Cambridge Masks filter air through three different layers.
The first layer of our pollution mask is designed to filter our larger particles such as dust and PM10. The material is printed in different patterns to make the pollution masks fashion friendly. We use sublimation to print any logos or patterns, making them great for marketing and corporate branding.
Dye-sublimation printing uses digital technology that works with polyester and polymer-coated substrates. Our unique sublimation dyes are transferred to special paper via liquid gel ink through piezoelectric print heads. Using heat and pressure the dye is then transferred into the fabric. The end result fuses the dye to the textile on a molecular level, meaning it cannot be removed from washing. When dye is only applied to the surface of the textile or material to be printed, it can be removed from wear or washing, which we avoid with this technique.
The second layer of the pollution mask is designed to block particulate pollution such as PM2.5. It is tested to filter particles as small as PM0.3. The textile is a three-ply non-woven melt-blow polypropylene, a thermoplastic polymer used in a range of applications. The blow molding process begins with melting down the plastic and forming it into a "parison" - a ball of liquid. High velocity air is then passed through to attenuate the filaments and create a fibrous web. The random fiber orientation this triggers is advantageous because it creates a better mesh to trap pollution. The textile is also created with a high surface area, meaning a greater percentage of particulates are captured as they pass through the filter.
Our inner filter is made from a 100% pure activated carbon cloth, which was originally invented by the UK Ministry of Defense. It was then extensively developed and made into a product for use in chemical, biological and nuclear warfare protection, used by armed forces around the world.
All activated carbons - traditionally powders and granules - generate "Van der Waal" forces due to their porous structure. These forces give activated carbons their unique potential to absorb molecules, including anions and cations into their internal pores.
Our filter material is comprised of a series of activated carbon filaments, each about 2,000 nanometers in diameter. The pores in each filament are 25 times smaller than those in standard carbon materials, and therefore more powerful. This means that bacteria and viruses are drawn to the surface from further away.
The high number of filaments - spun into a yarn and then woven into cloth - concentrate and intensify the Van der Waal forces, including powerful electrostatic charges. This way, not only are molecules such as end toxins quickly absorbed into the pores from a much wider area, but these forces also attract and immobilize much larger particles including bacteria, which often have a negatively charged membrane. The material traps the bacteria and draws out the gel-like cytoplasm inside - killing it and preventing infection.
Cambridge Masks are therefore powerful respirators that not only clear the air of pollution via the particulate filter, but also remove potentially harmful pathogens with the additional carbon filter.