Forces generated by N95 filtering facepiece respirator straps.
Niezgoda-G; Benson-SM; Eimer-BC; Roberge-RJ
J Int Soc Respir Prot 2013 Jan; 30(1):31-40
The adequacy of the seal developed at the interface of a respirator and the user's face is an important factor in preventing inward leakage of contaminants into the user's breathing space. Restorative forces generated in response to the load produced by the elasticized straps of respirators during donning are responsible for the development of this seal, yet little data exist regarding the level of force developed by these tethering devices. Tensometer evaluations of six models of N95 filtering facepiece respirators indicated significant differences in forces generated by the tethering devices that were model dependent. Forces exerted on facial structures by N95 filtering facepiece respirators averaged <10 Newtons. Utilizing the Mooney-Rivlin hyper-elastic predictive model with vectors derived from three dimensional photogrammetry representations, force vector analyses were conducted on six models of N95 filtering facepiece respirator straps and indicated that this model can be useful in determining forces generated by these tethering devices. Tethering devices are integral to proper respirator function and data from this study may be useful in future research studies and for designers of protective facemasks that utilize similar tethering devices in determining minimal forces that are associated with passing quantitative respirator fit testing.
Respirators; Respiratory-equipment; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Face-masks; Face-shields; Filters; Force; Workers; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection;
Author Keywords: N95 filtering facepiece respirators; straps; force vectors
Raymond J. Roberge, National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 626 Cochrans Mill Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Journal of the International Society for Respiratory Protection