Colback supports AFPRO medical face masks for Dutch health care

AFPRO Filters are at full speed producing certified medical face masks for Dutch health care. Colback nonwovens are included as reinforcement layer to provide shape stability of the mask while it supports effortless breathability as well. Our project with AFPRO is special, in more ways than one.


Answering the call

Similar to many other countries, the Netherlands were confronted with a global shortage of personal protective equipment as COVID 19 spread over the continents.

Colback spunbond nonwovens used component filter insert in face mask- functional layer AFPRO face mask FFP2

Called upon by the Dutch Minister of Health and Sports, a remarkable public/private cooperation came to existence to which selected Dutch companies were invited to serve a single purpose: the realization of large scale, non-profit based production of health protection items within the country to help protect our health care workers.

Without a second thought, both Low & Bonar and AFPRO Filters became part of this consortium and shortly after started to work on medical face masks together. AFPRO Filters as the producer of the masks, Low & Bonar’s Colback Solutions for intermediate layers.


Fast lane development

“We brought together high levels of knowledge and expertise in this cooperation”, says Low & Bonar Business Development Manager Edgar Berkhout. “AFPRO is a long-standing producer of filter systems and Low & Bonar is a technical textiles pioneer and supplier of Colback nonwovens to the filtration business. And although neither of us had ventured into face masks before, we made it happen in an extremely short period nevertheless, with the production of AFPRO FFP2 certified face masks as a result.”

From left to right: Edgar Berkhout, Manager Business Development at Low & Bonar, Niels Berkhout, Supply Chain Director at AFPRO Filters and Frank Goené, Technical Development Manager at Low & Bonar at the AFPRO production location in the Netherlands.

The cooperation is much appreciated by both sides. Niels Berkhout, Supply Chain Director at AFPRO Filters: “We felt an enormous urgency to turn this project into a success and found an equal dedication at Low & Bonar. We experienced a very high degree of flexibility of all involved: engineering, production, planning and deliveries. So much technical knowledge was made available to us and always on very short notice. Together we were able to jump the hurdles all the way.”


Colback intermediate layer

Colback is a spunbond nonwoven. Its role in these FFP2 approved face mask is one of reinforcement. As intermediate layer Colback provides a lot of sturdiness to the masks so they stay in shape and place during wear. Yet Colback is very light-weight and thin and also highly breathable which adds comfort to the user. Another quality of importance is easy processing. Colback is very suitable for instance for ultrasonic welding and it cuts without any fraying or curling.

Colback spunbond nonwovens in the face mask production line

“We take a lot of pride in this project”, concludes Edgar Berkhout. “We are used to collaborating closely with our customers to optimize Colback to their processes and end-use requirements and that’s exactly what we did now. Fine-tune the technical details until they met the exact needs of these face masks. And in doing so, we are able to contribute in a non-profit manner to the current urgent needs of our society.”


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