How can we make breathable PDMS?

Renata Maia, Ana Rita Cacho, Rosa Monteiro

During the i9MASKS project, some problems related to the transparency of the mask have arisen. During its use, condensation of water vapor appeared inside the mask, because of the user’s breathing, becoming completely fogged, removing all its transparency. Another problem was related to how we were going to make de mask breathable, without losing protection against COVID-19.

The solution and the objective of our work is to create pores in the PDMS mask that prevent the virus from passing, but that allow air to pass trough so that the mask is breathable. To this end, various approaches will be studied in order to create pores. These approaches decrease the transparency of the PDMS and, as such, it is intended that the porous PDMS is applied to specific areas of the mask, outside the mouth area, so that the main objective is not affected, that is to have a transparent mask, still fulfilling the purpose of a mask, which is to be breathable. This breathability will also prevent condensation of water vapor from inside the mask as air will be able to circulate through the pores