Temperature-sensitive masks 

On 22nd January 2021, Dr Nareerat Chariya Panya, a researcher from the Faculty of Engineering at Rajamangala University of Technology, Thanyaburi, announced that her team had invented a mask that changes into three different colours according to one’s body temperature

Can indicate fevers amid Covid-19

Her team consists of 3rd year engineering students Ms Wichitra Suthadee, Ms Mananya Champasri and Ms Kanittha Suwannasilp and advisor Ms Sunee Hathaisiwong from the university, shared Siamrath.

The mask relies on thermochromic technology to show temperature changes – this means the mask’s colours change as the person’s temperature rises or falls, just like a mood ring

The elastic band has been dyed with a thermochromic dye that’s used for textiles – this contains thermochromic particles that are designed to change colours at certain temperatures. In this case, the mask changes to brown 35°C, black 37°C and blue 38°C.

Thai Engineering Students Invent Colour-Changing Face Mask
Image credit: Siamrath

During the experimental stages, the team dyed the mask straps instead of the entire mask – the elastics had turned blue at 37°C, instead of black, the colour designated for the temperature. They realised that to accurately measure a person’s body temperature, the thermochromic technology should cover the entire mask. So, they opted to cover the whole mask with blue thermochromic dye, including the elastic band. 

Thai Engineering Students Invent Colour-Changing Face Mask
Inner layer of the mask
Image credit: Siamrath

In addition to its colour changing tech, the team has also ensured the mask will be safe & breathable with an anti-static carbon fibre filtering system that protects consumers from bacteria. The mask is also going to be 100% made from cotton and be chemical free to prevent allergic reactions.

Thai Engineering Students Invent Colour-Changing Face Mask - Mask
Newly invented mask
Image credit: Siamrath

Dr Panya revealed that the mask will cost more than the general ฿10-฿15 surgical masks that can be found in pharmacies because of its innovative qualities and long-lasting use. 

Tech saving lives

With the demands for masks and public health developments, the invention of this mask proves a bigger step to combat the virus. Even though in the midst of a global health crisis, adversaries have brought out the best of human abilities to invent such smart tech. 

This brings a huge light at the end of the tunnel for 2021.

More on Covid-19 masks in the new normal articles:

Featured images adapted from: Siamrath

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