Engineers design a reusable, silicone rubber face mask

MIT News  July 9, 2020
A team of researchers in US (MIT, Brigham and Women’s Hospital) has designed a new face mask made of durable silicone rubber. Liquid silicone rubber can be easily molded into any shape using injection molding. It can be manufactured using injection molding, which is widely used in factories around the world. The mask includes an N95 filter, but it requires much less N95 material than a traditional N95 mask. Th filters are designed to be replaced after every use, while the rest of the mask can be sterilized and reused. They tested several different sterilization methods on the silicone masks, including running them through an autoclave (steam sterilizer), putting them in an oven, and soaking them in bleach and in isopropyl alcohol. They found that after sterilization, the silicone material was undamaged…read more.

Unlike N95 masks, the new masks can be easily sterilized and used many times. This image shows photos of the mask (A and B) and the steps needed to clean and reuse the mask. Credit: Courtesy of the researchers

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