isolated breathing source. Removal of CO2 by adsorption adds heat and moisture to the breathing gas (in addition to the amount generated by the user), which is uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. The physiological burden on the user is increased, which decreases the performance and capacity of the SCBA system. Mainstream’s technology is being developed to eliminate the scrubber with a zero-heat moisture-removing CO2 removal system. A complete micro-sensor and controller will be developed for continuous monitoring of breathing and optimized control over system components.
Mainstream plans to integrate the new CO2 removal technology with smart micro-sensors and controls in a demonstration system. Performance enhancements and air quality improvements will determine the size, weight and power of the drop-in prototype system for SCBA respiratory protection equipment. After successful demonstration under operational conditions, this technology will be transitioned to product development and manufacturing.
Mainstream Engineering has a history of leading-edge research and development that has resulted in advanced, lean-manufacturing, cost-competitive products, which are all made in the USA
About Mainstream Engineering
Mainstream Engineering Corporation is a solutions-oriented research, development and manufacturing small business founded in 1986. Our primary mission is to transition advanced thermal control and energy conversion technology into high-quality and cost-effective commercial products. Military products include lightweight diesel/JP8-fueled electric generators, environmental control units and refrigerators/freezers for shipping containers. Commercial products include the QwikProduct™ line for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R) technicians, details of which can be found at www.qwik.com. Areas of expertise include thermal control, energy conversion, turbomachinery, chemical technology and materials science.