Copper 3D – the Chilean manufacturer of antibacterial filaments, was one of the first companies to create its own model N95 protective mask. This aroused some controversy, but since then, specialists from Copper 3D have been constantly researching how to improve their solution. Today, they have released a new version of the project – NANOHACK 2.0, protective mask that is even more effective in preventing COVID-19 infection.
According to the creators, the advantage of their protective mask is the possibility of using antibacterial materials for its production, which – in contrast to standard masks – neutralize viruses and microorganisms that can remain active on the surface for up to 72 hours. Copper3D has posted on their site, that their design is intended for use in specific cases. The main task of the mask is to protect against infected saliva droplets of infected people who carry the virus.
The creators advise against making N95 masks from standard 3D printing materials. They recommend antibacterial materials. However, they point out that by making the model available to the public under an open-source license, Copper3D is open to collaboration with users that will lead to further improvements to the model.
Copper3D proves the effectiveness of its solution, based on scientific publications, writing that “filtration materials used in the protective mask (polypropylene nonwoven) allow to achieve filtration efficiency of 96.4% for microorganisms 1 micron and 89.5% for microorganisms 0.02 microns They also emphasize the importance of careful management of used filters and why antibacterial materials are suitable for the production of protective masks.The nanomedium contained in their filaments inhibits the multiplication of SARS-type viruses (including COVID-19), which reduces the risk of infection.
In their research, they tested filters consisting of three layers of polypropylene fiber, where one of them was saturated with copper oxide. Research suggests that the chemical used allows for better virus filtration.
At the same time, Copper3D, being aware that not everyone has access to specialized filters, tested various materials (including a cotton T-shirt, scarf or vacuum cleaner bag) for filtering bacteria. Results below:
The company notes that:
- their mask model is not an N95 mask, this is Copper3D’s own interpretation of the protective mask,
- it should not be used as a personal protective equipment in high-risk stations, treated as a tool to minimize the risk of infection,
- it should be used for a maximum of 8 hours a day, and then discard the used filter,
- it is necessary to properly care for the cleanliness of the mask by using it in clean, soapy water. Copper antibacterial materials must be decontaminated chemically (e.g. with high-grade alcohol),