Canadian Plastics

PolyOne introduces new additive to support increased face mask production

MagIQ Non-Woven Electret Plus improves the dielectric properties in face masks, extending filtration efficiency and the length of time masks will hold a charge.

May 15, 2020   Canadian Plastics

Photo Credit: PolyOne Corp.

Material supplier PolyOne Corp. has launched a new functional additive for protective face masks as part of its Fiber Solutions portfolio.

Called “MagIQ Non-Woven Electret Plus”, the material is designed to improve the dielectric properties in face masks, extending filtration efficiency, and the length of time masks will hold a charge.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a need for greater numbers of N95 respirators and surgical masks than ever before, resulting in a global shortage that stands at unprecedented levels,” company officials said. “Although industry leaders are retooling to produce more masks, manufacturers and suppliers are struggling to bridge the gap between demand and supply.”

N95 and surgical masks both rely on multi-layer construction, with a middle layer made from melt-blown non-woven material. This layer filters out aerosols and particulates containing bacteria and viruses to protect the wearer and those around them. To give better particle blocking capabilities to this layer, fibres can be modified with an additive during extrusion before undergoing an electret charging process. The charged fibres are more effective in keeping particles out.

“With proper ingredient selection and processing, MagIQ Non-Woven Electret Plus helps the middle layer of protective masks to effectively trap particles as small as 0.3 microns,” said Gary Fielding, vice president, general manager, Color and Additives EMEA at PolyOne


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