Combination of two fabrics can effectively filter aerosol particles in face masks

Combination of two fabrics can effectively filter aerosol particles in face masks

Mutations in novel coronavirus make it more dangerous The researchers used an aerosol mixing chamber to produce particles ranging from 10 nm to 6 μm in diameter. A fan blew the aerosol across various cloth samples at an airflow rate corresponding to a person's respiration at rest, and the team measured the number and size of particles in air before and after passing through the fabric. One layer of a tightly woven cotton sheet combined with two layers of polyester-spandex chiffon -- a sheer fabric often used in evening gowns -- filtered out the most aerosol particles (80-99%, depending on particle size), with performance close to that of an N95 mask material. Substituting the chiffon with natural silk or flannel, or simply using a cotton quilt with cotton-polyester batting, produced similar results. The researchers point out that tightly woven fabrics, such as cotton, can act as a mechanical barrier to particles, whereas fabrics that hold a static charge, like certain types of chiffon and natural silk, serve as an electrostatic barrier. However, a 1% gap reduced the filtering efficiency of all masks by half or more, emphasizing the importance of a properly fitted mask. Source: American Chemical Society Journal reference: Konda, A., et al. (2020) Aerosol Filtration Efficiency of Common Fabrics Used in Respiratory Cloth Masks. ACS Nano . doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.0c03252 .



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