Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Cummins and DuPont Partner to Make N95 Mask Alternative

By Neha Chamaria - Apr 6, 2020 at 1:48PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Cummins has made N95 mask prototypes combining its filtration technology with DuPont's to address mask shortages in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The acute global shortage of N95 respirator masks after the coronavirus outbreak has encouraged several companies to join the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and contribute to help tackle the shortage. Engines manufacturer Cummins (CMI 1.73%) is the latest to join the bandwagon, partnering with diversified chemicals company DuPont de Nemours (DD 0.84%) to manufacture viable alternatives to help "address the nation's shortage of N95 respirator masks."

What exactly are Cummins and DuPont making?

On April 6, Cummins announced that it is evaluating its "supply base and manufacturing capabilities" to identify ways to support healthcare workers through the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), or equipment critical for healthcare professionals to prevent exposure to hazards as they deal with coronavirus patients. 

The N95 mask is a common particulate-filtering face respirator mask, preventing 95% of airborne particles from entering the wearer's mouth and nose when properly fitted. Currently, 3M and Honeywell are leading N95 respirator mask producers, and both companies are scrambling to ramp up production to meet unprecedented demand.

N95 mask on a table.

Image source: Getty Images.

Cummins believes its NanoNet and NanoForce Media filter technology, together with DuPont's Hybrid Membrane Technology (HMT), can be effectively used to make viable "mask options, including both a disposable and reusable option."

To give you some perspective, Cummins' NanoNet is primarily a lube filtration technology, and NanoForce an air filtration technology that the company's filtration business unit uses to manufacture filtration parts for engines. Cummins typically integrates DuPont's HMT with its fibers to safeguard engine components.

As HMT spins material using continuous sub-micron fibers, it can create "membrane-like" sheets that can not only filter particulates but also allow easy breathability -- two essentials of N95 masks.

N95 prototype samples sent, awaiting regulatory approval

Cummins's first N95 mask prototypes were assembled in March by teams from the University of Minnesota.

Cummins said while it has already sent samples to mask manufacturers worldwide to test their effectiveness, it's awaiting vetting and approval from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) to certify the use of its materials to manufacture masks on scale at manufacturing facilities prepared for the job.

Neha Chamaria has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends 3M and Cummins. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Cummins Inc. Stock Quote
Cummins Inc.
$227.76 (1.73%) $3.88
DuPont de Nemours, Inc. Stock Quote
DuPont de Nemours, Inc.
$62.70 (0.84%) $0.52
Honeywell International Inc. Stock Quote
Honeywell International Inc.
$200.87 (1.19%) $2.36
3M Company Stock Quote
3M Company
$152.24 (1.72%) $2.58

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/14/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.