A multidisciplinary team at the Politecnico of Torino is working to find a solution to this problem in a short time, developing a prototype mask specifically designed for sport, which will be made available in open source mode, i.e. available free of charge to all companies interested in production: “It will also be a way to support the restart and the economy”, comments Professor Marco Barla, Rector for Sport, who is working on the project with fellow professors of the University, Ada Ferri (coordinator of the project), Claudia De Giorgi and Cristian Campagnaro (designer), Paolo Tronville (who performs tests on filter materials) and engineer Alice Ravizza (who deals with usability aspects). The group is completed by the designer Martina Dugoni and the engineers Federico Sternini, Matteo Genitrini and Francesca Dotti, young designers who support the product development, testing and evaluation activities, also with the support of the MATto materioteca of the Politecnico of Torino.
The idea was to think of different types of masks, adapted to the intensity levels of the sport. For example, in basketball the maximum effort is not reached with continuity, so smaller filtering/breathing surfaces might be sufficient. The first product tests are focusing on basketball: the masks have been manufactured in the laboratories of Stamperia Alicese di Cavaglià (BI) with a 3D fabric support structure by Panatex di Montemurlo (PO) and with interchangeable filters produced by the Research Centre of the multinational UFI Filters of Mantova (MN), leader in automotive filtration and recently engaged in the development of materials for biomedical applications. The materials were evaluated in the laboratories of Politecnico of Torino the and the models were worn by the athletes of the Tam Tam ASD basketball team to undergo a series of wearability tests that allowed to optimize the design of the mask and to verify, in a preliminary way, the effectiveness of the chosen materials. Further tests carried out in collaboration with the Istituto di Medicina dello Sport di Torino will follow in order to evaluate, from a physiological point of view, the impact of the device on the performance of the athletes who wear them and therefore continue in the most appropriate direction for the design development.
The objective is to arrive at the definition of standards that can be replicated and adopted by the manufacturers by autumn, in order to have products on the market at affordable prices and that guarantee the practice of sports activities in complete safety.
Source: Politecnico of Torino