AMS has been involved with various fiber & mesh extrusion projects long before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Fiber size may range from .00001" (face mask) to much heavy coarser mesh fiber of diameter .100" (rock quarry/pipeline protection). Melt blown fibers (.00001") are especially important in various filtration industries and the machinery used can vary in shape, size and installation setup. Extruders may be 15 feet up in the air and utilize various heated tunnels to convey the melt blown fibers, or the extruders may blow the fiber onto a rotating drum or belt.
With a massive demand for tens of billions of face masks around the world, the market is dynamic and may present itself as a worthy opportunity for various processors.
Extruder selection will be key, as the melt index of polymers used here (1,250-1,500 g/10 min) is closer to water than your typical fractional melt index (<1 g/10min). Pumping watery polymers presents itself with various challenges especially when needing to distribute the flow across thousands of micro holes in which the fiber is expelled from. High pressures, 3,000 psi + sometimes necessary, but not required as often as you think. Watery / syrup like liquids are rather controllable with proper die flow geometry.
If you are interested in hearing more, feel free to call us at 561.833.9898. AMS offers traditional rotating drum assemblies and flat vacuum assist conveyors. At this time, we can offer approx 12 week delivery on a full system including 3.5" or 4.5" Extruder. This is subject to variation depending on AMS schedule.