With the rise of the COVID 19 cases, we have heard to change our lifestyles in many ways. We have to use masks today as a result. We have two different types of respiratory masks: you have the air supplying and air filtering type. Today we are going to talk about the air filtering respirators-the N95 masks.
So what’s the N95 mask?
Well, this is a face filter mask that you will use to keep the pathogens out of your body. They do filter out up to 95% of the unwanted particles as it holds off up to 0.3-micron size particles. This N95 mask comes in different shapes to make sure you find the one that fits the shape of your face.
Nonetheless, if you have a beard, the mask may not work well for you.
How are they made?
First off, this mask features the use of propylene material, which does not allow in any particles. To make it safe, it uses multiple layers for even more security. They also have the spun bonding layer that covers both the inside and the outer parts of the mask.
You will find that the fibers are pulled together using chemical technical and mechanical methods.
Now, remember, we said it has multiple layers, and the two outer layers will protect you against the external environment. It will further prevent anything the wearer exhales from going out since they don’t have airwaves.
Now in between the spun bond layers, you also have the pre-filtration layers. This one has a higher density, but you also have the filtration layers for even more perfection.
So the pre-filtration layer has nonwoven material which you, therefore, have punched to enhance its cohesiveness. This one happens with ease since you will pass the barbed needles several times throughout the fiber. Consequently, it connects the fibers.
To further make it perfectly shaped. Also, take it through the hot calendaring process. The method, therefore, bonds the plastic fibers. They can be run through very high filtering.
Now this will make the layer thicker and stiff too. Nonetheless, when you subject it to the high temperature, you can mold it as you wish.
You then have the last layer to offer you the highest efficacy. It further comes with the perfect polarization and features the use of the nonwoven material. This is why it provides you the efficiency and effectiveness. You, therefore, use the melt blown and spun bound material.
It has a multiple machine nozzle, and therefore you can spray the air onto the synthetic polymers to finish off the mask.
In the end, you will have a durable and abrasion-resistant mask that has its fabric characteristics.
Finally, you assemble the mask through the converting machine, and it uses the ultrasonic method to attach the different parts of the mask. This method makes it easy to attach the metal strips. Also, add the straps too, and then you finally sterilize the masks for the final parts.
Remember to package them safely before you start to ship it.
How do they work, though?
This mask is all about filtering the pathogens and any other particles. This will get a hold of the particle before they go into the nose and mouth. Remember, the mask does attract the particles, but if it has a lot of particles, it will then form the build-ups. This makes it hard to breathe with N95.
Well you have to test the masks
Like most other masks options, once you have the N95 mask ready, you have to test it. Of course, again, you have to go through the different processes to test the items. So the primary essence of the test is to make sure it’s efficient.
Other than that, the test checks flammability, particles and bacteria filtration, fluid resistance as well as biocompatibility.
Of course, it’s observed by the FDA to make sure it’s safe for use.
Notice that unlike the homemade masks, there are so many steps that you go into when making the safe mask.
Things to remember when using this
Over the past months, we experienced a shortage of masks. This meant that health workers and most other people had to re-use their masks, but is it safe? Well, if you haven’t been to an airborne disease ward, it may work for you effectively. But if you are in the frontline for diseases like Covid19, you should throw it away.
In some instances, some people have used the cloth masks over the N95 mask. The good news is that you don’t have to think about such aspects now since there’s an influx in mask production now.
Using the mask isn’t your cure to the Covid-19. It further doesn’t guarantee you that you can’t get the disease. There are many aspects to follow in line with the use of this mask. You must, therefore, wear it right. Also, you should make sure you use the disinfectants and sanitizers.
Keep social distance as you make sure you listen to the doctor’s advice.
Nonetheless, if you know you are going anywhere close to someone with the disease, you should wear the mask and do it properly. Make sure that it has its seal, too, as that will determine whether they are safe or not.
You can make your N95 at home following a few video guides, but you can also make your cloth masks. Nonetheless, when you are making the masks, you should consider the lab techs to make sure you make it perfect.
The disadvantages of the N95
- It doesn’t fit the kids
- If you have a beard, you influence its effectiveness as it can’t fit properly.
- It’s not easy to use if you are using it for the first time.
- Is it difficult to breathe when you are using the mask?
- Of course, it makes it a little challenging to breathe when you are using the masks. You shouldn’t use the mask if you have respiratory and cardiac illnesses.
What does the mask protect me against?
This mask will protect you against particulate matter. It keeps off the pathogens, but other than that, it does keep off fumes, dust, mist, aerosol, and smoke particles.
It will further protect you against the pollen and mold spores.
But what doesn’t it protect?
It won’t protect you against smoke gases vapor. If you are in an environment with too much fume, it’s better not even to use it.