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After the Sino-Soviet split, the need for domestically produced standard-issue gas masks arose. The PLA at the time was mostly using a mixture of captured Japanese masks, the Type 59, and the Shm-41. Production of the mask began in 1964.
The mask has a combined translucent plastic voice diaphragm and exhale valve assembly, held on to the mask with wire and tape covered by rubber bands. The mask has a non-detachable stockinette hose leading to a filter canister worn by the user in the carrying bag. The buckle system of the Type 64A gas mask is molded into the rubber, which attaches a 5 point fabric head harness to the mask. The straps of the head harness are made out of an elastic fabric material and the central head pad is made out of a rubberized vinyl cloth material.
In the late 1970's, revisions were made to the design of the Type 64a. This involved replacing the translucent plastic voice diaphragm exhale valve with one similar to the one used on the Type 65 gas mask. This diagram featured a new disc shaped exhale valve voice diaphragm assembly. The new voice diaphragm was made out of a greenish-blue rubber material, as opposed to the plastic diaphragm seen on Type 64A masks, and a new circular double exhale valve was added. This assembly is inserted into the front of the mask, making it more compact than the earlier Type 64A.
Modified Type 64 masks
Modified Type 64 masks had their permanent hose removed and replaced with a 40mm GOST threaded port. They are often being sold accompanied with an A1P1 refillable filter. They can be seen on a number of retail sites, being sold as surplus.
The filter is 111 型 (romanised: 111 Xíng, translated to English: Type 111). It is visually similar to the EO-16 filter used by Warsaw Pact masks and Russian masks. The filter is made out of metal and it weighs around 530g. It is known to contain asbestos, according to a Chinese military magazine.
The canister contains 5 levels of filters, where charcoals and particulate filters laying on top of each other. The top quality charcoals were chosen, then immersed into silver, bronze and chromium. These metals were used to react with chemicals from potential harmful gases. The new product is to remain in the activated charcoal layer. The particulate layers are used to filter out larger particles. They contain asbestos, cellulose, cotton and organic compound cellulose. They form a complicated circumventing network, to absorb the aerosol.
The canister alone can't protect the wearer against carbon monoxide. A special canister can be used, which includes catalyst of 60% Manganese IV Oxide and 40% Copper II Oxide. The catalyst can react with oxygen and CO, to produce CO2. The lower level contains desiccant.
The bag is sewn from a light green canvas bag, and there are six metal buckles, with a shoulder strap and a waist belt, both of which can be adjusted in length, the locking mechanism is composed of two velcros, on the inner wall Pocket and a deep pocket, on the right side there is also a round bag with an elastic band and a hollow mesh design to load the canister, and at the bottom of the bag there are seven air holes opened for the air inlet of the canister, each hole is covered with metal. It is worth noting that carry bags for the Type 64a used Bakelite studs and rubber grommets, whereas later Type 64B bags used Velcro fasteners.