ALCOHOL REPELLENT TREATED FABRICS VS UNTREATED FABRICS
The non woven fabric produced on a Spunmelt line is the most basic form of fabric and does not have any value added
properties like alcohol repellency, anti-static and others.
Only the GSM, colour, tensile properties, air permeability and hydrohead are defined during production. The fabric can then be treated with certain properties in two ways – offline and online.
The Offline treatment is where the fabric is again loaded on to a different and specialized treatment line post production. The offline mode follows a process of Impregnation rather than the spray/kiss coating method, as used in online treatment. It has a dedicated arrangement of Saturation Treatment and Drying to make the Fabric optimally treated, retaining the required characteristics for a longer time. This provides a superior and comprehensive treatment to the fabric and the treatment process through the Saturation and Drying remains the key for better valued fabrics.
Online fabric treatment is a process undertaken “on-the-Line” or Inline with the fabric production. The methods of the online treatment are limited to kiss coating/spray method.
WHY IS ALCOHOL REPELLENT TREATMENT NECESSARY FOR MEDICAL PPEs?
While operating during surgeries or fast paced emergency situations, a lot of alcohol is used in cleaning the wounds and disinfecting surgical tools. Even while using higher standard fabrics like AAMI level 3, if it is an untreated fabric, there is a possibility the alcohol might penetrate through the gown products and come in contact with the sensitive human skin of healthcare professionals. As the alcohol used might be contaminated with viruses or bacteria, it poses a risk to the doctors, staff and the patient as well of infection or other discomforts. This is also a reason for Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI).
Alcohol has a very low surface tension and when it comes in contact with a fabric which has a very high hydrohead, it will reduce the height of the column drastically, allowing the alcohol to pass through the fabric easily. To prevent this penetration, the fabrics are treated to have a lower surface tension thereby repelling alcohol and ensuring safety. The fabric when treated with alcohol repellent properties make the fabric alcohol resistant and also keeps the original hydrohead of the fabric intact. Therefore, the barrier and AAMI level requirements are retained without any further drop.