RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina State University said its Nonwovens Institute is manufacturing material that can produce up to 500,000 surgical masks per day.
The masks created from this material will protect those on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.
The material, a unique spunbond nonwoven material created at N.C. State, can potentially be reused after proper cleaning, the University said.
NWI is using its two research and training pilot production lines to create the material, the schools said.
“Because of the COVID-19 crisis, we took the spunbond technology and created a new generation of unique filters that have excellent filtering capability and can be potentially be reused after cleaning with peroxide, or potentially alcohol solution,” said Behnam Pourdeyhimi, executive director of NWI, Wilson College of Textiles associate dean for industry research and extension and William A. Klopman Distinguished Professor. “Because these materials are strong, unlike classical meltblown filters, they can also be cut and sewn by traditional techniques.”
Machines at Nonwovens Institute can produce 20,000 meters a day. One meter can create 20 to 25 masks.
N.C. State is anticipating additional equipment to arrive on campus next month that will allow the material to be converted to masks at NWI Centennial Campus facilities.
“We will set these machines up and take our own materials and convert them into masks and provide them to local communities,” Pourdeyhimi said.