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The best material for homemade face masks may be a combination of two fabrics

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April 24, 2020

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After the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that people wear masks in public places. Since N95 and surgical masks are scarce and should be reserved for medical staff to use, many people are covering their own duvets. Now, the researchers are

The combination of cotton and natural silk or chiffon can effectively filter out aerosol particles (if appropriate).

SARS-CoV-2 is a new type of coronavirus that causes COVID-19. It is believed to be spread mainly through the following channels

When an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks or breathes. These droplets form a wide range, but the smallest droplets are called aerosols. They can easily slip out of the openings between the fibers of certain fabrics, causing some people to question whether the fabrics

It can actually help prevent disease. Therefore, Supratik Guha of the University of Chicago and colleagues hope to study the ability of ordinary fabrics used alone or in combination to filter out aerosols that are similar in size to respiratory droplets.

The researchers used an aerosol mixing chamber to produce particles ranging in diameter from 10 nm to 6 μm. The fan blows the aerosol through various cloth samples at an airflow rate corresponding to the static breathing of a person. The research team measured the number and size of particles in the air before and after passing through the fabric. A layer of tightly woven cotton and two layers of polyester spandex chiffon (a transparent fabric commonly used in evening dresses) are combined to filter out the most water.

(80-99%, depending on

), its performance is close to N95 mask material. Replace chiffon with

Or flannel, or simply using quilts and cotton-polyester cotton quilts, can produce similar results. The researchers pointed out that tightly woven fabrics (such as cotton) can act as a mechanical barrier to particles, while fabrics with electrostatic charges (such as certain types of chiffon and natural silk) can act as an electrostatic barrier. However, a gap of 1% will reduce the filtration efficiency of all masks by half or more, thus emphasizing the importance of correct mask installation.

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