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IRPC researching melt-blown fabric to make country self-reliant for face mask production


IRPC Pcl is now researching on specialised plastic bead which is used to manufacture melt-blown fabric, a key component that acts as air filter in sanitary facemasks, company president and chief executive officer Noppadol Pinsupa said.

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“Currently only a few countries are capable of manufacturing melt-blown fabric, such as China, South Korea and Japan, while no country in Asean can do it,” he said. “If we succeed, Thailand could be the first country in the region capable of making sanitary face masks using all domestic components. We expect the research to be complete by early next year.”
“Melt-blown fabric is currently in high demand worldwide due to the Covid-19 outbreak, which should have an impact in several countries for years to come. This is therefore a good opportunity for IRPC to expand into medical equipment markets at the global level,” he added.

Noppadol Pinsupa

The company is also researching on ‘Kleanteq Mask’, or sanitary face mask capable of killing germs and preventing the building up of static electricity, which causes dust particles to stick to the mask.
“The Kleanteq Mask can be washed for reuse up to 10 times and is highly resistant against water damage,” he said. “We coat the fabric with graphene particle that would help kill the bacteria by blocking their cell wall. It can also block 70 per cent of 0.1 micron dust particle and 100 per cent of 2.5 micron particle [PM 2.5] without causing respiratory fatigue, making it perfect for protection against air pollution.”
IRPC is also a manufacturer of polypropylene spunbond fabric, which is used to produce PPE [Personal Protective Equipment] suit, a vital equipment for medical professionals working with Covid-19 patients, as well as medical grade plastic beads for the manufacture of IV wire, syringe, saline bag and eye cover. “These products are single-use and therefore are in constant high demand both domestically and globally. IRPC has greatly helped reduce the reliance on foreign manufacturers of these vital products,” added Noppadol.
IRPC recently won the second prize for best social and environmental innovation from the National Innovation Day 2020, for its research on polypropylene copolymer 3340H, a plastic bead used in the manufacture of prosthetic legs for disabled persons. It has been working with Prostheses Foundation of HRH the Princess Mother.
“Our new prosthetic leg is smooth, flexible and transparent, which enables doctors to see the contact surface with patient’s skin and therefore adjust the leg accordingly for a better fit,” he said. “This plastic innovation essentially helps disabled persons to have a better quality of life.”

Published : October 09, 2020

By : THE NATION