What is Melt-Blown Non-Woven Fabric?

Melt-blown non-woven fabric is a common material for making quality face masks.

The non-woven fabric means it is produced directly from fiber stage (in case of natural fibers) or from polymers (in granular stage) to fabric without the needing of an intermediate process like spinning or yarn formation. 

Melt-blown non-woven

The melt-blown nonwovens are made of thermoplastic synthetic polymer, directly from the polymer stage to randomly-laid nonwoven mat or fabrics by using the melt-blown spinning process.

The melt-blown process is a single-step process that transforms polymer chips or granules as a raw material into the randomly-laid fiber web structure. The chips or the granules are heated up and turned into a molten polymer solution (using series of heating elements) which then, been blown by hot air onto a rotation drum (the set up could be horizontal or vertical), forming an entangled fibrous web on the surface of the drum. The process has been shown using a schematic diagram in Fig 1 below. 

Figure 1: The schematic diagram of melt-blown process

In general, this system produces fibers with a diameter of ranging from 1μm to 10 μm. The melt-blown web is softer, bulkier, and weaker. It has a smaller pore size with greater filtration efficiency in comparison with spun-bonded fibrous webs. Because of its lesser strength, in most filter applications, this melt-blown fibrous media is used with the support from another web or used as part of a composite structure. The most widely used polymer for this web formation is polypropylene (PP).  Learn more about the melt-blown process on Sciencdirect.com.

Definition of melt-blown

Melt blowing is a conventional fabrication method of micro- and nanofibers where a polymer melt is extruded through small nozzles surrounded by high speed blowing gas. The randomly deposited fibers form a nonwoven sheet product applicable for filtration, sorbents, apparels, and drug delivery systems. The substantial benefits of melt blowing are simplicity, high specific productivity, and solvent-free operation. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melt_blowing)

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