Sunday, March 26

Safe, pocket-friendly masks by IIT-Kharagpur startup

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How sure are you of the level of protection that your mask offers? A startup incubated at IIT Kharagpur has designed a mask, that will not only bear the stamp of protection but is also pocket-friendly.

It’s a washable, reusable, three-layered mask made of a non-woven material with a recommended porosity of 25-25 GSM to provide at least 80% protection, said researchers who designed it. At Rs 10 per mask, the institute hopes to reach out to schoolchildren and the underprivileged.

“One can just soak the mask in soap water and use it multiple times,” said Satyabrata Ghosh, a research associate of the biotechnology department, who led the project at the startup, Anigiene Technical Textiles. “We will soon start using banana fibre, which are biodegradable. With millions of masks being discarded daily, this is important,” Ghosh explained.

About 1 lakh masks are being produced a month now. But new machines are being installed to augment production. The startup is in the process to seek certification from Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association. For now, Kendriya Bhandar, a co-operative society by the Centre will stock them.

“I am happy that researchers contributed to the country’s safety,” said IIT Kgp director V K Tewari.

Source: Times of India

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