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Disposable N95 Face Mask

Disposable N95 Face Mask

Disposable KN95 Face Mask Material: Needle punched cotto

Disposable Medical Face Mask

Disposable Medical Face Mask

Disposable Medical Mask Material: NonWoven Fabric+Meltbl

Disposable KN95 Face Mask

Disposable KN95 Face Mask

Disposable N95 Mask Material: 5 ply Non-woven fabric Col

Infrared Forehead Thermometer

Infrared Forehead Thermometer

Infrared Forehead Thermometer Sample: Free Brand: Orient

Disposable Isolation Coveralls

Disposable Isolation Coveralls

General purpose, Cleanroom, Construction/building, Clean

Disposable Medical Gloves

Disposable Medical Gloves

Disposable Medical Gloves Material: PVC Color: Transpare

The Best Material for Protective Medical Face Masks

Global shortages of medical face masks have led consumers to find creative ways to make their own, while some manufacturers of luxury goods have changed gear to help fight the shortage — by manufacturing medical supplies themselves.

But while a homemade face mask might be suitable for someone dashing off to the shops to stock up on supplies, medical-grade face masks and N95 respirators for health workers on the frontline need to meet exacting criteria.

The WHO estimates that 89 million medical masks are needed every month to address the crisis, and have called on the manufacturing industry to help increase the supply by 40%.

The Difference Between Surgical Masks and N95 Respirators

Disposable surgical masks, or face masks, are designed to protect the wearer from airborne particles and liquid. The loose-fitting device creates a physical barrier between the mouth and nose of the wearer. The edges of the mask do not form a seal around the nose and mouth.

An N95 respirator is a protective mask that fits closely on the face and forms a seal around the nose and mouth. Its purpose is the filtration of airborne particles. These surgical N95 respirators are class II devices regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are strictly a single-use product.

According to the FDA, N95 mask compliance is based on the following criteria:

Differential pressure

Particulate filtration efficiency

Exhalation valve leakage

Biocompatibility

Flammability

Fluid resistance

Making Surgical Masks

Surgical face masks need to provide 85%-99% protection to prevent the spread of disease. They are made up of a multi-layered structure by covering one layer of textile with non-woven bonded fabric on both sides. Three or four layers are the norm. A fine inner mesh of plastic fibers acts as a filter. It is made from melt-blown fabric, which is what makes a mask breathable.

Melt-blown fabric is created through a process that melts down plastic and blows it out in strands. The same process is used to create spunbond fabric, which is also used in face masks worn by healthcare workers. The material most commonly used to make surgical masks is polypropylene, either 20 or 25 grams per square meter (gsm) in density. Masks can also be made of polystyrene, polycarbonate, polyethylene or polyester.

Manufacture includes several components such as the ear loops, the metal strip that allows you to bend the mask around the nose bridge, and the sterile packaging. Surgical masks need to be hypoallergenic, non-skin irritant and compliant with global standards.

The Best Materials for Surgical Masks

According to the Journal of Academia and Industrial Research (JAIR), the typical materials used to manufacture surgical face masks are polypropylene — 20 gsm made using spunbond technology and 25 gsm non-woven polypropylene made using melt-blown technology.

Polypropylene, polystyrene, polycarbonate, polyethylene and polyester are all suitable for manufacturing medical-grade face masks.

In cases were melt-blown fabric is scarce, a nanofilm coating filtration material can be used as a replacement. Sustainable alternatives to the plastic components can be created using 3D printing, such as eco-friendly 3D filament, which can be used instead of classic plastic filament.

The needled nonwoven fabric is produced through hot calendaring, where plastic fibers are thermally bonded together, helping the mask keep its shape. Completed respirators are sterilized before use.

For any manufacturer wanting to do its part to combat the global mask shortage, knowing the compliance standards is crucial. All face masks intended for use by medical personnel must undergo stringent testing and meet FDA standards in order to be suitable for use.

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