When the Coronavirus COVID-19 was hitting in China in January 2020 it was evident that the range of masks available did not meet the requirements needed to effectively protect the public going about their everyday business.


Types of masks


Surgical SIngle Use masks:- These are the most popular type of masks that you have seen in the media images from around the world.


Positives:- They are cheap to make and buy.

                  Comfortable to wear for extended time periods.

                  Easy to put on.

                  designed to deal with splatter ( fluid particles from the patient or the carer NOT airborne )


Negatives:- They are NOT effective at offering the wearer protection from airborne infections. This is because the design is not

                   close fitting.

                   There tends to be gaps around the nose section where the air comes in and out.

                    Also they tend to mist up glasses.

                   They are disposable and only last about 4 hours.

                   As the mask body is the main filter they tend to harbour germs on their surface.

                   If the wearer touches them they instantly contaminate their hands.


Respirator (Dust) masks:- These have generally been designed for industrial use. That means they offer various levels of protection against microscopic particles in the atmosphere. In a mask labelled FFP3  the FF means disposable and the P3 is the filtration level.


Positives :- They are snug fitting around the important areas of the face to prevent user inhaling airborne infections.

                   Very good at protecting user from atmospheric pollution.

                   Do not mist up glasses.


Negatives:- Often can make users feel claustrophobic due to being hard take a deep breath.

                   Can work out expensive over long term use.

                   Only good for 2-8 hours use then need to be disposed of.

                    As the mask body is the main filter they tend to harbour germs on their surface.

                    If the wearer touches them they instantly contaminate their hands.


Design Goals of the Barton Medical Reusable Medical Face Mask.


      Offer snug fitting design

      Ensure unit is reusable, to enhance GREEN credentials

      Replaceable filters

      Comfortable design

      Easy to breath when wearing

      Stop glasses misting up

      Give cost effective long term use.


Final Product Design


Design Brief


To get a product that was comfortable to wear everyday, for extended periods of time, yet could prevent the user from breathing in airborne droplets caused by people sneezing and coughing in public. Reusable design to ensure minimal environmental impact.


Design of Mask Body


The Dartex material that we used is designed as a medical grade fabric to come into contact with human skin without causing an allergic reaction. It has a double sided construction which ensures a soft fabric surface against the skin whilst outside it is a wipe down polymer surface. It has a good degree of elasticity and is lightweight.


The elastic nature of the Dartex type material allows for a nose bridge piece to be incorporated into the top section of the mask. It is essential that each time the mask is worn that the


Design of Replaceable Filter


The filtration system was designed around a specially made filter material which is manufactured by blending, pressing, fulling and drying, to produce a non-woven homogeneous mat of fibre. This material is processed to ensure the perfect thickness and overall shape to fit inside our purpose made injection moulded filter housing.


To ensure that the user could get enough air when taking a deep breath it was deemed necessary to have a twin filter design. Extensive testing proved the size and shape of the required filters and housing to ensure ease of replacement at the same time as offering a comfortable user experience.


The two filter housings push fit into a purpose made, soft polyurethane injection moulded receptacle.


Easy to Clean / Disinfect


All of the materials used in the construction of the mask are able to be readily disinfected to ensure continued protection from airborne infections. It is recommended that the mask body and filter housing are cleaned with an anti-bacterial spray daily when the filters are removed, binned, and replaced.


Helps Reduce Spread


The design using a twin filter inlet ensures that the main facial area of the mask remains uncontaminated. This means that when the user touches their facial area they are not helping to spread the contamination. This is especially evident with children, who are used to putting fingers in their mouths etc.



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Copyright 2020