Research Summary: Disposable medical face masks beat those made of cotton or polyester in simulation
Face masks made from non-woven fabric are more effective at blocking the spread of Covid-19 via airborne respiratory droplets than other types that are commonly available, according to modelling in Japan by the world’s fastest supercomputer.
Fugaku, which can perform more than 415 quadrillion computations a second, conducted simulations involving three types of mask, and found that non-woven masks were better than those made of cotton and polyester at blocking spray emitted when the wearer coughs, the Nikkei Asian Review said.
Non-woven masks refer to the disposable medical masks that are commonly worn in Japan during the flu season, and now during the coronavirus pandemic.
They can be reused and generally offer more breathability but, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), should be washed in soap or detergent and water of at least 60C at least once a day.
The non-woven variety blocked nearly all droplets emitted in a cough, according to experts at Riken, a government-backed research institute in the western city of Kobe.