Head bands for respirator masks are used in intensive care units in hospitals. They enable the attachment and stable fit of the mask on a patient’s head. When it comes to developing the head bands, a flexible fit, comfortable wearing and hygiene come first. The following steps were necessary for the head band to meet all requirements:
Step 1 – Requirement
The material for the head band consists of 3-layer laminate (velour, foam, warp-knit fabric). When punching out the head band, the edges fray and become fuzzy, which is a hygiene problem. This means: There must be a way to prevent fuzzy edges. (See fig. Head gear prototype with punching edge)
Step 2 – Solution process
The head band is cut with a laser. This creates a sealed edge that is hardened in several places and therefore uncomfortable for the patients to wear. The idea: Does it make sense to add adhesives or silicone on the laser cutting edge for greater comfort? The idea is rejected, because the manual application of adhesive is laborious and does not ensure process safety.
Step 2 – Solution
The head band is cut out with an ultrasound machine using the “cut-and-seal” technique. The machine allows for large-scale welding due to its wide roller. In this way, the head band can be cut out in one piece and with a sealed edge. We are satisfied. The hygiene requirements have been met – and wearing comfort has been ensured. (See fig. Head gear prototype with cut-and-seal edge)