While the spread of the coronavirus has been successfully curbed - at least for now - in Europe, as long as there is no vaccine, vigilance remains imperative. And with face masks being required to be worn in an increasing number of situations, demand from healthcare workers, businesses and consumers remains high.
In response, global packaging leader Mondi is installing new production lines at its plant in Gronau, Germany, where it will produce melt-blown nonwoven fabric and surgical face masks.
Mondi Gronau has long experience with the production and handling of films, laminates, nonwovens and elastic ear laminates for hygiene products and is therefore well-positioned to set up production of PPE products, including type IIR surgical face masks.
These masks, which must meet stringent requirements, provide a bacterial filtration efficiency of 98%, breathing resistance of < 60.0 Pa/cm2, and a splash resistance of ≥ 16 kPA.
“Our people have the needed know-how and expertise in working with these materials and the technology required. The in-house production capability of all substantial components positions us to build up a long-term competitive local supply. Once up and running, we will be able to produce more than one million face masks per day,” said Jürgen Schneider, managing director, Mondi Personal Care Components (PCC).
The production lines will produce melt-blown nonwoven fabric and surgical masks. Melt blown nonwoven fabric has a better filtering function than cotton, as the single threads of nonwoven fabric are twenty times thinner than a human hair.
Given the shortage of melt-blown fabric in the marketplace, Mondi´s plant in Gronau will supply approximately 50% of its production to other face mask manufacturers in Europe.