MakerMask

Materials

Fluid Resistance: Mask Material Test Results

New test results show that upcycled spunbond nonwoven polypropylene (NWPP) mask materials can provide high-level (ASTM Level 2) fluid resistance. MakerMask has supported the use of spunbond nonwoven polypropylene (NWPP) in homemade masks due to NWPP’s inherent hydrophobicity, or water resistance. Thanks to community contributions, we were able to put reclaimed NWPP to the test […]

Mask Fabrics: Introduction to Fibers and Fabrics

How Do I Choose Fabrics for Masks for COVID-19? Since March, it seems like there has been a constant barrage of conflicting information about which fabrics are the best for masks for COVID-19. We’ve put together this crash course on mask fabrics to provide some of the fundamental concepts in fabrics and how they are relevant for our collective mask making efforts.

3 Easy DIY Mask Tests

In an ideal world, the safety and efficacy of all of the fabrics and materials used in handmade masks for COVID-19 would be tested using the same standards and facilities used by researchers and large manufacturers. Unfortunately, very few people have access to these resources. In this post we provide instructions for three easy DIY […]

WHO Guidance on Face Masks Changes

Surprising New Guidance from the WHO The WHO guidance on face masks for COVID-19 has changed to include the recommendation that the general public use fabric masks in public settings where physical distancing can’t be achieved and provides specific guidance on mask layers and materials. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the ideal fabric […]

The Big Four: Criteria for Fabric Mask Materials for COVID

This deep dive post looks into the “Big Four” criteria evaluated in preliminary assessments of community mask materials: material characteristics, breathability, water-repellence, and disinfection options. More specifically, we focus on nonwoven polypropylene (NWPP), which is commonly used in commercial face masks. Although ideal medical grade NWPP is not currently available for community use, NWPP is commonly available at different weights and grades for other household and/or commercial purposes, such as reusable grocery bags. Here we take a more in-depth look at the 4 preliminary criteria considered when evaluating potential sources of NWPP.

Face Masks for COVID-19: Background Information

The MakerMask project team has reviewed extensive literature on the science and manufacturing of NIOSH-approved respirators. We selected a multi-layered design that balanced increased filtration capabilities with permeability for breathing.  The spunbond non-woven polypropylene (NWPP) outer layers use the same type of material used in medical-grade commercial masks, providing water-resistance for blocking droplet transmission and mechanical filtration from the structure of the fibers.

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