N95 Grade Medical Protective Mask is a respiratory protective device designed to achieve efficient filtration of airborne particles. The N95 respirators when subjected to testing are expected to block at least 95% of 0.3 micron particles, hence the name N95 respirators. These N95 Respirators are not oil proof.
There are other masks with P and R rating similar to N rating which are oil proof. Some of the masks with different ratings are:
N95 – Not oil resistant and filters at least 95% of airborne particles
R99 – Oil resistant and filters at least 99% of airborne particles
P100 – Oil proof and filters at least 99.97% of airborne particles
The N95 masks have seen uncontrollable rise in demand from all over the world due to spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
China used to produce about more than half of the world’s mask production. Daily production was about 20 million units per day.
Ever since the pandemic broke out first in China in December 2019, there had been temporary shutdown of the factories causing disrupt in production of these masks.
Now, that factories are commencing slowly they are finding it hard to meet even the local demands and are not able to respond to global orders.
Factories that used to make phones and cars are turned to produce masks. Machines that once churned out fibrous material for diapers and sanitary pads are being re-tooled to produce materials for masks these days.
The below info graphic shows the share of hospitals, drug store and online store distribution channel:
Shawmut Corporation’s West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, facility to announce the official launch of Shawmut’s new N95 Face Mask manufacturing facility.
The county’s need for PPE equipment created in the country is being met by this new manufacturing facility. It is an honour for Linea 5 to have been a part of the team that built this Face Mask manufacturing facility.
Shawmut Corporation, a 100-year-old family-owned business, made a strategic shift during the pandemic to transform portions of their West Bridgewater headquarters into a N95 mask manufacturing facility in collaboration with the local real estate developer.
The Fallon Company. With the help of Fitzemeyer & Tocci, Goldstein-Milano, and Linea 5, the team soon added exceptional design and construction capabilities.Linea 5, Inc. is honoured to be a part of such a crucial undertaking for the nation during this pandemic.
This quick project was made possible by the incredible collaboration of AZ Corp., The Fallon Company, F&T, Goldstein-Milano, and Shawmut Corporation.
In order to address the ongoing demand for domestically produced PPE, Shawmut Corporation has started making N95 masks that have been authorised by NIOSH. By year’s end, the company hopes to be producing up to 10 million masks per month.
A system for producing N95 masks on demand is being developed by researchers at the University of Michigan. In an effort to meet the demand, the domestic market acted as hospitals struggled to find personal protective equipment.
It made substantial machinery purchases, hired personnel, and started producing as many surgical masks and N95 respirators as feasible. Of this trend, DemeTECH was a component.
Michigan Medicine was experiencing a scarcity of N95 masks, so engineering researchers at U-M looked for a solution.
Despite our inability to establish N95 manufacturing in Ann Arbour, we did come up with concepts for the locally accessible and economically viable production of superior N95 filtering materials and manufacturing methods for cutting-edge N95 designs.
Since the reopening of global supply chains, American industries have been forced to close as domestic firms find it difficult to compete with the reduced pricing of respirators and masks made elsewhere.
The N95s and masks in question are constructed using the same methods and supplies as those used decades ago. New mask designs, materials, and masks could not have been created without affordable production techniques.
The same compact inline machine will be used to put the meltblown material together into N95 respirators or masks later. This will enable them to swiftly produce respirators and have production lines ready to start up in case of demand.
The project’s demonstration phase will use standard N95 designs to show off the production process. The team hopes to use cutting-edge designs and materials in future work to make it possible to produce N95s.
The N95 respirators are available in 2 variants with respect to exhalation valve, one being without the valve, where it is just the layers of filter and the strap. This is cheaper in cost, but since they pose breathing difficulty for the people it is less preferred.
The masks with the exhalation valve make it easier for breathing and reduce sweat. Hence, these are in demand and are used extensively by the medical personnel. These masks are undoubtedly expected to hit high sales in the days to come.
USA has second most number of mask production firms in the world. However, due to pandemic they are falling short by long distance trying to meet the demands.
They have about only 1% of required masks required to combat the outbreak. They are planning to buy 500 million masks for the nation stockpile. Prestige Ameritech largest US surgical mask manufacturer, said to have received a request to supply 1.5 billion masks.
In US, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended the public to not to buy the N95 masks so as to limit its supply to medical personnel.
Instead it has asked the consumers to stay at home and avoid being exposed to virus. But the public are paying no heed to this as the fear has taken over them and the demand for N95 masks have risen to all time high.
Europe has its own standard i.e. EU 143 and EU 149. Based on these standards there are few mask ratings, FFP2 is one of them. FFP2 respirators are approximately closer to N95 masks. LVMH luxury conglomerate has committed to supply 40 million FFP2 masks for France from a Chinese distributor.
As Italy is now the worst affected European country due to COVID-19, by April 1st week 2020
Germany is the third worst affected European economy, therefore
France is also struggling with N95 Mask production
Belgium is expecting a delivery of 14 million surgical masks and 1.2 million FF2/N95 masks. from China.
H&M Sweden’s fashion brand is producing masks at its factories and will produce 100,000 masks in the first batch and deliver it to Spain and Italy. Ikea has started the production of masks and other protective equipment.
The following 24 countries have alloted $1.7 Trillion Dollars to fight COVID-19. Germany alone accounts for almost half of that.
KN95 is the N95 equivalent respirator as per Chinese standard. China the worst affected country by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been producing the masks at rapid rate.
They produce about 200 million masks a day as of March 2020, which is 20 times more compared to what they used to produce in February 2020.
Out of these 200 million China produce only 600,000 standard N95 masks used by medical personnel.
In countries like Japan and Germany doctors are being told to reuse the mask they get daily due to lack of supply.
Countries like South Korea, Russia, Thailand, Taiwan and Germany have announced ban on export of masks and other protective gears in view of local demand and nation stockpile in case of unprecedented events.
3M US MNC is expected to produce 35 million respirators a month and are strived to prioritize the supply to medical personnel first and then to the public.
Greece to get 500,000 masks mainly consisting of FFP2 masks from China
South Korea has imported 2.5 tons mask filters which is expected to help produce 2.5 million protective masks.
South Australia’s packaging manufacturer Detmold Group is pivoting towards manufacturing of surgical and respirator masks to assist fight against COVID-19.
The aim is to produce 100 million masks for National Medical Stockpile and 45 million for South Australia Health. Nobody Denim makers has converted their factory to produce 12,000 masks per week.
The over reliance on one country (China) has caused a serious imbalance in the market of the surgical masks and respirators. On parallel, Chinese engineering firms have started to build loads of machines that churn out the fibrous material; even though it takes time the production of masks is expected to skyrocket in months to come.
The global N95 Mask market is estimated at $XX Billion in 2020, a rise of 5X YOY.
The outbreak has led to constant and rigorous working of various companies towards mass production of surgical and N95 masks.
Honeywell and 3M multinational conglomerate companies are leading the production in US and other plants across the world. Prestige Ameritech limited to mask production has been supplying to countries all over the world.
Shanghai Dasheng and Te Yin are some of the respirator manufacturers from China. DACH Schutzbekleidung GmbH (Germany) and Cambridge Mask Co (UK) are some of the European mask manufacturers.
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