Cheltenham engineering firm, Versarien, has received exciting feedback on its prototype second-generation disposable face mask which could open up a potentially lucrative market.
Its first-generation graphene enhanced face mask is already in production and received 120,000 orders before August 2020.
With the market for disposable face masks alone currently worth $80 billion, the Gloucestershire firm is excited by the potential of its new product.
Tests in China have shown a 99.92 per cent anti-viral activity rate against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, with the product passing the rigorous FFP3 testing potentially opening up the European market, according to Versarien.
FFP3 is said to be the highest standard under the European EN149 standard for filtering half face masks.
For a company working tirelessly to raise awareness of the advantages of wonder-material graphene, this is also a big win.
Neill Ricketts, chief executive officer at Versarien, said: ‘It is the first income stream for our graphene products. It is a sizeable market in its own right.
‘People think it is a bit faddy, but I think face masks will be here for a long time.’
The second-generation mask is being developed by Versarien’s wholly owned Chinese subsidiary, Beijing Versarien Technology Company Limited.
When the mask reaches the UK, he expects it to be on the radar of police and emergency services as well as medical staff, with the firm working towards meeting the specific requirements for the NHS.
In January, Versarien’s interim results showed a 28 per cent fall in revenue and an underlying loss of £1.13 million for the first six months of its financial year ‘reflecting the impact of Covid-19’ – but it’s hopeful that its new new face mask will help it tap into this hugely lucrative market.
By Andrew Merrell