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Testing the Physical Strength of a Medical Mask

21-08-2020

Medical masks are regarded as quintessential by healthcare officials to avoid any kind of contamination from spreading among the masses. They are used by both the medical staff during operations and contact with patients and the public to control the spread of a contaminant. Especially during uncertain times like these, the use of masks has become a necessity. However, these masks may cease to function as expected if the physical strength of their ties is not in accordance with standards. Masks having weak ties, which are prone to breakage, can affect the safety of the mask wearer and the people around him/her. It can also incur huge losses to a medical chain or an enterprise that bulk orders such masks. Therefore, it is critical to test the physical strength of the ties of a medical mask to ensure that the mask is capable of withstanding a particular level of force while wearing the mask.

The physical strength of the ties can be determined with the help of a material testing machine that measures the tensile strength of the ties. The test helps in evaluating the resistance of the mask tie on applying a force onto it. During this process, the breaking strength of the connection point between each tie of the mask and the mask body is determined.

A material testing machine uses a component called the vice grip, which allows offset sample alignment for shear testing. The tie of the medical mask is fixed using a small vice grip, whereas the actual mask is fixed using a larger vice grip, to ensure that the connections are tight. The material tester then vertically stretches the grips thereby applying a significant amount of force to determine the breakage point. As per the standard, the point of force at which the mask breaks should not be less than 10N.

The LS Series universal materials testing machine is ideal for testing medical masks and other medical devices. The system is well adapted in production environments to perform tensile compression, peel and flexural/bend testing of materials. The testers when combined with the NEXYGENPlus materials testing software enable faster analysis and traceability of the collected data.

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