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Publication Detail
Microstructure analysis and image-based modelling of face masks for COVID-19 virus protection
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Du W, Iacoviello F, Fernandez T, Loureiro R, Brett DJL, Shearing PR
  • Publisher:
    Springer Science and Business Media LLC
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Communications Materials
  • Volume:
  • Article number:
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  • Notes:
    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
SARS-CoV-2 may spread through respiratory droplets released by infected individuals. The viruses are transmitted in moist droplets which cause coronavirus disease. Many countries have mandated the wearing of face masks, to various extents. However, the efficacy of masks is yet to be well rationalised given the limited microstructure information. Here, three common face masks and associated air permeations were revealed by coupling X-ray tomographic imaging and infrared thermal imaging techniques. Quantitative parameters have been extracted from the 3D images. Also, image-based modelling was performed to simulate the permeability to show how droplets pass through the porous structure. Our results show that the N95 mask has the smallest average pore diameter (~30 µm) and the densest nanoscale fibres which provides superior droplet filtration among all cases. Modifications to the N95 masks are proposed to develop the next generation mask with higher efficacy and better breathability.
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