Medical protective clothing such as gowns and protective suits are made of composite nonwovens, a combination product of spunbond and meltblown. The composition and further treatment of the material depend on the required function.
Understanding composite nonwovens
Composite nonwovens consist of spunbonded (S) and meltblown (M). The two different types of nonwovens are produced in the composite process in a single production step. Several material layers are directly produced on top of each other and are firmly bonded together. Up to seven layers can thus be combined (e.g. SSMMMMS). The meltblown nonwoven is always enclosed by at least one layer of spunbonded nonwoven.
As a general rule, in medical products the meltblown share is 20 percent. With a typical basis weight of 45g/m², this is 9 g/m² meltblown.
Spunbonded nonwovens provide:
Protective clothing that is worn in the operating room must be alcohol-repellent. This property can only be achieved by post-treatment. For this purpose, the nonwoven fabric is subsequently treated with fluorocarbon in an immersion bath and dried again in a heating oven.
Without a post-treatment of SMS nonwovens, the protection against water and blood is destroyed as soon as the material comes into contact with alcohol.