With the current situation of the coronavirus pandemic affecting everyone around the globe, the issue of masks is one to look into. The idea of wearing masks helps one from not obtaining the disease and also helps another person not to spread the disease. One cannot think of a time the masks did not exist; masks have always been known to assist doctors when handling a patient, and yes, this pandemic is not far from it. Different masks exist, them being the surgical masks, the N95 masks, the KN95 masks, and well the improvised masks made out of clothing. The masks that intrigue many would be the KN95.
The KN95 mask
The KN95 mask is a type of mask that is tested with the Chinese criteria. Most people commonly confuse the N95 with this type of mask, but although they both serve the same purpose, they differ in the properties part. Amid the coronavirus, most countries have left the KN95 masks for the frontline workers to curb this pandemic since they filter up to 95% of particles in the atmosphere. They also create a very airtight seal around your nose and mouth.
The genuine question one might ask, is how KN95 masks are made. Here is a brief description of how the KN95 needs to look like:
● It has three layers that are the outer layer, which blocks the particles, the middle layer, which filters out dust, and the inner layer, which absorbs exhalation. This ensures the mask is fully effective and allows controlled flow.
● The color is usually white
● The material is non-woven fabric; this is to ensure its effective and lasts.
The mask should be able to filter out 95% of the particles, so generally, one would require polypropylene- most commonly used material. With the idea of spun bonding, the outer layer is created. The fibers are then bonded using the techniques of thermal, mechanical, and chemical. The layer threads are to be of 15-30 micrometers.
The middle layer is normally needle woven to increase the cohesiveness. In this particular layer, the needles are sent repeatedly to make sure the fibers hook together. The plastic fibers are thermally bonded to each other, which will make it thicker and stiffer to use. In the making of the mask, more than one filtering mechanism is undertaken. That being from inertia impaction to diffusion and the electrostatic attraction.
The final layer, which determines the filtration efficiency of the masks, is taken through the melt blowing process, in which threads are sprayed onto a conveyor. As they cool, the bond themselves together.
The layers are then combined through ultrasonic welding, and the strands for the ears are then added to the mask. The masks edges are checked, so they are not too harsh on one’s face with the strands made sure that they not as tight. The masks are then sterilized before being taken out for the people to use. That is how KN95 masks are made.