Traditionally, face masks a simple band of cloth that was tied around the face by doctors. However, the art of making the masks has grown to the point that they are currently made from plastics. The most commonly used type of plastic is polypropylene. The role of the plastic is to filter and add the protection value of the mask. Formally, surgical face masks were only worn by medical professionals like doctors and nurses during procedures like surgeries. However, the current coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the general public wearing facial masks in attempts to keep from getting infected with the virus. However, surgical masks are not designed to filter out viruses but to keep the medical professionals from contaminating the patients during procedures. Face masks are manufactured using face mask machines. In this post, the process of making face masks.
The process of making surgical masks
Surgical face masks are manufactured using types of fabric that are not woven. This fabric is most suitable because it has better filtration features for bacteria and air permeability. This fabric is also much less slippery than the latter.
The following processes take place in face mask making using a machine
- Material Feeding
This is the process through which materials the likes of polypropylene into the mask making machine. The amount of material that is fed into the machine greatly depends on the type of mask that is being manufactured. For instance, for this particular material, the amount is either 20 or 25g per square meter. The amount of materials is also influenced by the number of masks that is to be manufactured in a single go.
- The extrusion processes
The material that is fed into the face mask making machine is extruded through a series of small nozzles. A regular face mask making machine features hundreds of nozzles that assist in the process.
- Spun and bond process
This is the process through which the materials are extruded onto a conveyor. For the case of polypropylene plastic, the extrusion is conducted on a web. The web of materials is left to cool on the conveyor. As the material cools, the strands of the webs bond. For this reason, the process is referred to as the spun bond process. The melting is accomplished using melt-blown technology. The part that is manufactured in this process is called the blank mask.
- Nose clip welding
This is the process through which the nose clip is manufactured. The nose clip is then bonded with the other parts which were manufactured in the extrusion process.
- Ear Loop Welding
The ear loop is the part of the face mask that goes around the ears. This part is meant to keep the mask in place. In this process, this part is manufactured then woven into the other parts.
Once all the parts of the face mask are manufactured, the next step would be to bind them together. The binding process involves drying, folding, and cutting. With that, you have a complete mask. In an automatic face mask making machine, the process is maintained in a loop.