It is totally understandable why wearing a mask can be challenging. While we try to complete our daily routines while protecting ourselves, the masks can be a bit of a drag: they slip, most of them aren't easy to breathe in, and sometimes they snap. A team of researchers wants to change that.
They created a comfortable mask that is breathable and fits the user's face just right.
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Instructions will be available
Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have not only designed a new mask but also revealed that they'll be posting the DIY instructions for people to make their own.
The research was published in The Journal of The Textile Institute.
The new perfectly fitting-design tackles air leakage issues with regular masks. Most of the masks leak air through the edges, letting particles in and out. Another issue affecting people with glasses wearing masks is the fact that their glasses get blurry due to air rising up through the masks.
The team used stretchable fabric with hooks and eye fasteners on the back of the head for a better fit. This way, users won't need to adjust their straps to prevent the mask from loosening or tightening every 5 minutes.
A science-based approach
"The combination of fit, filtration efficiency, and staying in the right place make for a good mask." Sundaresan Jayaraman explained, the Kolon Professor in Georgia Tech's School of Materials Science and Engineering. "We have taken a science-based approach to designing a better mask, and we are very passionate about getting this out so people can use it to help protect themselves and others from harm."
Think of the regular surgical masks. They are mostly preferred because they are more affordable, excluding N95s that provide better protection. However, it would be wrong to say that regular masks offer 100% efficient filtration, which poses a great risk for our health.
The team used a sort of moisture-wicking fabric to avoid dampening. Damp areas are the perfect environment for microbial growth.
On top of all this, the newly developed mask is reusable. The prototype maintained its shape even after being washed 20 times. Let's see if the design will make it to the market.