Wetting, adhesion and droplet impact on face masks
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In the present pandemic time, face masks are found to be the most effective strategy against the spread of the virus within the community. As aerosol-based spreading of the virus is considered as the primary mode of transmission, the interaction of masks with incoming droplets needs to be understood thoroughly for an effective usage among the public. In the present work, we explore the interactions of the droplets over the most commonly used 3-ply surgical masks. A detailed study of the wetting signature, adhesion and impact dynamics of water droplets and microbe-laden droplets is carried out for both sides of the mask. We found that the interfacial characteristics of the incoming droplets with the mask are very similar for the front and the back side of the mask. Further, in an anticipated attempt to reduce the adhesion, we have tested masks with a superhydrophobic coating. It is found that a superhydrophobic coating may not be the best choice for a regular mask as it can give rise to a number of smaller daughter droplets and thus can linger in air for longer time and can contribute to the transmission of potential viral loads.
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Kiran Raj Melayil, Sushanta K. Mitra (2021). Wetting, adhesion and droplet impact on face masks. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/16826