Fibrenamics from University of Minho develops White Paper for the production of Covid-19 Protection Masks
Document prepared by a team of researchers from Fibrenamics aims to assist companies that are redirecting their manufacturing lines to help the National Health Service with the production of protective masks.
Fibrenamics, the international platform of the University of Minho, has just developed and made available the White Paper 'Masks for Protection', a document that arises from the current need for large-scale production of this protection equipment for the contagion of Covid-19, with several companies that are making themselves available to do so, but identifying the lack of an information and guidance document to assist in the development of this solution.
This White Paper prepared by the group of researchers from the University of Minho, aims to be a contribution to the harmonization of the information available in relation to the means of respiratory protection (masks), addressing aspects such as the types of protection required depending on the risk agents, the materials and the processes involved in its preparation and the standardization applied to the validation / certification of its performance.
“Due to the research and development work that Fibrenamics has been doing for several years in the world of fibers, over the past few days we have received several requests from companies that want to manufacture protective masks for healthcare professionals. Having no experience in this field, they raise several doubts about certifications, materials and production. On the other hand, we have also been contacted by health professionals who, given the scarcity of PPE, try to find them on the market themselves or contribute to their manufacture. Thus, with a reference document on this product, it becomes simpler to respond to all these calls, in an integrated manner, and with the technical-scientific rigor that this situation requires”, explains Raul Fangueiro, Professor at the University of Minho and Coordinator of Fibrenamics.
The production of this type of personal protective equipment should consider the need to respond to very specific requirements, most of which are duly defined through available European standardization. The solutions presented in this document result from the critical analysis of the research carried out, and are not intended to constitute, per se, unique and reducing ways of obtaining the necessary performances. On the other hand, considering the need to produce this equipment on a large scale, other solutions can be explored using the technologies and materials available without neglecting the protection requirements of the identified users, nor meeting the required performance levels.
Although it is an open access document with relevant information for everyone in an indiscriminate way, it is preferably directed to health professionals and others who, in the development of their activities, need this type of protection. On the other hand, it is also aimed at companies that wish to contribute to face the foreseeable shortage of this type of personal protection products on the market.
"This White Paper can be updated at any time. It is a document open to the contribution of all those who have relevant information that can be made available in an indiscriminate way in this moment of need for articulation of all", explains Raul Fangueiro.