OP Masken is made to keep the operation theatre sterile and prevent germs from spreading from the wearer’s mouth and nose during any kind of surgery. We could find that there is a sudden rise in the demand among consumers during outbreaks of coronavirus. But we should understand that the germs of coronavirus are very small and these are not designed to filter out viruses.
OP Masken is simply a piece of cloth that is attached with a rubber strip to our face. The material used for the manufacturing is a non-woven fabric made of plastic like polypropylene. They are available in many different styles and grades. We should understand that these masks will provide the same level of protection as unvented masks, but the valve present in these masks are unable to block the viruses from coming out, which may cause the virus to spread to others.
Types of OP Masken
There are four types of masks, that can be classified on the level of protection they provide
- Minimum protection face masks are made for short-time usage. They are used during the examination of patients which doesn’t involve fluid, spray, or aerosol.
- Level 1 masks are often used in low-risk situations. They are used during surgical and procedural applications. still, they are used when there is no fluid, spray, or aerosol contamination.
- Level 2 masks are used when fluid influence is under 120 mmHg.
- Level 3 masks are used when there is a heavy possibility that, there will be contamination of aerosol, fluid, spray with 160 mmHg fluid resistance.
It should be cleared that OP Masken can’t be used as procedural masks. Procedural masks are made for use in a clean environment. They are made to use in intensive care and maternity units only… Still, they are not made for the sterile environment like the operation room.
How OP Masken are made?
These masks are usually made from non-woven fabric, which has better bacteria filtration and air permeability. Polypropylene is generally used, either 20 or 25 grams per square meter(gsm). These masks could be also made from polystyrene, polyester, polycarbonate, or polyethylene.
20(gsm) masks are generally made by a process known as spunbond, which involves extruding the melted plastic onto a running conveyor belt. Then the material is made in a web-like structure, in which strands bond with each other as soon as they cool down.
25(gsm) masks are generally made through melt-blown technology, which is a similar process where plastic is extruded through a die with hundreds of nozzles. Then hot air is passed through the nozzle so that it becomes a tiny fiber, then again cooled and bound on a conveyor belt. The fibers that come out are very small in diameter.
OP Masken are made in multi-layers, then it is covered with a layer of material made up of non-woven fabric on both sides. The non-woven masks are generally cheaper as they are non-disposable. These masks are generally of two layers, which increases the effectiveness of filtering out particles such as bacteria with a size above 1 micron. After the complete production of masks, they are sterilized before they are sent to the packaging unit.
OP Maken tests
When the mask has been made it is tested to ensure they are safe to use. There are generally five tests that a mask has to be put through
- BACTERIAL FILTRATION EFFICIENCY TEST
In this test, it is exposed to an aerosol with a bacteria called staphylococcus aureus. This test is done to make sure that mask is capable of catching the percentage of bacteria it’s supposed to.
- PARTICLE FILTRATION EFFICIENCY
In this test, aerosol of polystyrene microspheres is sprayed to ensure that the mask can filter out the size of particle it should be.
- BREATHING RESISTANCE
This test is conducted to confirm that mask is going to retain its shape and have proper ventilation throughout the wearer’s breaths. This test is done by passing a flow of air through the mask, the difference in air pressure on both sides of the mask.
- SPLASH RESISTANCE
In this test, the mask is splashed with the blood using the similar forces that human blood pressure could exert. This test is done to make sure that the liquid cannot penetrate and contaminate the wearer.
When we talk about the operation room, many instruments could catch fire. So a flammability test is done to check how slowly it catches fire and how long does the material takes time to burn.
Things required to become an OP Masken manufacturer
- Navigating test and certification standards organizations
A mask manufacturing company must know the web of test organizations and certification bodies as well as who can give them which services. Various government agencies like FDA, NIOSH, and OSHA set protection requirements for end-users of products like masks. Then organizations like NFPA and ISO set performance requirements around these protection requirements. After these, all next comes organizations like ASTM, UL, or AATCC have created standardized methods to ensure that the products are safe to use.
When a mask company wants to certify its product then, it submits its products to a certification body such as CE or UL. Then these organizations test the product by itself. Engineers evaluate the test results against performance specified and if the product passes all the parameters then the organization puts its mark to show how safe the product is.
- Competition against other companies
In recent times, it has been found that small companies have been acquired and consolidated into larger companies. OP Masken and respirators are highly specialized products that have been developed by these big companies. All those large companies which have more experienced fields can manufacture them at a lower price.
- Getting supplies
When there was a sudden outbreak of coronavirus, manufacturers were facing a shortage in the mask material. The shortage was of melt-blown fabric and it takes a month to set up a single melt-blow machine. Because of this, it was difficult for melt-blown fabric companies to scale up and the massive demand for masks throughout the globe caused the fabric shortage and price hike.