Hello, we have created this page to share with you all the information about the process of Expression face mask: from the first idea, its development to the manufacture.A lot of people have contacted us asking for this face mask and we consider very positive that you know all about the Expression face mask.
1. Once upon a time…
The story of our Expression face mask begins in June 2020. At that momento our company Texcon and Quality was already manufacturing Type IIR surgical masks and at the same time there were a lot of chats in media and social networks about the need of another type of face mask for people who were lipreaders and also for people who found difficult to breathe with conventional face masks
These needs were our motivation to start looking for fabric for them but also suitable for everyone. We can call it “R&D”, we can call it “work”, or we can call it “we must do our best”. In any case, we got down to work searching fabrics, information about possible treatments on fabrics, information about how to do it and so on. The summary is that we tested more than 14 different fabrics, each of them with its hidrofuge treatment and / or antibacterial-biocide treatment till we found the combination that we would later name as “Expression”.
2. Why this name “Expression” for our face mask?
Through all the mentioned process, we also thought about the name for this face mask in case it came to light one day. The name had to be a reflection of the product avoiding misunderstanding. The name should not overvalue i. For instance, a name like “transparent face mask” seemed excessive to us. We did not want to refer to any specific group due to the fact that there was no homologation referring to these groups and then the word “Expression” came to our head suddenly and we thought that it was the perfect name to identify the reusable face mask we were developing as this face mask allows us to read facial expressions and have better vocal expressions.
3. We did it!
Trial and error search and finally we received good news. Positive certificate.
The Spanish specification for reusable face mask is UNE 0065: 2020. This specification establishes 2 requirements to be complied for all reusable face mask:
- Bacterial filtration efficiency: equal to or greater than 90%.
- Breathability (differential pressure): less than 60 Pa/cm2.
The European agreement for reusable face mask is CWA 17553 which establishes 2 fundamental points to be complied for all reusable face mask:
- Bacterial filtration efficiency: equal to or greater than 70% (level 1) and 90% (level 2).
- Breathability (differential pressure): less than 70 Pa/cm2.
Laboratory tests confirm us a bacterial filtration efficiency of 91.7% and a differential pressure of 22 Pa/cm2. Certificate C-12939.
4. We are serious and responsible
At first we did not know the acceptance of our Expression reusable face mask in the market, in fact in that moment we were productively focused on other objectives. We received requests asking for information, we sent samples to different companies and we start to receive orders. Too much work but workig today is a blessing.
Complying with our internal quality protocol, we verified that the production processes work well, so we sent the Expression face mask to be tested again, and the results were positive again. Certificate C-14264.
5. And what is Expression?
Expression is a reusable face mask. It is not a surgical mask, it is not a PPE. Adjoined HERE you find a guide written by our Spanish Ministry, which we consider complete and positive.
Expression is much more than a fabric.
Expression is a polyester fabric with a specific weight and density of yarn per m2 to which we add two treatments: a hidrofuge treatment and a static biocide treatment.
The hidrofuge treatment serves to pearl the liquid and repel it in small amounts. This treatment protects from contagion by saliva splash or other liquid elements acting as a repellent. Technically it is said that it is a variation of the surface tension of the fabric so that the water droplets repel each other and do not go inside. It is not a waterproof treatment (the breathability would be different) that´s why spraying water jets should be avoided on the mask as it will damage the product.
The static biocide treatment gives protection against a wide range of microorganisms. As an important additional value to be taken into consideration, this treatment is one of the accepted treatments at OEKO TEX.
A notable feature of the treatment is its zero migration. That is, it is static, the treatment remains fixed, and its activity develops exclusively in the material where it is.
The static biocidal treatment of the Expression face mask is resistant to successive washes and it has no influence on its environment. This feature makes it especially suitable for being a treatment for face masks as they come into contact with the skin.
The Expression mask incorporates also a nasal Twistband and its design and patron has been done to get an excellent facial adjustment.
6. The vocal expression…
The access to verbal messages is essential for communication. For this we use auditory and visual information. In order to find out how masks affect acoustic phonetics we have carried out an analysis of the impact that the Expression face mask produces on the frequency information of sounds.
The result of the study carried out is that the Expression face mask produces a low frequency alteration, less masking of the high frequencies, less alteration of the harmonics and an attenuation of less than 3 dB. If you want to see the study, click HERE.
7. And where and how are Expression face masks made?
Expression is manufactured entirely in Spain and we manufacture it under high quality standards in the production process. You can see our production on THIS VIDEO and talking about our certificates as company they are as follows:
- Health License from the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) for the manufacture of Health Material. We want to make clear this license is not necessary for manufacturing reusable face mask as this license is focused on sanitary products. High quality standards, hygiene and traceability criteria must be complied to get this licenses. Texcon y Calidad complies them.
- AENOR Certificate of Protocols Against COVID-19 that certifies the compliance with the recommendations done by domestic and international organizations, implementing actions to manage the risks derived from COVID-19.
- SMETA audit. SMETA is an Audit methodology that provides a compilation of the best practices of ethical auditing techniques in companies and this audit has international validity.
In this way we have certified the quality of TEXCON and CALIDAD in responsible business practice for the period 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 covering four areas: work, health and safety, environment and business ethics.
8. Observing and thinking… The real efficiency
In this period that we are experiencing, seeing and observing all of us with the masks on (whatever type ), their adjustment, the holes we leave and where we breathe when we wear the mask, we wondered about the real effectiveness of the masks.
Now we decided to share with you our reflection and our mathematical development:
A fabric (or a material) can generate a very high filtration efficiency but if we do not breathe through that material or fabric, the protection will be null due to the fact that as our body will find the way to breather if our body does not breathe “through the mask” It will do so “through the non-mask” which is where there is no leak.
Imagine a plastic on our face, its theoretical effectiveness is likely to be perfect but we would drown in a few minutes. For this reason, we believe that together with the BFE (Bacterial Filtration Efficiency) there are two other important requerements to measure the real effectiveness of a mask: breathability (differential pressure) and facial adjustment.
The lower the differential pressure and the better the facial adjustment, the more we will breathe through the mask (according to the filtration efficiency the face mask has) and less through the “no mask ” (holes along its perimeter) where the filtration efficiency is zero.
We want to clarify that this reflection is not endorsed by an oficial organization but it is a study of elemental physics that we have carried out and whose reduced mathematical development you find HERE if you want to know it.
9. Thank you
If you are reading this page, we want to thank you for your attention and we want to tell you that we will continue to assist you directly and personally from our office or from the pharmacies, orthopedics and authorized points of sale.
We have developed this Expression face mask to achieve improvement on three important levels for social relationships: facial expressions, vocal expressions (phonetics) and breathability.
We continue working, thinking and growing with the aim of evolving and adapting to the current social needs.
Thanks a lot.