Simple fabrication of an electrospun polystyrene microfiber filter that meets N95 filtering facepiece respirator filtration and breathability standards

Source avec lien : Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 140(5). 10.1002/app.53406

Ici, une couche non tissée et non soutenue de microfibres de polystyrène (PS) non chargées a été produite par électrofilage et répond aux normes de performance N95 sur la base des seuls paramètres physiques (par exemple, l’épaisseur du filtre).

Abstract During the global spread of COVID-19, high demand and limited availability of melt-blown filtration material led to a manufacturing backlog of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs). This shortfall prompted the search for alternative filter materials that could be quickly mass produced while meeting N95 FFR filtration and breathability performance standards. Here, an unsupported, nonwoven layer of uncharged polystyrene (PS) microfibers was produced via electrospinning that achieves N95 performance standards based on physical parameters (e.g., filter thickness) alone. PS microfibers 3?6 ?m in diameter and deposited in an ~5?mm thick filter layer are favorable for use in FFRs, achieving high filtration efficiencies (≥97.5%) and low pressure drops (≤15?mm H2O). The PS microfiber filter demonstrates durability upon disinfection with hydroxyl radicals (?OH), maintaining high filtration efficiencies and low pressure drops over six rounds of disinfection. Additionally, the PS microfibers exhibit antibacterial activity (1-log removal of E. coli) and can be modified readily through integration of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) during electrospinning to enhance their activity (≥3-log removal at 25?wt% AgNP integration). Because of their tunable performance, potential reusability with disinfection, and antimicrobial properties, these electrospun PS microfibers may represent a suitable, alternative filter material for use in N95 FFRs.

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