Experiment leads to create N95-type respirators using cotton floss machine


World over, in the continued efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a physicist has come up with a way to create N95-type respirator filters in a quicker and less expensive way than conventional approaches.

The techniques described in a paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society, the performance of the filters is described.

Meanwhile, until the pandemic comes to an end, scientists have found that wearing a mask can reduce it from spreading. Unfortunately, cloth masks do not provide the required safety. Research shows that to prevent contracting the infection, people need to wear N95 respirator. In terms of design, N95 respirator has electrocharged filters that attract and hold viruses, thereby preventing them from passing through. However, such respirators are difficult to manufacture, expensive, and are in short supply.

Method cheaper, quicker than conventionally employed ones

Consequent upon this new effort, the physicist has discovered a method to create a filter as effective as the one used in N95, but can be produced quickly and in an inexpensive manner.

When it comes to the technique, it involves heating regular plastics such as shopping bags and bottles and then placing it into an ordinary cotton floss machine. This involves spinning the plasti, which results into a substance similar to cotton candy. And, during the process, the plastic is also electrocharged. The resulting material is then cut into small squares, and their electrostatic charge bolstered by placing them close to the vent of a common air ionizer.

To test the filters, several of them were placed inside surgical masks. In doing so, the physicist found filters performed very well, however, the masks were not a feasible option.

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