Textile Technology section
Andritz: line for the production of respiratory masks
Following successful launch of the D-Tech line for production of surgical/medical masks in April 2020, the international technology group Andritz AG, Graz/Austria, is now presenting its new D-Tech face mask line for respiratory masks, such as duckbill and flat fold respirators.
The new respiratory mask line can be customized to laminate different layers of fabric. It comprises unwinding and guiding units for nonwovens, automatic splicing of all raw materials, cutting and positioning devices for the metal nose bar, an edge welding and cutting unit, a 90° rotation process, positioning and welding of the ear loop elastics, as well as quality control using the D-Tech Vision System. Other options are also available. Machine dimensions can be customized according to customers’ plant requirements.
The fully automated production line includes complete ultrasonic technology, a facility to include printing systems, and an interface to the automatic packaging machine. Products can be packaged in bags by an automatic flow pack machine or packed in cardboard boxes by an automatic cartoner. Producers already operating an Andritz D-Tech surgical mask line can upgrade it to produce respiratory masks with a special kit.
Freudenberg/NCSU: face masks for universities and hospitals
In order to manufacture face masks for UNC system universities (all the public educational institutions granting 4-year degrees in North Carolina (NC)), NC government organizations and hospitals, the producer of technical textiles Freudenberg Performance Materials Holding SE & Co. KG, Weinheim/Germany, has partnered with the Nonwovens Institute at North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh, NC/USA.
As the fight against corona virus continues, the need for essential face coverings continues to rise. Together, the partners will begin production of earloop procedure masks and N95 masks. The 2 organizations are aligning their expertise and supply chains to bring PPE to universities and healthcare workers as quickly as possible.
Through this partnership, NC State is supplying Freudenberg Performance Materials with the necessary roll goods needed for production while Freudenberg provides the textile manufacturing expertise and work force needed to install, operate and maintain the four new production lines. Once fully operational the site will be able to produce more than 1 million masks a month.
In addition to the face mask lines provided by NC State, Freudenberg is also in the process of installing 6 additional production lines to manufacture surgical and N95 masks. Not only will the lines help provide essential face coverings, but the addition of the lines has enabled Freudenberg add 50 new positions within the company to operate the lines.
VDMA: new technologies for mask production
Members of the German Textile Machinery Association (VDMA), Frankfurt/Germany, in a short time have reacted to the new market requirements and developed new technologies for knitted, warp knitted and woven respiratory masks that can be produced without the need for sewing. For surgical masks, FFP2 respirators and social distancing masks, a wide variety of other materials and combinations of materials are used, for example nonwovens, woven fabrics, knitted or warp knitted fabrics and laminates. Several association members provide technologies for the production of elastic bands that are required to wear the masks.
Material for masks can be treated with textile chemicals to make them antiviral and antibacterial. For this purpose, the VDMA member companies offer application systems which apply the corresponding chemicals to the webs. Moreover, software systems with which each mask can be traced through the entire production process are offered.
VDMA members also offer solutions for the assembly of respiratory masks, which enable respirators to be produced that meet the relevant standards and the quality requirements.
Also, for surgical gowns and wipes, VDMA members manufacture tailor-made machines for production through to packaging. The quality of the products is ensured by means of measurement and control technology.
In the wake of the corona crisis, the VDMA has launched a new series of web events called “Textile Machinery Webtalk”.
Ascend: Surgical mask in development with Acteev technology
On June 13, 2020, the manufacturer of fiber technologies Ascend Performance Materials, Houston, TX/USA, has submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a 510(k) premarket notification for clearance to market its Acteev technology in a pair of high-efficacy surgical masks to protect against SARS-CoV-2. The masks, a nanofiber and a microfiber nonwovens version each branded under the Acteev Biodefend line for medical devices, deliver a one-two punch of antiviral properties plus top-level barrier protection against microbes, harmful airborne particles and fluid splatter. Acteev technology has been shown in laboratory tests to deactivate SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, and other pathogens. The testing was conducted following the protocols of ISO, ASTM or other international standards organizations. Ascend submitted its first 510(k) to the FDA last month. That submittal requests clearance to market a Level I surgical mask that is effective against SARS-CoV-2. Also last month, Ascend launched Acteev Protect, an antimicrobial line of protection specially formulated to guard against the growth of fungi, bacteria and other microbes to keep textiles and nonwovens fresher for longer. Acteev Protect, available for sale in the USA and select other jurisdictions, can beused to make face coverings, filtration devices, and textiles for upholstery and apparel such as activewear.