Why Use Nonwovens in Medical PPE Product ?

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Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 02:31 am

Nonwovens are widely applied in medical and other industries to guard against biological hazards. They provide essential safety attributes, including immunity to viruses and illness. Nonwovens can be extremely useful in the fight against cross-contamination and the transmission of infection in a medical or surgical environment, especially with today’s multi-drug resistant strains of bacteria and viruses. They must be used once before being burned, reducing the spread of pollutants and eliminating the need for handling.

Nonwovens are becoming an essential part of “smart” products designed for wound care, including creating a moist environment for wound healing that has regulated vapor transfer, absorbency, and low skin adherence. Nonwoven materials (NMs) provide several benefits for medical applications regarding user needs and material characteristics. Because of their exceptional levels of sterility, efficiency, and infection control, they ensure the safety of both patients and medical personnel.

What is Nonwoven Fabric?

Nonwoven fabric is widely referred to as sheet or web structures joined together mechanically, thermally, or chemically by entangling fiber or filaments (and by perforating films). These porous, flat sheets can be materialized or produced from individual threads, molten plastic, or plastic film. They don’t require the fibers to be transformed into yarn or created through weaving or knitting.

 Nonwoven textiles often contain a particular amount of oil-based and recycled components. Different percentages of textiles are recycled depending on the material strength required for a given purpose addition; with the correct handling and infrastructure, may recycle some nonwoven fabrics after use.

Nonwoven fabric used in medical PPE (Personal protective equipment)

Healthcare workers (HCWs) must use personal protective equipment (PPE) to safeguard against infectious infections like COVID-19. However, because of the extraordinary worldwide demand, hospitals have been in danger of running out of safe and efficient PPE, including personal protective equipment, to treat patients with COVID-19.

Depending on the application area, Wet wipes are used in hospitals and patients. Reviving tissues, wipes for the home, and wipes for use in industry. Blends containing polyester or polypropylene are frequently utilized to achieve specific properties. The benefits of nonwoven fiber webs for absorbent gauze for medical and surgical applications are also evident.

For surgical masks, gowns, and drapes, enhanced nonwoven materials with liquid repellent, virus-proof, and bacterial barrier qualities have also been created.

Advantages of using Nonwoven Fabric in medical PPE

Nonwoven Fabric has proven to be very eco-friendly; it provides personal safety and reassures environmental protection.

Protection

Nonwoven fabric is a reliable source of protection from getting your wound wet or infected by air-borne particles. Its resilient sheet of fiber forms a heavily guarded gateway for harmful particles.

 Fully compliant with EU standard EN 13795

To prevent the spread of infectious agents between medical staff and patients during surgical and other invasive procedures, this European Standard provides information on the characteristics of single-use and reusable surgical gowns and surgical drapes used as medical devices for patients and clinical staff and equipment.

Nonwoven Fabric fully complies with the EU standards.

Used once

Nonwovens are goods that are only used once, including disposable home wipes, diapers, medical dressings, and protective garments. Interfacing for clothing, vehicle headliners, road underlayment, and carpeting are examples of durable products.

Nonwovens and the environment

Nonwovens contribute to reducing the hazardous medical environments of today.

They can be modified to meet evolving requirements.

Can accommodate escalating demand for more disposables that are beneficial to the environment

Have practically endless uses for healthcare items, including sutures, orthopedic and tissue structures, surgical masks and gowns, beds, dressings, and surgical drapes.

Custom made

Nonwovens can be custom-made for operating theatres where procedure-specific designs are used. To optimize the wearer’s comfort and to ensure the product is strong yet light in weight. It can be modified to attain optimal fluid absorbency. Its web-like structure built on sheets of molten plastic assures the exchange of air, body heat, and moisture.  

Some other noticeable attributes include:

  • superior barrier qualities.
  • outstanding uniformity.
  • Breathability.
  • lint-free and resistant to abrasion.
  • Repellent.
  • self-sticking edges.
  • sterile folding.

Engineered stability for sterilization by steam, radiation, plasma, or ETO.

Nonwovens applied in medical.

Nonwovens have several benefits in surgical procedures for cell integration and tissue regeneration, as well as in the controlled delivery of a wide range of promising drugs and substances. Their performance in medical applications, including as the foundation for ‘cutting-edge’ wound care products and in protective gowns, drapes, and sterilization packs, is well known.

For example, nonwoven constructions used as tissue scaffolds offer a larger surface area than most conventional biomedical textiles, providing advantages for implanted devices. In particular, tailored performance and regulated absorption profiles are made possible by the capacity to promote cellular development through precise spacing, layer thickness, and material integrity.

Cotton lintersWhy Use Nonwovens in Medical PPE Product?

Cotton linters have the potential to replace disposables in the market. Cotton won’t ever be able to replace pulp because of the expense ultimately, but it could play a role in the future. In addition to wood pulp and cotton linters, component fibers in short-staple form may be utilized to create nonwovens from fibers that are disseminated in the airflow while placed on a belt.

The materials are used to restore the body, whether it be through replacements or wound closure (sutures). Surgery (including artificial ligaments, vascular grafts, etc.). Several sizes and forms of duplications may be discovered in the human body. These days, filament-texturized yarns are coated to stop blood leakage while the tissue develops on the interior walls.

Tissue Healing

For tissue healing, carbon fiber is a preferred material.

In plastic surgery, abdominal wall abnormalities are repaired using suspending and strengthening surgical mesh—surgeries for Hermia in urology, etc.

High porosity textiles derived from synthetic fibers, such as hydrophobic snivel felt dressings, are used to treat butts and various dermatological conditions.

Bandages

These are low texture, thin plain weave cotton or linen fabrics that can be knitted or woven.

Ex: Crepe Bandage, Orthopedic Bandage, Plaster of Paris Bandage

Adhesive Tapes

It is a thin, plain-woven cloth with an adhesive paste covering. The nonwoven fabric helps other pads adapt to the injury.

Health care Textiles

Health care and cleanliness, among other medical uses, are critical areas of textiles. Although a wide variety of health care and hygiene goods are available, they are primarily utilized in operating rooms or hospital wards for hygiene, care, and patient and staff safety.

Following is a list of medical products in which Nonwoven fiber is used:

  • sanitizing gowns.
  • surgical uniforms.
  • surgical coverings and drapes.
  • sterile masks.
  • medical scrubs and hats.
  • medical packaging: gas can pass through porosity sterilization.
  • gloves.
  • shoe shields.
  • bath wipes, bandages, and delivery of drugs.
  • plasters.

Strict Quality Control of Medical Nonwoven Fiber

High-quality medical nonwoven fabric manufacture requires real-time online inspections at each stage and passing the ISO13485 international medical product quality management system certification. It must ensure that a batch inspection report is included with each nonwoven fabric delivered to the quality inspection department. Everyday non-medical nonwoven materials, however, do not require medical-level testing.

People can only use medical nonwoven materials once they have undergone rigorous examinations. Therefore, you must pick a reputable manufacturer when purchasing to prevent getting items of poor quality and suffering financial losses.

Distinguishing Nonwoven products based on their quality is necessary. The widespread usage of medical nonwoven is a result of their unique attributes. After observation, it was discovered that most individuals could not tell it apart from traditional nonwoven materials.

Based on the following qualities, you can distinguish nonwoven fiber from ordinary fiber:

  • Color
  • Fineness
  • Formation
  • Bacteria Filtration Efficiency (BFE)
  • Air permeability (AP) parameters.

PP environmental protection particles are used in premium medical nonwoven textiles. Ordinary non-medical nonwoven materials, on the other hand, cannot survive high humidity levels and do not need toxicological studies.

Typically, the three-layer SMS melt blown layer structure of medical nonwoven materials. A single-layer SMS melt-blown layer is used in the industry’s standard medical nonwoven textiles. In contrast, a three-layer design has better anti-toxicity than a single layer. There is no melt-blown layer in the center and no antiviral effect since the typical nonwoven fabric is not intended for medical usage.

Conclusion

Nonwoven fabrics are engineered textiles that can be exceedingly durable, single-use, or have a short lifespan. Nonwoven materials serve various purposes, including filtration, usage as a bacterial barrier, sterility, resiliency, stretch, softness, strength, flame retardancy, washability, and a variety of other functions.

 These qualities are frequently combined to design textiles suitable for certain activities while balancing product use-life and cost. They can be as thick as the heaviest paddings and imitate woven cloth’s look, feel, and strength.

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