The purpose of this paper is to introduce a novel face mask prototype having a superabsorbent nanofibrous coating with a homogenous distribution.
Superabsorbent nanofibers were manufactured via electrospinning method using Poly(vinyl alcohol)/superabsorbent polymer (PVA/SAP) aqueous polymer solutions and they were simultaneously coated onto face masks in order to develop their virus protection and comfort properties. Absorbency, air permeability, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) and SEM investigations were carried out for characterization.
SEM investigations revealed that face masks were homogenously coated with nanofibers. Picks obtained from FT-IR spectra proved that all mask samples have PVA/SAP content indicating their absorbent feature. Liquid absorption capacity and air permeability tests have shown that nanofiber coating increased the hydrophilicity of face masks while air permeability decreased in reverse. Final prototype has been found to be promising for industrial, scientific and medical applications with its improved protection and comfort characteristics.
The implication of the research is to investigate the morphological, physical and transfer difference of face masks that are coated with nanofibers and uncoated face masks. This is useful in selection of the right face mask with optimum surface, absorbency and transfer properties.
Compared to commercial product in the market, the face mask developed within the study has a more regularly distributed nanofiber coating.