JCRMRG 3D Hackathon

To: The Judges of the Competition

From: Sagar Peddanarappagari, Sree Adinarayana Dasari, and Paritosh Padmakumar; Students, Pennsylvania State University

Date: July 11th, 2020

This memo seeks to address the issue of moisture accumulation during the use of face masks or face coverings. The topic of face mask usage has been well-publicized within the realms of the American media and the issues concerning its usage have as well.

Summary:

Our product aims to reduce breathing resistance due to moisture accumulation on the inner layer of the mask using two prototypes. The prototype is based on a duck mask and the second prototype is an advanced version of the prototype which uses an active filter neck chain.

Product Description:

Prototype 1- The prototype is based on a type of mask called a duck mask (Source 1). The mask is shaped like a duck’s beak, with a horizontal partition through the middle of the mask. Our prototype builds on this design by using two different surfaces on the top and bottom partitions of the mask. The bottom part is based on a synthetic fiber that is designed for the absorption of exhaled moisture. The top part of the mask is made from N95 mask material that will work akin to a normal N95 mask. This could significantly reduce the breathing resistance that is experienced by the mask wearer as the moisture is absorbed by the synthetic material placed on the bottom half of the mask.

Prototype 2- The second prototype is an advanced and far more complex version of the first. A face covering which does not allow any air inflow or outflow is connected to a neck ring that has a filter and fan that allows the user to inhale and exhale clear, safe, and filtered air. The ring will have an inlet and outlet to provide clean air and remove moisture and CO2 laden air. This can be beneficial for use in high-risk areas where there is an increased spread of COVID-19. Additionally, this wearable device can be used during strenuous exercise as normal masks can cause breathing issues during exercise, especially in individuals with underlying conditions (Source 4).

Business and Innovative Value:

The use of masks amongst the general American public has been a controversial topic in recent weeks. According to a recent survey published by YouGov in an article in BBC says that 73% of the American public uses some for, of face-covering while in public in comparison to countries like Italy and Spain where the mask usage stands at 86% and 83% respectively(Source 2). Some of the objections raised by the opposition include moisture and CO2 accumulation. Our product aims to remove this aspect of face-covering usage.

The implications of this product in a business sense could be potentially disruptive. Individuals who are concerned with moisture accumulation in their face masks could be willing to pay for such products. The COVID-19 crisis will last in some form until the administration of a viable vaccine to achieve herd immunity (Source 3). Thus, masks will remain in demand for a significant period in which significant revenue can be generated.

Conclusion:

If this idea is implemented to the full extent of its potential, it can be a disruptive force in the face-covering market. It can increase the percentage of face mask users and help in the abatement in the spread of COVID-19 cases, which could further reduce the death toll.

Sources:

1.Source 1 - https://www.oxstreets.org.uk/n95-mask-duck.html

2.Source 2 - https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51205344

3.Source 3 - https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/herd-immunity-and-covid-19-what-you-need-to-know/

4.Source 4 - https://blogs.bmj.com/bjsm/2020/06/12/should-people-wear-a-face-mask-during-exercise-what-should-clinicians-advise/

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