These laser assisted videos demonstrate the effectiveness of ‘COVID-19 masks’

Jul 1, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

These laser assisted videos demonstrate the effectiveness of ‘COVID-19 masks’

Jul 1, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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While the usefulness of surgical masks, in general, is quite well known (surgeons have been using them for years) there is little-to-no data on many of the DIY face coverings people have been using during the coronavirus pandemic. So, researchers at the Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science have done some tests of their own.

The experiment was published in the journal Physics of Fluids and demonstrates the effectiveness of wearing a face covering when you cough using some pretty cool flow visualisation using lasers. Of course, this post isn’t a debate about whether or not you should or shouldn’t wear a mask. You should. This technique just shows that even the simplest of masks helps reduce the risk of infection and it does so using a very cool technique

The demonstration uses an emulated cough from a mannequin. This isn’t quite the same type of flow visualisation as the Schlieren flow visualisation system that NASA uses to test for air turbulence. Instead, a laser lights up a water & glycerin mixture that’s expelled from the mannequin’s mouth which is then recorded by the camera. It’s a similar technique to the one used here on human sneezes.

Using a mannequin allows them to get a consistent strength and speed of “cough” every time – something that humans cannot do naturally.

It shows that small droplets from an unfiltered cough can reach a distance of 12ft in just a minute and a half and linger in still indoor air for several minutes. Aided by a downwind breeze, the droplets dissipate much more quickly.

Our researchers have demonstrated how masks are able to significantly curtail the speed and range of the respiratory droplets and jets. Moreover, they have uncovered how emulated coughs can travel noticeably farther than the currently recommended six-foot distancing guideline.

– Stella Batalama, PhD., dean of FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science

When a face covering is applied in the video, the droplets are mitigated substantially, even with something as commonly available as a bandana. When the bandana is swapped out for a homemade stitched fabric mask, very little comes out much beyond the mask at all and what does come out doesn’t spread nearly as far. Even commercially available dust masks from the hardware store have a significant effect on the droplets and particles expelled from a cough.

A very cool technique to demonstrate the principle.

You can read more about the test on the Florida Atlantic University website.

[via FAU]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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12 responses to “These laser assisted videos demonstrate the effectiveness of ‘COVID-19 masks’”

  1. Franco Kailsan Avatar
    Franco Kailsan

    But when I use my super duper Freedom Detector Laser (TM), i can see my freedom and liberty diminishing as soon as i put a mask on! Its a leftist agenda for us to wear a mask and lose our freedom! I will never be a leftist and start writing with my left hand! I was born right handed and i will die right handed!

    1. Silvia Orr Avatar
      Silvia Orr

      Another one who drank the Koolaid. Did you lose your freedom when no smoking allowed in public places to protect you?

    2. John Aldred Avatar
      John Aldred

      Yeah, your American “leftist agenda” conspiracy theory doesn’t mean a thing to the other 95.75% of the world’s population. :)

    3. Charlie Muller Avatar
      Charlie Muller

      has nothing to do with using your left hand – you have to stop falling to being guilty of handling yourself- keep that something we don’t need to hear about – but at the same time- you are right about the left liberalist agenda – – BE INFORMED and RESEARCH EVERYTHING

    4. Kryn Sporry Avatar
      Kryn Sporry

      interesting how some don’t recognise this as sarcasm ???

  2. Kevin Lane Avatar
    Kevin Lane

    If you are wearing a mask designed to prevent the transmission of viruses then go ahead. If you’re not then just stfu. You’re an idiot and that’s far more dangerous than COVID 19.

    1. Kevin Lane Avatar
      Kevin Lane

      But spittle and droplets!!!! You are an idiot. The virus goes where your mucus can’t.

      Shake your splendidly empty little head.

  3. Kryn Sporry Avatar
    Kryn Sporry

    Republicans and conservatives alike be like “I ain’t wearing no commy crap on my face. That’s the devils work!”???

  4. Becky Aheren Avatar
    Becky Aheren

    So its just as effective, if you are going to cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow. This only shows controlling a cough, not breathing, etc. How many people are out there couging? Its rare.

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      A cough is the most extreme case. If it’s going to stop that then it’s going to help diffuse your breath and the spread of moisture coming out when you breathe, too.

  5. John Crippen Avatar
    John Crippen

    Love when I come back to this site and it’s a bunch of propaganda and click bait, wonder if I’ll ever learn

  6. Richard Doktor Avatar
    Richard Doktor

    As in most cases, it is ignored or omitted that all this of course only applies to sick people. Healthy people do not need a face mask.
    It is important to say that people who show Covid-symptoms should not be on the street, but at home or in a hospital.
    All others who are not sure should wear gloves so that they don’t leave areas for smear infection.

    Avoid hysteria and get more information. This is more effective than anything else.