Materials can be tailored to specific widths, thickness, weights and breathing resistance.
The global demand for industrial grade facemasks soared in early 2020, with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Abundantly used in both medical and industrial sectors, the worldwide facemask market is expected to surpass a value of $21.2 billion by 2026.
The use of facemasks across industrial manufacturing and the public health sector enables workers to safeguard themselves against airborne particulates and/or toxic fume inhalation. These masks are made of nonwovens, and when required, activated carbon is applied, when the working environment is exposed to organic compounds such as ozone, an off gas when welding, airborne acidic gasses, and unpleasant odours.
“Innovative products that assist the growth of the sector are vital to the industry,” says Julian Bickford, industrial business director for Nonwovenn, based in Bridgwater, UK. “That’s why at Nonwovenn we create products that are suitable for the manufacture of facemasks using high-speed ultrasonic manufacturing lines. By using polyester or polypropylene fibres to create thermally bonded nonwovens, we apply activated carbon onto these materials which are engineered to deliver high performance fabrics for demanding applications. Our needlepunched nonwoven fabrics offer excellent comfort layer options, supporting the manufacture of the mask and also aiding in shape retention.
“We are dedicated to developing smarter and technologically advanced facemask materials offering ease of use for the manufacturer of masks, and that are safe and comfortable to wear, whilst achieving protective and regulatory approvals in the finished mask. Our products are designed with the end user in mind, delivering high performance with enhanced comfort.”
The peak of the pandemic resulted in a global shortage of facemasks, whilst at the same time, accelerating research towards improving both their quality and performance. Activated carbon is an essential component offering added protection in challenging applications.
Combining nonwovens with activated carbon in facemasks provides mask manufacturers with a variety of processing options in line with their production requirements. Nonwovenn materials can be tailored to specific widths, thickness, weights and breathing resistance whilst delivering high levels of performance against airborne organic compounds.