Aegle Corporation – Magazine for the nonwoven industry
Brookshire, Texas 77423
Aegle Corporation, a national manufacturer of NIOSH-approved N95 respirators, was founded by a team of social impact investors in response to the catastrophic shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic. The facility at the company’s Brookshire, Texas-based manufacturing facility was completed in January 2021 and production began in May 2021 after NIOSH approval.
“As the 1918 influenza pandemic and with vaccine inequality around the world, we can see more waves of this pandemic and we must be ready to help,” said Aegle co-founder Andrew Moy. “Not only are we working on the production of N95 respirators, but we are also focusing on vertical integration to secure the supply chain. “
The company currently has over 90,000 square feet of manufacturing space in two facilities and is equipped with 15,000 square feet of ISO 7 and ISO 5 cleanroom space for manufacturing and sterile packaging. The remaining space will be used for the expansion of the company’s vertical integration platform. Aegle works on the production of non-woven materials in-house.
“We are committed to bringing manufacturing jobs back to American soil, reducing reliance on foreign companies to protect the health and safety of the American people, and creating innovative solutions to meet the overwhelming domestic demand for it. ‘PPE from the federal, state, public and private sectors, “says Moy.
Aegle produces two styles of NIOSH approved N95 respirators: bonnet (C100) and foldable (F100). It has a total of 12 operational production lines and has the production capacity of more than 10 million respirators per month.
According to Moy, a typical respirator consists of four to five layers of different types of nonwoven materials. The outer layer provides protection against the ingress of fluids, followed by a coarse filter layer, followed by a high filtration efficiency fusion blown filter layer and an internal structural or support layer. In its next-generation product, Aegle uses an antimicrobial and antifungal nonwoven material developed by Houston-based company Ascend Performance Materials to improve the performance of N95 respirators.
Moy says it’s critical to differentiate between face masks and N95 masks, commonly referred to as N95 respirators. “N95 respirators offer a much higher level of protection than conventional face masks. N95 respirators require NIOSH approval, follow strict guidelines and quality processes. NIOSH approved N95 respirators require a particulate filtration efficiency of 95% or greater (flow rate of 85 lpm) and breathability (resistance to inspiration and expiration). NIOSH approved respirators also require a headband design, and the earring style design is not acceptable.
Only a few manufacturers of NIOSH-approved N95 respirators were approved last year in the United States, he adds. “The supply of domestically produced N95 respirators has increased in the United States and demand has weakened,” he says. “With Delta and other emerging variants, demand for N95 respirators is expected to fluctuate over the coming months. With reduced vaccination rates and relaxed rules for face masks for the general population, we could see Covid hot spots in the United States. The general public still has limited access to N95 respirators. With Aegle’s D2C approach, we plan to provide the general public with access to NIOSH approved respirators.
Currently, Aegle’s products are available on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, and Shopify.
While Aegle’s general-purpose N95 respirators are similar to many commercially available respirators, Moy says with their well-established national supply chain, they have the ability to maintain production without depending on international suppliers or vendors. .
Additionally, Aegle’s management team used its roots in Silicon Valley to bring patent-pending Near Field Communication (NFC) chip technology to the PPE industry. “At Aegle, we make it a priority to protect the integrity of our supply chain and uphold public trust,” he says. “Therefore, we have developed and integrated a proprietary, patent-pending anti-counterfeit open data solution into our NIOSH approved N95 respiratory product packaging. “
In addition to expanding its authentication platform and focusing on vertical integration, Aegle plans to manufacture other PPE products in the future.