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Comment COVID-19

PolyOne launches additive to enhance face-mask performance

By Mary Page Bailey |

PolyOne Corp. (Cleveland, Ohio) launched a new functional additive for protective face masks as part of its Fiber Solutions portfolio. MagIQ Non-Woven Electret Plus improves the dielectric properties in face masks, extending filtration efficiency and the length of time masks will hold a charge.

The Covid-19 pandemic is causing a need for greater numbers of N95 respirators and surgical masks than ever before, resulting in a global shortage that stands at unprecedented levels. Although industry leaders are retooling to produce more masks, manufacturers and suppliers are struggling to bridge the gap between demand and supply.

N95 and surgical masks both rely on multi-layer construction, with a middle layer made from melt-blown non-woven material. This layer filters out aerosols and particulates containing bacteria and viruses to protect the wearer and those around them.

To add better particle blocking capabilities to this layer, fibers can be modified with an additive during extrusion before undergoing an electret charging process. The charged fibers are more effective in keeping particles out.

“With proper ingredient selection and processing, MagIQ Non-Woven Electret Plus helps the middle layer of protective masks to effectively trap particles as small as 0.3 microns,” explains  Say Eng Lee, VP and GM Color Asia at PolyOne.

MagIQ Non-Woven Electret Plus is commercially available globally. It can help manufacturers increase face mask filtration efficiency and shelf life as they work to meet increased global demand.

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