Enhanced filtration and comfort properties of nonwoven filtering facepiece respirator by the incorporation of polymeric nanoweb

Abstract

Protection for the respiratory system has become a need of the day due to increased air pollution. Different nonwoven filter media have been incorporated into filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs). However, the performance of these systems could be improved further by the addition of finer nanowebs. The effect of the addition of intermediate media (nanowebs) on the comfort of FFRs also needs to be studied, as comfort can affect the performance of wearer. In this study, electrospun polymeric nanowebs were incorporated between layers of commercially available nonwoven fabrics to improve its filtration performance. The effect of the addition of polymeric webs between the layers of nonwoven filter media on the comfort properties was also studied. It was concluded that the addition of nanowebs remarkably improved the filtration capability of filter media. Also, it was found to have mixed impact on comfort properties of the resultant composite filter media; air permeability was reduced from 58 to 50 mm/s, while the filtration efficiency was improved along with thermal and water vapor permeability. Thermal conductivity was increased from 30.5 to 39 [(W/cm °C) × 104]. Water vapor permeability increased from 1.70 to 2.04 [(g/s mm2) × 108].

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Acknowledgments

Authors acknowledge LPMT-France for testing.

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The project was not funded.

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Correspondence to Sharjeel Abid.

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Nazir, A., Khenoussi, N., Hussain, T. et al. Enhanced filtration and comfort properties of nonwoven filtering facepiece respirator by the incorporation of polymeric nanoweb. Polym. Bull. 77, 5155–5173 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00289-019-03009-1

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Keywords

  • Comfort
  • Filtering facepiece respirators
  • Nanofibers
  • Respiratory protection