MOCON Permeation Analysers Used for Testing Nonwoven Materials in Medical Masks and PPE during COVID-19 Pandemic
- Medical masks usually consist of three to four layers of porous nonwoven materials to provide protection while being easy to breathe through.
- The key element of the mask is the center micro-porous layer (Melt Blown Polypropylene) that has the electrostatic adsorption/filtration function to trap viruses and other harmful tiny substances.
- The outer layer has water repellent treatment so that liquid droplets will not penetrate it.
- The inner layer is made to be comfortable to the skin and provides structural support for the center layer.
- It is important to have the breathable mask block the liquid droplets while letting moisture vapor easily escape to prevent buildup between the face and mask.
- The rate at which the moisture can leave the mask is evaluated by moisture/water vapor transmission rate (MVTR or WVTR).
PERMATRAN-W 101K Application to Breathable PPE
- The PERMATRAN-W 101K instrument is capable of obtaining accurate and repeatable water vapor permeation test results of breathable materials, including critical nonwoven material layers in medical masks, surgical gowns, and other personal protective equipment (PPE).
- The instrument conforms to the ASTM D6701 standard: Standard Test Method for Determining Water Vapor Transmission Rates (WVTR) through Nonwoven and Plastic Barriers.
- WVTR rates are important to measure because they govern how much moisture will build up when using PPE.
- Using the PERMATRAN-W 101K and ASTM D6701 for Quality Control in the manufacturing of nonwovens used for medical masks, gowns, and other PPE, ultimately ensures these medical supplies provide a comfortable and safe barrier.