Technological watch

Borealis supports Austrian face mask initiatives

Borealis announced that it has started production of meltblown fabrics for face mask applications on its unique pilot line in Linz, Austria. Borealis has managed quickly to convert the way of working from pure development to smaller scale pilot production to regularly produce rolls of fine fibre fabrics for face masks. Recently developed by Borealis, a new proprietary polypropylene (PP) meltblown resin has boosted filtration properties due to its capability for finer fibres. By exploiting a robust network of co-operation partners in the country, Borealis is helping bolster the supply of filtration media to increase face masks production.

Unique PP meltblown resins for filtration excellenceMeltblown pilot line in the Borealis Innovation Headquarters in Linz, AustriaA typical mask is made out of spunbonded outer layers and a meltblown middle layer. The spunbonded layers provide the structure while the meltblown layer is providing the barrier properties. For high-end FFP1 to FFP3 masks, more advanced meltblown structures with extremely fine fibres are essential. Borealis offers both the unique meltblown materials and a variety of spunbond PP grades.

The well-known Borealis meltblown resins HL708FB and HL712FB are reference grades for filtration. Recently, a new resin Borealis HL912FB was introduced to the market, which can be processed at higher processing temperatures allowing the production of even finer fibres. According to in-house testing, the use of Borealis HL912FB results in a significant improvement in filtration efficiency. All three grades are manufactured at Borealis facilities in Europe and made available to customers worldwide.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a sudden steep increase in the need for PPE, while supply chains are being disrupted around the globe. We would like to assure our partners that we remain the reliable supplier of advanced polymers for the manufacture of high-quality face masks and other PPE,” says Lucrèce Foufopoulos, Borealis Executive Vice President Polyolefins, Innovation and Circular Economy Solutions. “True to our company purpose, ‘Life demands progress – we are re-inventing for more sustainable living’, we are offering innovative solutions like Borealis HL912FB and are re-purposing our own pilot facilities to a small-scale production line for meltblown fabrics. We have capitalised on our close collaboration with governments, NGOs and value chain partners to optimally deploy our innovation and manufacturing capabilities at the service of society.”

Publication date: 22/05/2020

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This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2020-07-14