This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Design, Fabrication and Testing of Novel Medical Facemasks to Prevent COVID-19




Alby, Laine

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Mechanical Engineering


The nation is going through an unprecedented time due to the Coronavirus pandemic. One of the most effective ways to prevent viral spread is to use face masks and respirators. Available reusable face masks are often not as effective as single-use coverings, which are costly and environmentally irresponsible. Currently, there is limited knowledge available on the performance of fabrics used in masks. Filtration efficiencies as a function of aerosol particulate sizes in 10 nm to 10 μm range are relevant for respiratory virus transmission but lack evaluation. The purpose of this research is to develop novel face masks and respirators to fight the pandemic based on scientific and engineering principles. In this research, novel medical face masks are designed, produced, and tested to reduce the spread of COVID-19 while improving on deficiencies present in currently used textile reusable face coverings. The project incorporates additive manufacturing, computer aided design (CAD), third party testing of both Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) and differential pressure measurements, and laser-visualization tools for illuminating leakage.