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The M49 Fixed Installation Filters (FIF) Make a Comeback

Despite a challenging schedule, Engineering’s  Test, Reliability and Evaluation Branch (TREB) along with several other Edgewood Chemical Biological Center labs from the Engineering and Research & Technology Directorates were able to effectively work together to complete first article testing of M49 120 cfm Fixed Installation Filters (M49 FIF). The tests met both cost and schedule requirements in accordance with the contractor’s, Calgon Carbon Corp/Barnebey-Sutcliffe, Scope of Work.

“Calgon was pleased with the dedication ECBC and TREB showed during this effort,” TREB Chief Do Nguyen said.

The M49 120 cfm Fixed Installation Filters (M49 FIF) – commonly used for protecting fixed installations from toxic gases, biological, and chemical warfare agents – are found all over the world in shelters, laboratories, office buildings and even public buildings. These types of filtration systems use a three step process to filter out contaminants. The prefilter first collects dust and other larger particles in the first stage to prevent clogging of the other two filter elements. The second stage consists of a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter that collects smaller sub-micron-sized particles like biological agents and radiological particles. A gas filter adsorbs toxic chemical gases and vapors to complete the filtration process. These 120 cfm filters are housed together in either five or ten stacks to create either 600 or 1200 cfm gas filter assemblies that are easy to install, maintain, and are completely decontaminable.

The M49 filter was originally designed by ECBC and produced by Pine Bluff Arsenal (PBA) in the early 1990’s. The filters were typed as classified and fielded, all of which ECBC was part of.

“Recently, PBA stopped producing the M49 and the race has been on to find a private-sector supplier before the current stockpile reaches critical levels,” Nguyen said.

M49 Tray and 1200 CFM Filter AssemblyTREB became heavily involved in supporting TACOM-Warren’s Item Manager and procurement office and ECBC-Rock Island’s Quality Assurance team to ensure all requirements were correct and included in the contract. TREB, in a joint effort with TACOM- Warren, hosted a Technical Question Ask (QA) session at ECBC’s TREB facility in Summer 2010 for all potential contractors prior to the award of the contract.

Calgon won the contract to begin production and TREB, in a combined effort with the Environmental Field Test Branch, Protective Equipment Test Branch, and CBR Filtration Branch, took charge of ensuring that Calgon was a good source to produce these filters through a recent First Article Test.

This test subjected the M49 filters to a challenging battery of tests, including Air Flow Resistance, Cyanogen Chloride Gas Life on both carbon samples and filters, DiMethyl MethylPhosphonate Filter Gas Life, Rough Handling Resistance, Hot/Cold Temperature Conditioning, Salt Fog Corrosion, Maintainability, and Workmanship.


TREB and JPM-P Collaborate for Acceptance Testing of the JSGPM M50 Mask Systems

M50 Mask SystemThe Test, Reliability and Evaluation Branch (TREB) performed Outlet Valve Leakage Testing on Joint Service General Purpose Mask (JSGPM) M50 Systems in response to the Joint Project Management Protection (JPM-P): Joint Service Ground Mask Branch (JSGMB)/ Joint Service Ground Masks Team’s urgent request in March 2011.

“As there has been no specific test procedure for testing these systems on the TDA-124 Outlet Valve Leakage Tester, TREB and JPM-P worked closely together to develop methodology and procedures,” TREB Chief Do Nguyen said.

Those methods and procedures were derived from the guidelines given in the Defense Chemical Test Equipment Operator Training Guide and M4A1 Outlet Valve Leakage Indicator Procedures for the M50/51 JSGPM.

The M50 Outlet Valve Plug/Adapter and the Outlet Valve Hose from the Joint Service Mask Adapter Kit (JSMAK) were used to test the mask systems on the TDA-124. It was noted during various testing and previously determined troubleshooting that the JSMAK M50 Outlet Valve Plug/Adapter had some difficulty maintaining a proper seal at the mask interfaceTREB initiated and engaged in collaboration with JPMP: JSGMB, determining what the problem was and providing recommendations for mitigating the issue.

TREB provided the Visual Inspection and Outlet Valve Leakage data report to the JSGMB in a much shorter timeframe than usual in order to meet the requested schedule.

“We strived to remain responsive throughout the support period, addressing how the testing was being performed and fielding all questions or concerns,” Nguyen said.

Additionally, the M50/TDA-124 Safety Operating Procedure (SOP) that was being prepared was completed much faster. The expedited process was attributed to the copy of the necessary operation manual provided by TREB to the group that writes the methods through JPMP: JSGMB.











October 4, 2011


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