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A new type of face mask has been developed in Shanghai using nano technology, which is highly permeable to air but resistant to water.
The new product can endure repeated sterilization through boiling water, alcohol or disinfectant, and has 20 times the service life of a regular surgical mask.
According to Shanghai-based Wen Hui Bao, the new mask is expected to come into the market within the coming weeks.
Based on an inspection report from the Liaoning Inspection and Test Institute for Medical Equipment, the mask has reached the national criteria for medical protective masks GB19083-2010 in key indicators such as permeability and blood-resisting abilities.
Produced by Juchen Infant and Children’s Clothing Co Ltd, the new mask used a high polymer material from Hanpu New Material Science and Technology Co Ltd, both based in Fengxian district, Shanghai.
Juchen was founded in 1994, with a main business of producing children’s clothing. The company played an important role in developing and producing face masks for combating the SARS outbreak in 2003. As the novel coronavirus epidemic emerged, the company had planned to reform its production lines to make regular masks. The idea was turned down by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Information, which then suggested the company should innovate and create new masks that can be used repeatedly.
The commission helped introduce Juchen to Hanpu, a new corporation founded in 2018. Recently Hanpu acquired a national patent for a new material, a thin film of nanofiber, and this was the first time the material was used in face mask production. The micropores in the material can filter 95 percent of tiny objects with a diameter bigger than 75 nanometers, which is the quality standard of N95 face masks. According to the paper, the novel coronavirus has a diameter of about 100 nanometers, while the fine particulate matter in air pollution known as PM 2.5 is 2,500 nanometers or 2.5 microns.