July 24, 2020 In the News

New facility in Rochester will increase production of filtration material for N95 masks

By Siobhan Lopez
July 24, 2020

A company that manufactures a critical piece of personal protective equipment is expanding production at its Rochester facility.

Lydall Performance Materials officially broke ground Friday at the site of what will soon be a building dedicated to manufacturing pieces of technology vital in fighting COVID-19.

“What we are going to be able to make here is going to create the ability to make 1.7 billion N95 masks or 6.5 billion surgical masks,” said Sara Greenstein, CEO and president of Lydall Inc.

Lydall does not make the complete mask, but it does manufacture the ever important center layer.

“That’s the very critical layer that captures all the virus bacteria for an efficiency of up to and greater than 95% capture rate at speeds of 50 miles per hour,” said Ashish Diwanji, president of Lydall Performance Materials.

The expansion, which will create two new melt-blown production lines, is made possible by a $13.5 million contract award from the U.S. Department of Defense. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen helped secure the contract.

“This has been an opportunity for us to support Lydall, to support the jobs that are being created here and to support what is very definitely a public need right now,” Shaheen said.

The important work has already been happening in Rochester, making it a prime location for this kind of expansion.

“Our folks have worked 63 days straight working 24/7, three shifts to be able to make the most filtration media that we can,” Greenstein said.

According to Lydall, this will be the largest site for this kind of production and innovation in the United States.

“We’re seeing that this pandemic is continuing, so we’re going to continue to need that personal protective equipment for our health care workers,” Shaheen said.