The mass production of meltblown cloth from national team has become not only a mask but also a fashionable necessity.
Since COVID-19 outbreak, the mask has become must-have epidemic prevention tools. As the price of masks rises, the price of its material "meltblown non-woven fabric" also soars. Compare with China’s mass meltblown non-woven fabric production but uneven quality, Taiwan’s less production but stable high quality. The core material meltblown cloth has favored by overseas customers since the government lifted of the ban on masks on June 1.
In fact, there were concerns about insufficient raw materials in February. Fortunately, Taiwan has a complete supply chain. In addition to the familiar meltblown cloth factory Mytrex, the SCP meltblown alliance formed by Chumpower, ShangTaChia and Plasco, set up a meltblown non-woven fabric production line in just 60 days, the finished meltblown fabric were tested the filtration efficiency and meet the requirements of general flat mask specifications.
Meltblown non-woven fabric is not only used in masks
We can know the meltblown non-woven fabric from the words, first of all, it’s not normal “woven” fabric, therefore we call it non-woven fabric. Meltblown non-woven fabric starts from melting plastic particles by high speed hot air. Then use the spinneret with ultra-fine nozzle to spin out the polymer melt, make it becomes high performance polypropylene melt blown filter material, which has thinner fibers than other materials. The shape of finished product looks a bit like toilet paper roll, but cleaning is not the biggest feature of meltblown cloth, is to block particles from passing through.
It can be seen from the three pictures above, the outermost layer of mask is spunbonded non-woven fabric, highly permeability and water repellent, first to prevent droplet infection. The inner layer is spunlace non-woven fabric, in addition to absorb sweat and grease, the soft fibers provide users have a good wearing experience. The middle layer is today’s protagonist meltblown non-woven fabric, the fabric filter cloth that mainly filters viruses, bacteria, dust and droplets in the air, seen as the heart of the mask. These filaments are only 2-5 micron, far thinner than our hair.
Although the meltblown cloth in the middle layer of mask can block pollen sized particles. The holes on the cloth are not dense enough to catch virus and bacteria firmly. At this time smart manufactures figured out - Why not use static electricity to attract the virus? This process is called “electrostatic charging”, Peter Tsai is the Taiwanese inventor also known for the father of N95 mask. Electrostatic charging makes an excellent electrostatic effect during the process in producing meltblown non-woven fabric. Actively catch viruses and bacteria firmly on the surface, significantly improve the filtration efficiency.
Differ from general cloth, meltblown non-woven fabric can be used in not only mask but multiple function. The characteristics are similar to plastic, including filtration, hydrophobic, lipophilic, and heat resistant features. Take the “SCP meltblown alliance'' as an example, the alliance will be a provider, provide applications and solutions for meltblown technology products, will also develop applications in different fields: heat preservation, oil absorption, air filtration, water filtration, medical materials, and composite materials such as air filtration in automobile, cold protection equipment for ski and wipes.
That's right, ski wear.
The raw material of meltblown cloth is polypropylene (PP), heat preservation performance can even be better than down jackets once through the special processing. Since meltblown cloth can filter the air, the filter on the air purifier is also made of meltblown cloth. Also because the pore size of the meltblown cloth is small enough, it can filter the white blood cells in the blood in medical treatment. For water filters, beer and other liquids can also filter out unnecessary impurities.
Meltblown non-woven fabric is upgrading
However, considering the possibility of a second outbreak, the mask production will still occupy a certain proportion. Taiwan is able to produce high-quality meltblown non-woven fabrics, likely to move forwards to “upgrade” in the future.
The mask can protect us from viruses and bacteria, but the mask has to be discarded when the germs accumulate to a certain extent after 4 hours, this is the reason why some people suggest the mask should not be worn for a long time.
In order to extend the life of the mask, the industry figured out, wouldn’t it be better to “kill” the germs instead of “catch” them? Recently, fashion trend company announced the fashion industry will undergo a huge transformation in the post epidemic era, customers will focus on sterilizable clothing.
The invisible champion team breaks through the market gap
In early April this year, SCP meltblown alliance is formed by three hidden champions in the rubber and plastic machinery industry: Chumpower, ShangTaChia and Plasco. Three companies champion teams work together, with many years of equipment manufacturing experience and rich machine development capabilities. Not only overcoming the bottleneck of meltblown nonwoven equipment development, but also let the first SCP-MB1600 meltblown nonwoven production line enter the market in the shortest time. SCP Meltblown Meltblown Alliance held the first meltblown nonwoven production line SCP-MB1600 at the Chumpower headquarters in Taichung on the 18th. Exhibited the 25gsm meltblown non-woven fabric produced by SCP-MB1600, the fiber filaments in the range of 2-5 microns, electrostatic charging makes the meltblown cloth fiber produce excellent electrostatic absorption effect. Before the epidemic has slowed down, when the market still lake of huge amount of high quality meltblown cloth. The alliance is aimed at customers who have signed the contract and have urgent needs for meltblown non-woven fabric. Several education training and trial production line will be prepared, to provide finish products which meet the filtration efficiency to the customers with urgent orders during 120 days’ equipment waiting period.
The epidemic has stimulated new demands, not only for fashion and need corresponding products to satisfy consumers. Therefore, when the epidemic ends, the vaccine developed successfully, whoever develop new materials first to meet market demand is the winner, and Taiwan national team is on the way.
Source: yahoo news