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Hydration of Hydrophilic Cloth Facial Coverings Greatly Increases the Filtration Properties for Nanometer and Micrometer-sized Particles

Published

Author(s)

Christopher D. Zangmeister, James Radney, Matthew E. Staymates, Edward P. Vicenzi, Jamie Weaver

Abstract

Filtration efficiencies (FE) of natural, synthetic, and blended fabrics were measured as a function of relative humidity (RH) for particles with mobility diameters between 50 nm and 825 nm. Fabrics were equilibrated at 99 % RH, mimicking conditions experienced when worn as a cloth facial covering. The FE increased after equilibration at 99 % RH by a relative percentage increase of 33 % ± 12 % for fabrics comprised of two layers of 100 % cotton when tested by 300 nm diameter NaCl aerosol. The FE for samples of synthetics and polyester/cotton blends were unchanged upon equilibration at 99 % RH. Increases in FE for 100 % cotton fabrics were a function of particle size and increased by a relative percentage increase of 61 % at the largest measured particle size (825 nm). Flow visualization data for 100 % cotton and polyester also showed that equilibration at 99 % RH increased capture of particles > 1 µm. The experimental results are consistent with increased particle capture due to H2O adsorption on the fiber surface.
Citation
ACS Applied Nano Materials

Keywords

SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, cloth masks, facial coverings, humidity, aerosols, respiratory protection

Citation

Zangmeister, C. , Radney, J. , Staymates, M. , Vicenzi, E. and Weaver, J. (2021), Hydration of Hydrophilic Cloth Facial Coverings Greatly Increases the Filtration Properties for Nanometer and Micrometer-sized Particles, ACS Applied Nano Materials (Accessed April 18, 2024)
Created March 8, 2021, Updated March 1, 2023