What does the inner layer of N95 masks do?

The N95 respirators are one of the most common and in-demand all over the world. These respirators have become the overall world's preference because they have provided certification from both Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Care (NIOSH). 

Through this article, we will be discussing the innermost layer of the N95 mask, and the functions that are performed below are some of the ones that we will be covering to finally conclude,

  1. Process of manufacturing of the N95 Respirators
  2. Conclusion 

Process of manufacturing of the N95 Respirators

When we need to know about the three different layers present in N95 respirators, it is also a necessity for us to be aware of how those three layers are made out. We should be aware of the manufacturing process that undergoes information of an N95 respirator. This manufacturing process will give us an idea of the layers present in the N95 respirators and how they finally work out together to protect us from the viruses and bacterias present in the outside environment. 

Now though the manufacturing process is also very important, we should also be aware of the bricks that have gone into building the structure named N95 Respirator. to the core of its working N95 respirators are basically fabric products material that is non woven and extracted from polypropylene.

Now let us begin to understand the manufacturing process that goes into the building of an N95 respirator and providing us with the required protection against the novel coronavirus in the environment, 

  • The N95 respirators, first and foremost, have two layers. These two layers are mostly seen providing protection to the third layer, which is present in the middle of the mask. These two layers are present on both outside and inside of the N95 respirator. These layers are made out of undergoing a process named spun bonding.
  • Talking about funny bonding and how it is performed, span bonding is basically a process that requires a nozzle-like structure that responsible for providing heat to the point of melting two threads made of thermoplastic polymer threads. Mostly these thermoplastic polymers that have been used are polypropylene.
  • When these threads of the thermoplastic polymer are finally extracted by undergoing spun bonding, these threads of thermoplastics polymer are put into a process that converts them into a layer of fabric, which can be as long as 35 micrometers. These thermoplastic polymers are used again and again so that a cloth-like structure can be built out of these spun-bonded polymers.  
  • Now the real question that arises is how are these thermoplastic fiber threads bonded together so that they can be formed into cloth. Well, they are bonded with the help of a process that includes both thermal and chemical mechanisms entwined together. 
  • These two outer layers that are a result of fun bonding thermal and chemical mechanisms for building outer clothes finally are ready to act as a barrier between the outside and inside environment. 
  • As discussed earlier, these two layers of clothes basically provide protection to the third layer, which is present in the middle of these two layers and is also called the filter medium or the filtration layer. This layer differs from the other two layers because it has more density, thus providing a better and higher filtration rate than the other two layers.
  • Now all these three layers are bonded together by making them undergo a process including the passing of these three layers through hot temperature so that they can all melt and stick together at the right places. 
  • Finally, the last layer of the embedding layer, or shall we call it the filter media, is formed, and we have our final product at our hands, which is the N95 respirator. All the processes that go into the formation of the N95 respirators are melt blowing and spun bonding and going through chemical and thermal techniques of forming a cloth-like structure of non woven fabric. 
  • Machinery, which is designed particularly for aligning all the parts of the N95 respirators together, put all the parts together. We get our final product that is the N95 respirator, which protects us from the microorganisms present in the outside world. 
  • There is a tiny hint of convenience when we talk about the strap being added to the respirator. The strap that has been added to the respirator gives the wear convenience so that the mass can fit well over the nose bridge.
  • These respirators are just not disposed of after being added on a strap. But they are also brought into machinery that sterilizes them very well to be freshly used by the medical healthcare professionals etc.

Conclusion

When discussing the topic, a conclusion is a must. Here we were discussing the topic of the innermost layer of the N95 mask and its functions, so below are some of the points about what actually does the innermost layer in the N95 respirator does,

  • The innermost layer of the N95 respirator is supposed to block all the microorganisms or contaminants that the wearer might add into the environment so that the spread of the disease can be controlled, especially if the wearer is corona positive or a carrier of the disease.
  • The innermost layer of the N95 respirator is supposed to provide the necessary protection to the filter media present in the middle of the mask from within the mask environment.

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