Increasing face mask production to help combat coronavirus

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a global supply shortage of surgical masks is one of the many problems faced by the world and ASSAB is doing its part to improve the situation. The company is providing its expertise and sponsoring material to mask manufacturers in Asia Pacific who are ramping up their production throughput.

Over the past weeks, ASSAB have assisted and sponsored our superior powder metallurgical tool steel grades such as Vanadis 4 Extra SuperClean and Vanadis 8 SuperClean for face mask producers in order to increase die life which then enables increased mask production with minimum downtime.


Our superior powder metallurgy tool steel Vanadis 4 Extra SuperClean and Vanadis 8 SuperClean  have consistent tool performance with long and reliable too life. This is due to the combination of wear resistance and ductility.  The high requirement of rotary cutting dies long product life cycle with high wear and chipping resistance, excellent cutting  and edge retention and which is easy to machine, grind and even etch.  This is all possible due to our well balanced powder metallurgy tool steels.


How do you know if the face mask you are wearing is of a high quality?

The quality of the mask depends largely on the quality of the melt-blown cloth in the middle of the mask. When the high-quality melt-blown cloth is thinner with higher density and more uniform, the barrier rate reaches close to 99.9%. As a result, you can also breathe better in a mask with a high quality melt-blown cloth. Some inferior masks do not even use melt-blown cloth at all! The melt-blown cloth is the core filter layer of a good surgical mask.

A melt-blown die requires steel that has good dimensional stability and machinability properties to ensure its quality. Mirrax 40, Corrax, RoyAlloy and Stavax ESR are preferred steels that have been used for this application.

ASSAB supported the melt-blown die producers with our Mirrax 40 tool steel grade. Comparing to the typical stainless steel material used for melt-blown dies, Mirrax 40 is produced via electroslag remelting (ESR) process to ensure clean steel with low sulphur content and low non-metallic inclusions which enables it to have excellent chipping, cracking resistance and machining surface.

As an essential service industry during this pandemic, ASSAB has been supplying steel grades for the manufacturers of melt-blown die important for the manufacturing of high quality melt-blown cloth for the surgical masks in China.

For more information, please contact us.