Three KAIST Scholars Develop The Smallest 'Pocket-Type Oxygen Mask’ | Inbebo Skip to main content

Three KAIST Scholars Develop The Smallest 'Pocket-Type Oxygen Mask’

Three KAIST Scholars Develop The Smallest 'Pocket-Type Oxygen Mask’

Three scholars from KAIST have developed a 'pocket-type oxygen mask' that can greatly reduce the number of deaths and injuries in the event of a fire at a workplace or house or about any building type.  The risk to occupants and human casualties can be dramatically reduced. This technology will be enormously helpful for fire safety management in workplaces and at home.

Emeritus Professor Ahn Byung-tae (right) of KAIST Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Baek Jong-tae, CEO of Woori Well, and Kim Jong-deuk, Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering, KAIST (left) are using the world's smallest pocket-type ventilator developed in-house.

Since the enforcement of the Serious Accident Punishment Act, safety management at various workplaces has emerged as a major task, attracting attention.

After completing his doctoral course in Materials Science and Engineering at KAIST, Dr. Baek Jong-tae (65) worked as a senior researcher at the Korea Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute and founded Wooriwell, a portable oxygen respirator manufacturer.  Dr. Baek Jong-tae is an emeritus professor of Materials Science and Engineering at KAIST.  Byung-tae Ahn (68) is an honorary professor of chemical engineering at the same school and   Jong-deuk Kim announced the development of an ultra-small oxygen mask that weighs only 250g.

The three members of the KAIST team, in response to casualties caused by building fires in Korea, set out to develop technology to solve the problem.  After lengthy research, the world's first "portable ventilator" with a weight of 700g (about 1 ½ pounds) was developed 7 years ago.  Many in the industry said this is too heavy.  Since then, the three inventors developed the world's smallest 'pocket-type oxygen mask', which has reduced the weight to 250g (just over ½ pound) so that field workers can carry it with them at all times without a heavy burden.

This oxygen mask was completed through complete collaboration of the three KAIST members.  Prof. Ahn, who studied materials engineering at Stanford University and then taught secondary students at KAIST, developed an oxygen cylinder that does not explode even at high temperatures while serving as the research director of Woori Well.

Professor Kim, who studied chemical engineering at the University of Florida and conducted research and education at KAIST, developed a flame-retardant material that does not burn well even while working as a technical committee member.  With this flame-retardant material, a hood in the shape of a hat worn over the head in case of fire was fabricated.

Dr. Baek, a former KAIST representative, has developed a technology that can keep the pressure constant even when oxygen escapes from the barrel.

Professor Ahn said, “The core technology of the pocket oxygen mask was solved with the technology of three people at KAIST. We designed the product to secure the golden time,” he explained.  The “golden time” is to denote the amount of time an individual has to safely escape a fire.

CEO Baek explained, “It weighs 250g and is the size of a folded three-tier umbrella, so it can be carried around at all times.” The 'pocket-type oxygen mask' will be released early to mid 2022.

Source: Yoon Hee-il from The Kyunghynag Shinmun

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