Technical textiles save lives: 1. mattress covers
Technical textiles make the difference today. Obvious things such as mouth masks, which is a hot topic at the moment, but there is so much more. Technical textiles for decontamination units, quarantine curtains, triage tents, mattress protectors, medical intervention clothing, aprons, ... Technical textiles protect and save lives, now more than ever.
What is technical textile?
Technical textiles are the third pillar of the textile industry, in addition to fashion textiles and interior textiles. It is a collection of textile products that solve a wide range of social and industrial challenges.
Today there are more challenges than ever. The Corona Covid-19 virus keeps the world in its grip. We fight with all our power against this cruel beast. Technical textiles play a crucial role in this. How, what and why is discussed in this series. In this article we highlight mattress protectors.
Bed as comfort and as risk
A bed, whether at home or elsewhere, is the perfect place that offers us comfort and where we recharge for the next day.
But beds are also fireplaces of mites, bacteria, bed bugs, etc. - you don't really want to know who and what lives in your bed!. Unfortunately, viruses such as Covid-19 can also settle in it. That’s not surprising of course when you know that we lose an average of 40 cl of fluid every night, which equates to about 150 liters per year! We cough and sometimes drool a bit every night and we don't even have to be ill for that. Without a waterproof protective cover, all this moisture penetrates deeply into the smallest pores of the mattress.
Hospitals and hotels have long used special mattress covers and covers that are waterproof to provide total protection for the mattress. Today they prove to be necessary once again.
Mattress protectors come in all shapes, sizes and weights. Broadly there are 3 types:
- Bed sheets: only covers the surface of the mattress and is usually fastened at each corner of the mattress with an elastic.
- Fitted sheets: also covers the sides.
- Integral zipper covers: covers the entire mattress
Only the latter is suitable for hospitals.
Don't just say mattress protector
Not every waterproof protective cover is suitable for the fight against coronavirus. Once again, the ready-to-wear technical aspect as it applies to protective clothing is important, but at the same time the material from which the cover is made plays the absolute main role.
As the world market leader in the production of technical textiles for highly protective mattress covers, we know better than anyone how important the composition of the fabric (technical textiles) is.
It is important that the top layer that comes into contact with the body is absolutely waterproof (so that it prevents liquid from pulling into the mattress) and that it has excellent resistance to hydrolysis (which means that it is water-resistant and water-repellent and keeps liquid away from the mattress ). Some materials look waterproof to the naked eye, but they are not at all.
Of course there are many more requirements for hospitals, where people with different pathologies sequentially share the same bed: biocompatibility, flame retardancy according to various EN, ISO, BS standards, an absolute & certified barrier against blood pathogens and body fluids, antibacterial and antifungi treatment of the PU coating.
The top layer of our best-selling hospital mattress cover products consists of a PU coating that is developed especially for this application. It is a blend that we develop and produce ourselves. This layer is applied to a fabric that stretches a little (but not too much) using a technique called transfer coating.
The material cannot be too heavy for the healthcare providers, so the mattress protector material should be as light as possible. Most are between 120 and 250 grams per m². For a single bed you can easily reach about 450 to 950 grams for a cover with a zipper.
Wash, disinfect, sterilize
Which mattress protector you should choose depends on many factors. Just like with mouth masks, not every mattress that seems water-repellent protects you against the coronavirus.
After all, mattress protectors for hospitals and crisis centers in times of pandemics must be washable at 95 ° C and must be resistant to sterilization. In addition, they must be resistant to active chlorine and a wide spectrum of disinfectants. On top of that, they have to withstand demanding processes such as frequent high temperature washing followed by high temperature drying.