Smart Mask

Together with industrial partners, SAL aims at creating smart respiratory masks. The objective is a low-cost and efficient solution that transforms common respirators into smart masks, which will provide information about the mask’s condition.

Project Objectives

Respirator face masks (N95 and N99 type) are critical supplies for health­care workers and medical first responders. They are intended to reduce a wearer’s exposure to particles, including aerosols, by filtering out at least 95 % (N95 type) or 99 % (N99 type) of the particles. As such, respirators are also heavily used in jobs that expose workers to dust and small particles. The outbreak of COVID-19 has posed a serious threat to public health, leading to a world­wide shortage of respirators. Washing and drying followed by an electrostatic treatment allow reusing respirators, dramatically improving this situation. However, the filter function deteriorates over time and an efficient way to ensure that the usage is still safe is urgently called for.

The objective is a low-cost and efficient solution that transforms common respirators into smart masks, which will provide information about the mask’s condition. These devices will be able to withstand the harsh conditions the respirators are exposed to during the decontamination process and to operate even after many years of storage.

Project facts

  • Title: Smart Mask
  • Program: SAL cooperative project
  • Project leader: Johanna Zikulnig
  • Duration: 15 Months

Your contact person

Johanna Zikulnig, MSc

Sensor Applications

e-mail: johanna.zikulnig@silicon-austria.com

Research program

The project is funded under the SAL cooperative research program.