A face-mask, using the technology and other clothing items, will go on mass production soon
APS Group, an export-oriented apparel manufacturer, has developed a knit fabric with antiviral, antibacterial, and water repellent properties which is claimed to kill coronavirus.
Earlier, Zaber and Zubair Fabrics, a sister concern of apparel exporter Noman Group, also developed woven fabrics which they claimed could kill coronavirus.
“Covid-19 pandemic affected people’s lives, as well as the global economy badly. It will not disappear shortly so we have to deal with the situation to return to our normal lives,” Hasib Uddin, chairman of APS Group told Dhaka Tribune.
“Considering people’s health safety and the sustainability of the fashion industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in collaboration with Swiss textile company HeiQ, and Zaber and Zubair Fabrics, we developed antibacterial and antiviral treated knit fabric,” added Hasib.
HeiQ Viroblock technology has been used to develop the fabric.
HeiQ Viroblock treated textiles help reduce the risk of viral and bacterial persistence on dry inanimate surfaces, lowering the potential for transmission, he remarked.
The technology has proven its effectiveness against viruses that commonly affect human health, Hasib mentioned.
HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 is suitable for face masks, especially respirators like N95, FFP2 or equivalent, medical non-woven surgical gowns, scrubs, drapes, curtains, clothing products, and home textiles.
How it works
The technology used on the antiviral fabric is a unique combination of advanced silver and fatty spherical vesicle technologies.
The silver delivers antiviral and antibacterial effects by attracting oppositely charged viruses and binding it permanently to their sulphur groups.
Meanwhile, the vesicle works as a booster that helps to deplete the viral membrane in seconds, destroying the virus.
This technology has gone through extensive Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) tests on the antiviral efficacy against a varied set of viruses, including the human coronavirus 229E.
The tests have been performed by Microbiotest, a division of Microbac Laboratories located in the US.
“We have already developed a two-layered face-mask using the fabric which is washable at least up to 20 times,” said Hasib.
He further added: “On the top layer of the mask, there is antiviral and antibacterial as well as water repellent properties. Water droplets cannot penetrate the top layer and virus or bacteria get killed immediately,” Hasib claimed.
“The inner layer has a water repellent element which prevents droplets from going out when the wearer sneezes. This way, the mask protects the wearer as well as others,” he added.
When a virus is on the fabric, it will break the fatty layer and kill the virus, the APS Group chairman said.
“Our fabric is made of cotton and regenerated fibre, making it fully biodegradable,” Hasib stated.
The masks available in the market are not biodegradable, which makes them a threat to the environment, he opined.
The company is planning to release their face masks in Dhaka within the next two weeks.
Primarily, the company will produce 15,000-25,000 masks a day. However, they are capable of supplying 500,000-600,000 pieces if there is sufficient demand.
The company also plans to make personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing for the local markets using the same fabric.
The company has applied for certification for going global as well as selling in the domestic market.
“We have applied for FDA and CE certification, and expect to get them within the next 10 days,” Hasib said.
“Global apparel buyers from the US, and the EU including Italy and Germany have already queried about the product. An Indonesian company has also shown keen interest in partnering with us,” he added.