Exactly what is in an N95 mask that makes it capable of protecting us against the virus that struck the entire world since late 2019 to date? In the United States, n95 masks and n95 respirators have become a great need since the pandemic. So much so that this antiviral face mask is already low in supply that healthcare workers have had to suffer.
But what type of N95 mask should you buy online in the USA? What are the uses of the N95 mask that set it apart from other medical and surgical masks both reusable and disposable face mask types?
We will discuss the N95 mask more in detail in this post. If you are looking for the best face mask for sale, you can buy wholesale prices of the N95 mask in bulk online. There is a size available for every wearer, even for kids. Some of the best products out there are 3M N95 masks like 1860, 3M 8511, and 3M 8210. Be on the lookout for face shield and kn95 masks, too.
If you are looking for an N95 mask that offers virus protection, find the protection you need with the right filter. The best N95 mask can filter out airborne particles in smoke and dust. This prevents the flu causing virus to enter your system.
Features of the N95 Mask
First, let us understand the components behind the N95 mask. What is the meaning of N in N95 mask? In this case, N stands for Non-Oil because the N95 mask cannot filter out oil based particles. The N95 mask is only effective for filtering airborne materials spread by sneezing and coughing. If you are looking for a mask that is resistant to oil, an N95 mask is not what you need. Rather, check for R rating which means oil-resistant and P rating which means oil-proof.
Moving on to the 95 in N95 mask, what does it mean? The N95 mask is called rightfully so because it has a filter capacity of at least 95 percent. There are other masks besides the N95 mask which have more filter capacities up to 99.97 percent and use a different kind of filter like HEPA quality filter which the N95 mask is without.
Parts of the N95 Mask
The typical N95 mask has two outer layers, a nose clip, and a strap. Sandwiched in between the two outer layers of the N95 mask is a filter made out of polypropylene.
So, what type of filter does the N95 mask have? The N95 mask is made with a non-woven polypropylene fiber. This part of the N95 mask is found in the middle of two outer layers of the N95 mask. This part can filter out air that comes in and out of the N95 mask. This filter of the N95 mask is also electrostatic filtration to boost the efficiency of an N95 mask.
The filtering capacity of the N95 mask is 0.3 microns of airborne particles or larger droplets. This size of hazardous particulates found in the air cannot pass through the N95 mask, leaving coughing and sneezing particles with the wearer. This filtration system of the N95 mask also filters out contaminants in dust, smoke, fumes, and mists.
Finally, your N95 mask may or not come with this option—the valve. An N95 mask with a valve offers extra help for exhalation. This type of N95 mask feature can ease breathing, in particular, exhaling.
The Synthetic Plastic That Makes the N95 Mask Effective
The N95 mask can help prevent spreading of the coronavirus through its filter made of synthetic plastic fibers that are similar to those fibers found in synthetic or polyester clothing. A typical 3M N95 mask uses polypropylene fiber like the fiber used to make yoga pants and quick-dry shirts. Only, the difference is that with the N95 mask, polypropylene is given an electrostatic charge that makes filtration with this material even more effective.
Aside from polypropylene, you can also find other materials that make up the N95 mask. There are some metal parts or steel in the nose clip and the straps are made of aluminum in a typical N95 mask.
How Is the N95 Mask Made?
The N95 mask, unlike a cloth mask, is made from polymers like petroleum derivatives. The N95 mask is mostly used to prevent exposure to airborne particles and fine dust. In the time of COVID-19, the N95 mask is essential for healthcare workers.
A surprising condition about the N95 mask is that it can be made from petroleum products. Most of its parts, including the steel and aluminum parts also need natural gas or oil to manufacture.
So, just how does polypropylene find its way into the N95 mask? Polypropylene fibers in the N95 mask are interlaced layers of fiber in a maze made possible through inertial impaction or diffusion. The way this filter of the N95 mask is made prevents extremely small particles up to 0.3 microns from passing through the filter.
Polypropylene in an N95 mask is designed in random directions like a maze so that it collides with each other. Even with this complexity, the N95 mask polypropylene filter further receives a small electric charge. The way electrostatic attraction works is it traps the particles like how a balloon can stick to a wail after you rub it in your hair for some time.