Sterilizing Facemasks with UVC Light

Christopher Focht, Dr. Andrew Hummel, Mechanical Engineering, Kennesaw State University, 1000 Chastain Rd NW, Kennesaw, GA 30144

This experiment will focus on the creation and testing of a UVC apparatus to house and sterilize the masks safely. The apparatus created will be a UVC light box, with walls and a lid that will shield the user from all radiation emitted from the bulbs within. The bulbs chosen were two 60 watt lamps approximately 8 inches long. The box was lined with aluminum foil to encourage reflection and minimize “shadows”, or areas subject to less exposure from the light.

The second half of the experiment focuses on the amount of time the masks are exposed to a UVC source. Time intervals will be established starting at 1 minute and increase up to 10 minutes of exposure. The source will be two UVC 60 Watt lamps. To protect the experimenter, the UVC lamps will be enclosed in a light box. There will be no exposure to any experimenter at any time during this experiment. The experiment will involve using three different types of bacteria, each with different resistances to UV radiation. The bacteria will also vary in size and shape, which will affect the rate they absorb the UVC energy. Due to the weaker nature of UVC radiation, bacteria not on the surface may be shielded from the full strength of the radiation. The masks used will be the standard surgical masks, a cloth mask, and an N95 mask. After exposure, the bacteria will be collected from the masks and counted. It is possible that during the exposure process, bacteria that reside under the surface layer of the mask could be shielded from the UVC light. These bacteria will be counted during the collection process. It is expected that the 10 minutes exposure time will kill all bacteria on the mask.  


Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Christopher Focht, Josh Lummus

Institution: Kennesaw State University

Type: Poster

Subject: Engineering

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 6
Date/Time: Tue 2:00pm-3:00pm
Session Number: 4565