After the engineering student in Blossom Biomedical Design team have designed a 3-D model of our future prototype, face mask, it is now biomedical students responsibility to develop a procedure and think of ways to start testing the face mask before we get the materials. My teammate and I are unsure how we are going to test and how can we find the right data, we are still researching and as I was researching I came up with ideas. As I was thinking of biomedical students duty with the help of engineering students, this is like making a lab (see diagram 1), one must write the introduction, hypothesis (see diagram 2) materials, procedure, analyzes, and conclusion. This also reminded me of the lab I did in my junior year with my group testing out different color of clothing that could effect the skin, letting UV radiation pass through the clothes to the skin.
JSalazar and I were struggling to find a way to test the effectiveness of the face mask by looking at different website that have a standard testing and procedures. So we worked together to brainstorm ideas on how to test the face mask efectivess especially the filter part to not let heavy and small particles pass through. As I was reflecting on my childhood year and how I used to play with dust and sand, I thought of way to test the effectiveness of the filter and that is by putting the mask with the filter on it on the table so that it can make a U shape upside down (see diagram 3) then pour down sands, mud, and small rocks and see if these pass through the filter, if the sand pass through the filter, then the filter is not effective and we have to find another filter. The reason why we need filter to be effective because in Asia the people were complaining that the filter wasn’t working well so it made the yellow dust pass through and made the mask not effective.
My teammate and I did found a standard testing for the filter and not detailed procedures in online resources. According to AIHA, under Test Methods, it shows the possible testing that we should consider while testing and those are: bacterial filtration efficiency, differential pressure, sub-micro particulate, resistance to penetration, and flammability. Another site that explains better than the first one, Multimedia, that explains in detail the intended use, fit, wear time, approval/certification and testing. Under testing, we found standard data that we should get after testing the mask and that is the airflow rate of 85 liters per minutes, testing for particle filtration efficiency (PEE),normal: .95%, and bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE).
My teammates and I are still unsure how we are going to do this together, we will try to ask different science teachers to get an idea and keep in researching. Good thing we ordered a a box of surgical mask so we can do trials. Because this is like a lab, my teammates and I should consider writing steps down and conclusion and making graph to show the audience for our finals.
Wow I never knew that face masks had to go through so many tests and trials in order to see their effectiveness and be approved! I like how you related this project to your childhood in order to get an idea of how the filter in the face mask works and to test if it’s good enough or it has to be changed. Overall, this post was very intriguing and full of connections and research that provided me with a lot of new information.