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Aberdeen Scientists Research Most Effective Homemade Masks

Posted on Apr 30, 2020 06:56 pm

Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is known for testing some of the most advanced weapons systems and biomedical technologies in the world. Now, scientists there have a new test subject: fabric.

Researchers at the Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Chemical Biological Center are using their known filtration testing processes to determine what fabrics make the most effective face coverings, according to a DOD story.

“The challenge is to pick a material that effectively blocks the virus particles from going through the material while not being too hard to breathe through,” said David Caretti, the team’s leader. “If the resistance is too high, airflow will simply bypass the covering and go around the edges.”

They have tested more than 50 different materials so far.

They found that one of the best readily available materials for homemade covering is four-ply microfiber cloth, which can be found in many stores’ cleaning aisle, the article said. That fabric filters out more than 75% of particles. Even a polyester bandana used in layers can filter out 40% of particles, they reported. The N95 masks health care workers use filter out about 95% of particles.

“We knew that claims about masks and face coverings were exploding all over the internet,” Caretti said, “and we wanted to make sure that any decisions about materials these agencies make will be based on proven science.”

Photo by Jack Bunja

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Post courtesy of the Association of Defense Communities

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