Nanofibers are incredibly small, synthetic fibers – each measuring one thousand times thinner than a human hair. Nanofibers form complex strength through spiderweb-like structures, which have an advantage over conventional or even natural fibers due to their extraordinarily large surface area and tiny pore size. This combination creates maximum air flow and particle capture – significantly more than other synthetic or natural filters, achieving greater efficiency down to PM0.3 microns.
This image helps us visualize the size of a nanofiber when compared to both hair and a speck of pollen:
Its small size provides an array of benefits when utilized in face mask technology – including advanced protection and better comfort.
Featuring a weaving design closely packed together so microscopically that we are unable to see them with the human eye, nanofibers craft a small pore size and high surface-to-volume ratio. This means the surface area and pores of a face mask with nanofiber technology will not allow cells to pass through to reach the wearer. Simply, due to the unique and tough threading of the nanofibers, everyday dangers such as pollution, viruses, bacteria and more will be unable to cross the threshold of the mask, thereby enhancing protection from the outside world. Not even water or liquid can penetrate the surface, which is why it is such an essential component of any truly effective face mask.
Additionally, this works two ways, as a mask is not only a protector of the individual wearing the mask, but it also serves to halt the spread of germs as well. When you’re sick, you should have a mask on – especially if there are other people in your household or if you are traveling out to an appointment with a doctor. Nanofibers block larger cells from escaping the mask, which helps to ensure less spread of any unpleasant or harmful ailment to unsuspecting passersby or loved ones.
While many are aware of the advanced protection that nanofibers provide in face mask technology, what may come as a surprise is that this material is also significantly more comfortable than other fibers. The complexity of the microscopic hair-like design makes the mask lightweight and, therefore, extremely breathable. It’s not simply a cloth over your face – it’s a material that works with your body to trap cells out but allow air to flow in, so you don’t feel cramped or suffocated. This also allows for better temperature regulation. More airflow means less of a “humid” feeling, as if the mask were a part of your face rather than your face feeling as if it’s sweating into the mask. The light, soft and airy material of nanofibers ensures both short-term and long-term wear is much more comfortable.
Overall, nanofibers have revolutionized the way we keep people safe – with transformational applications in healthcare advancements such as tissue engineering, wound dressings, face masks and more.