Innovative solutions were urgently needed to address regional shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in a quick and efficient way.
A group of value chain partners came together to leverage their respective expertise and know-how in order to alleviate the PPE scarcity.
ARBURG, a globally-leading, family-owned maker of high-end injection moulding machines for plastics processing, led these efforts by enlisting the assistance of partners located in and around Germany. These included Borealis, which quickly volunteered to make available sufficient quantities of its innovative grade Bormed™ BJ868MO for the production of high-tech face masks.
The masks produced by ARBURG consist of an injection moulded, soft liquid silicone rubber (LSR) that fits over the nose and mouth, and a firm polypropylene (PP) shield with eyelets used for attaching elastic bands. The middle of the mask features an opening which can be sealed with a flow gate to protect against infection in everyday life. The mask diverts exhaled air downwards, thus serving to reduce the risk of infection. Furthermore, a filter housing made from Bormed BJ868MO can be fitted on the opening. By using this filter, people can reliably protect themselves from Covid-19 virus when in direct contact with sick people.
It is the high flow of the heterophasic PP copolymer Bormed™ BJ868MO that has enabled ARBURG to produce the face mask parts with extremely short cycle times: as little as 6 seconds and 11 seconds for the filter housing and mask holder parts, respectively. Using Bormed BJ868MO not only enables the manufacture and distribution of a higher quantity of masks more quickly for relief projects such as this one, but also significantly enhances productivity for the manufacturer.
“The great cooperation and quick and easy communication with Borealis as well as the excellent features of BJ868MO have contributed significantly to the success of the project.”
Dr. Thomas Walther, Head of Application Engineering, ARBURG
Since around mid-May, ARBURG has been manufacturing and assembling several thousand units at its own facilities in Lossburg, Germany. ARBURG is distributing the protective masks to care facilities, hospitals, civil defence organizations, and other stakeholders in the district of Freudenstadt, including ARBURG employees located around the globe.
The many benefits of Bormed™ BJ868MO
As a regulated grade and new member of the dedicated Bormed™ portfolio of polyethylene (PE) and PP grades, Bormed BJ868MO offers many advantages for both manufacturers and end users:
- High impact resistance – minimises risk of breakage for the end user and ensures good drop performance of final device in varying conditions (at refrigerator, deep freezer and sub-zero temperatures);
- Superior high flow – enables fast and easy mould filling; flow-length-to-wall-thickness ratios of up to 300 provide for very good dimensional stability;
- Lower holding pressures, lower processing temperatures and faster cycle times – all enhance sustainability thanks to reduced energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
Like other members of the Bormed family, Bormed BJ868MO was developed for use in rigid and flexible products in healthcare. Its use enables our healthcare customers to achieve full compliance with increasingly stringent safety regulations – particularly in Europe – in the production of medical and diagnostic devices.
For more information about our Bormed service, please read our Product News.