Experimental Studies of Hydraulic Losses and Carbon Dioxide Concentration in the Space Under the Face Mask Protecting Against COVID-19
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Bialystok University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences, Department of HVAC Engineering, Poland
Institute of Environmental Engineering, Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW), Poland
Bialystok University of Technology, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Geotechnics and Structural Mechanics, Poland
Online publication date: 2023-01-05
Publication date: 2022-12-01
Civil and Environmental Engineering Reports 2022;32(4):13-24
Masks are the primary tool used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the current pandemic. Tests were carried out to determine the total pressure drop through the materials from which the masks are made and the correlation of these results with the concentration of carbon dioxide in the inner space of the mask. The results showed that a parameter representing hydraulic losses of the mask material has a significant influence on the concentration of carbon dioxide in the inner space of the mask. Masks with higher hydraulic resistances accumulated a higher concentration of carbon dioxide, and generated greater fluctuations of carbon dioxide as a function of time, which may be caused by compensation of the respiratory system. For example, in a two-layer mask (mask no. 3) the hydraulic resistance values are about three times higher than in a single-layer mask (mask no. 1). The study also noticed that the inscriptions and prints placed on the masks increase the hydraulic resistance of the material from which the masks are made, which may also contribute to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the space between the mask and the face. To reduce the accumulation of carbon dioxide within the inner space of the mask, the results of this work suggest searching for mask materials with the lowest possible hydraulic resistance.
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