A respiratory mask testing laboratory was founded at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME), namely at a laboratory at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics, at the Department of Electronics Technology. This laboratory is prepared for testing and evaluating personal respiratory protective equipment (filter layers, face masks, respiratory masks). The laboratory was established on the initiative of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Hungary.
The Ministry called upon our University in March to help the validation of masks that do not have a type-examination certificate of the EC.
The most important property of personal respiratory masks is their capability to filter aerosols, to which infectious agents - i.e. a virus, such as a coronavirus - can attach.
Figure: János Józsa, the rector of BME (in the middle) and Hassan Charaf, Dean of the Faculty (on the right) visiting the new lab.
The University established the laboratory based on its own professionals and new and existing infrastructure to measure the filtering capability. For this purpose, a particle counter equipment was purchased and installed in an accelerated procedure. Presently, the laboratory is capable to determine the difference between the filters of certified masks and masks expecting certification; or a reused mask, i.e. cleaned and disinfected after use.
The BME-ETT lab already started to extend the measurement capability and also the legal preparation to be a designated accredited testing laboratory has begun. The new laboratory enables a fast validation and testing of respiratory protective equipment in Hungary, ensuring the fastest supplementing in the protective actions during the COVID emergency.