Rock Hill manufacturer produces face masks to meet high demand

Updated: Mar. 23, 2020 at 5:32 PM EDT
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ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - A manufacturing company based in Rock Hill is shifting its resources to meet demands for face masks during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Composite Resources and its sister company CAT Resources produce carbon fiber components used in the aerospace and defense industries.

“Tubing that’s used in commercial aircraft seating, we also make some components that hold your in-flight air entertainment monitor. On the defense side, we make some components that detect landmines,” Managing Partner Morgan Brady said. “CAT-Resources manufactures the most commonly used tourniquet by our U.S. Armed Forces and all of our NATO allies.”

In Rock Hill, more than 15,000 tourniquets are made in the CAT Resources facility each day. Last week, Composite Resources’ Founder Jonathon Bennett saw a news report that detailed the shortage of facemasks nationwide.

“We were watching the news and saw this shortage of face masks and we thought to ourselves what could we do to help our community and help our nation in this time of crisis,” Brady said.

Employees at Composite and CAT Resources designed a prototype using two layers of cotton-poly fabric.

“We found some studies that showed a cotton-poly material when used with two layers performs similarly as a surgical mask,” Brady explained.

On Monday, employees that typically make tourniquets were redirected to make the newly designed face masks.

“This can be used over an N-95 mask which will allow the person to wash and reuse this mask, extending the life of these hard to find N95 masks,” Brady said.

Monday the company produced hundreds of masks. They expect to produce thousands each day by the end of the week.

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