Project Inspiration is an initiative of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Driven by an impending shortage of ventilators at the start of the COVID19 pandemic, TU-researcher Gerwin Smit found inspiration in an English ventilator from the 1960s. As my former graduation supervisor he asked me to provide technical support to this project on a voluntary basis.
The aim of the project is to develop a low-cost, easy to manufacture and easy operatable mechanical ventilator that can be rapidly build, anywhere in the world.
At the start of the project, we identified the bellow as one of the most critical components. That is why I started to analyze the characteristics of the bellow of the 1960s ventilator. In collaboration with a Dutch supplier, we have developed a safe bellow for this application. This bellow has been carefully tested using both a prototype and an accelerated endurance test on a tensile tester. Based on the results, the bellow material and geometry were optimized.
The next open issue was the humidifier. In collaboration with the team, we built and tested a humidifier setup based on a readily available pressure cooker and electric hob.
For more information, see the website www.projectinspiration.nl