As self-made facial masks become an indispensable accessory worldwide to prevent the spread of masks
Studies have found that the reusable HEPA filter bag for vacuum cleaners is one of the most effective fabrics.
A study by the University of Cambridge and Northwestern University was also reported in this week’s BMJ Open magazine. The study also found that masks made of multiple layers of fabric and masks that also incorporate interfaces (usually used to reinforce shirt collars) It also shows great significance. Performance improvement.
The team tested the effectiveness of different fabrics at high speeds to filter most virus sizes between 0.02 and 0.1 microns (comparable to coughing or deep breathing). They also tested N95 and surgical masks, which are more commonly used in medical institutions.
The study pointed out that although the reusable HEPA vacuum bag even surpasses the performance of N95 in some aspects, the effect of N95 masks is very high.
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air.
Initially panic about PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and other types of masks and how effective they are. Eugenia O'Kelly from the Engineering Department of Cambridge University said that as an engineer, I want to know more about them, how different materials work under different conditions, and the most suitable materials.
A mask that blocks particles well but restricts breathing is not an effective mask. For example, denim is very effective at blocking particles, but it is difficult to breathe, so it may not be a good idea to make a mask from old jeans. She explained that N95 masks are easier to breathe than any fabric combination with similar filtration levels.
Previous studies have mainly selected a small amount of fabric when the wearer is breathing normally, when the particles are discharged at a lower speed. Researchers say that studying more fabrics and testing them at a higher speed provides a more reliable basis of evidence for the effectiveness of fabric masks.
Researchers also studied the performance of different fabrics when wet and after normal washing and drying cycles.
They found that the fabric works well when it is wet and can fully function after a washing cycle. However, previous studies have shown that repeated washing can degrade the fabric. Researchers warn people not to reuse masks indefinitely.
For their research, O'Kelly and her colleagues built a device that consists of multiple pipe sections with a fabric sample in between.
Atomized particles are produced at one end of the device, and their levels are measured before and after they pass through the fabric sample at a speed similar to a cough. The researchers also tested the performance of each fabric in terms of respiratory resistance based on qualitative feedback from users.
In preparation for this study, the researchers consulted with the online sewing community to understand the types of fabrics they used to make masks. Due to the severe shortage of N95 masks at the time, some sewers reported that they were experimenting with inserting vacuum bags with HEPA filters into the masks.
Researchers have found that single-use and reusable vacuum bags can effectively block particles, but it should be noted that single-use vacuum bags should not be used in masks because they will fall apart during cutting and may contain unsafe inhalation Ingredient materials.
O'Kelly said that to find the right balance, we hope these materials can effectively filter particles, but we also need to know that they will not expose users to the risk of inhaling fibers or lint, which may be harmful.
The researchers cautioned that their study had several limitations: namely, they did not consider the role of suitable substances in filtering particles.
In a related project, O'Kelly has been studying how to improve the fit of masks in the medical environment.
In addition, many viruses carry droplets that are larger than current studies.
However, O'Kelly said that when choosing to use its fabric to make masks, the result may be useful for sewers and manufacturers.
She said that we have proven that in emergency situations without N95 masks, such as in the early stages of this pandemic, fabric masks can effectively filter out particles that may contain viruses, even at high speeds, she said.
(Only the title and picture of this report may have been modified by the business standards staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from the syndicated feed.)
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