KIERSPE, Germany—Automotive supplier KB Backhaus GmbH has expanded its manufacturing to include the production of face masks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The German manufacturer of plastic components for the automotive industry said it set up a production line within a few weeks to produce 12,500 masks per day. The masks are based on thermoplastic elastomer SEBS.
The material is durable, recyclable and also food-grade, Backhaus said in a July 29 statement. Trials also are being conducted to treat the TPE with antibacterial additives.
The masks have obtained a PPE special approval, and are in the process of being certified with FFP2 protection class (CE 731943).
Unlike traditional masks, the new products can be used "for almost an unlimited period of time," as the filtering layer can be replaced and the masks can be cleaned with hot water and soap, or in a dishwasher, Backhaus said.
To produce the masks, the German manufacturer said it developed an "innovative" four-cavity injection molding tool along with a special mold.