MADISON, Wis.— If you're looking for safer mask protection from COVID-19, some talented minds at UW Madison have designed the perfect complement to your disposable mask.
UW-Madison professor of mechanical engineering, Scott Sanders, realized disposable masks were leaking too many particle droplets.
Impressively, what stopped the leakage, simply taping the mask sides shut.
Realizing a tapeless, non-stick alternative was what the public needed, he partnered with UW-Madison Grainger Engineering Design Innovation Lab Director Lennon Rodgers’ team. The project took months and 20 prototypes.
"We had many different types of flexible material and we tried 3D printing things and we tried all kinds of different approaches to the metal wire," Rodgers said.
In the end, the simple tomato-stand wire did the trick.
"So we started doing this for teachers on campus in our classroom. And one of the things that motivated me to keep going on this after classes started, and to try to get it out to a broader community as I'm talking to my parents and their friends and they're really nervous about this pandemic and, and I knew that we had something we could offer," Professor Sanders said.
The Badger Seal costs roughly $.50 cents to make and provides almost N95 fit coverage with 15 times reduced particle penetration for inhalation.
And glasses wearers — rejoice — this creation will stop the fog, too.
"What they see as the benefit is the fog on the glasses is gone," Prof. Sanders explained.
Each Badger Seal can be worn multiple times if cleaned with Lysol or hand sanitizer.
If you can’t make it to campus to create your own for free at the Makerspace lab, you can now order the badger seal online, here.