It wasn’t that long ago that few had ever heard of an N95 mask. But with the global coronavirus pandemic, these masks are desperately sought for their personal protection. Global suppliers and their supply chains have been ramping up production to meet huge demand. One of the technologies that can help increase production and provide the necessary levels of hygiene is ultrasonic welding.
In a Medical Design & Outsourcing article, How ultrasonics power infection control in nonwovens, Emerson’s Tom Hoover describes the role of ultrasonic technology in replacing sewing in non-woven materials. When used in:
…packaged sterile surgical drape kits, personal protective equipment (PPE) such as surgical caps and N95 masks, gowns, scrubs and foot covers, disposable nonwovens provide an effective yet inexpensive barrier against microorganisms and contamination.
Ultrasonic technology, such as Emerson’s Branson ultrasonic welding platform, work by transmitting:
…high-frequency mechanical vibration via tooling through thermoplastic material to create frictional heat.
This heat is used to:
- Cut or slit a large roll of nonwoven fabric into narrower strips, with cut edges simultaneously seamed and sealed by the friction.
- Bond two pieces of nonwoven fabric into the finished seam of a garment, such as a surgical gown, or a piece of protective gear, such as a surgical mask or cap.
- “Quilt” multiple layers of nonwoven material into laminated absorbent products, alone for use in some sanitary pads, or together with other absorbents such as the superabsorbent wood/paper fibers sometimes used in disposable diapers.
Read the article for some of the advantages of ultrasonic welding over traditional sewing and cutting methods in terms of power consumption, speed, hygiene, bond strength, and more.
Visit the Ultrasonic Solutions for Textiles section on Emerson.com for more on how ultrasonic welding can be applied for much needed PPE and other textile applications. You can also connect and interact with other ultrasonic welding experts in the Welding, Assembly & Cleaning group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.