Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has become some of the highest demand items in the world as COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the globe. There has been increasing confusion among new buyers for disposable isolation gowns. Some of the commonly seen isolation gowns contain words like PP+PE, SMS, SMMS, SMMMS, etc. What is the different between the commonly seen Non Woven fabrics?
Most disposable isolation gowns and surgical gowns are made from non-woven fabrics. Among non-woven fabrics there are different grades and thicknesses for the use in different medical settings.
Commonly seen isolation gown materials:
SMS Isolation Gown
SMMS Isolation Gown
PP+PE Isolation Gown
SMMMS Isolation Gown / Surgical Gown
What is the difference between PP+PE, SMS, SMMS, and SMMMS?
PP+PE isolation gowns stands for Polypropylene material + Polyethylene coating for water proofing the isolation gown. Polypropylene is the least protective of the materials and has a hold out range of 50 to 70 microns. Therefore, a PE coating is applied to provide extra waterproof ability. However, PE waterproof coating inherently makes the gown unbreathable. Typically, this type of material will be used to make ANSI/AAMI Level 1 gowns.
SMS non-woven isolation gown stands for Spunbond, Meltblown, Spunbond. Each of the layers are also made of polypropylene. It is a fabric that hot roll combines two layers of spunbond non-woven and one layer of meltblown non-woven fabric in the middle. Compared to PP+PE, this has higher quality and protection due to multi-layer construction.
SMMS non-woven isolation gown stands for Spunbond, Meltblown, Meltblown, Spunbond. Each of the layers are also made of polypropylene. It is a fabric that hot roll combines two layers of spunbond non-woven and two layer of meltblown non-woven fabric in the middle. Compare to SMMS, this has an extra layer which provides even more protection against fluids. Due to its balance between thickness and protection against fluids, it can be commonly used as ANSI/AAMI Level 2 gowns for general use. It can also be combined with a Polyethylene PE layer to create extra water protection.
SMMMS non-woven isolation gown stands for Spunbond, Meltblown, Meltblown, Meltblown, Spunbond. Each of the layers are also made of polypropylene. It is a fabric that hot roll combines two layers of spunbond non-woven and three layer of meltblown non-woven fabric in the middle. This is typically the highest level of commonly seen gowns in the market, which provides the highest level of protection against fluids. This material is typically used for ANSI/AAMI Level 3/4 surgical gowns. Where the surgical gowns are also sterilised for the use in a sterile environment.
To summarise, main difference between SMS, SMMS, SMMMS are they number of non-woven layers that are being combined in the isolation gowns. More number of layers provide a stronger protection as it is thicker, making fluids harder to penetrate through the material. However, it also becomes more unbreathable.
Typically, another measure of isolation gown material is defined by the weight of the material measured by gsm or grams per square meter. Non-woven materials for isolation gowns have a wide range of weights, typically ranging from 15-50 grams per square meter for isolation gowns. The higher the gsm, the thicker the material, but it does not necessarily mean a better isolation gown as it becomes too unbreathable and uncomfortable to wear.
Therefore, it is easy to manufacture a waterproof, thick, and unbreathable gown, but hard to manufacture an isolation gown that not only complies to high water resistant standards yet breathable and light.
N Medical team has deep experience in the manufacturing of isolation gowns and surgical gowns. We designed the perfect balance between comfort and safety for medical professionals. We picked the balance between the most protective materials and comfort that meets international standards. Here is our current line up for isolation gowns and surgical gowns.
PP+PE Waterproof Isolation Gown (High density stitching)
PP+PE Polypropylene + Polyethylene coating
SMMS Isolation Gown (Ultrasonic welded seams)
SMMS - Spunbond, Meltblown, Meltblown, Spunbond
Surgical Gown (Ultrasonic welded seams)
Level 2 or Level 3 or Level 4
SMMS - Spunbond, Meltblown, Meltblown, Spunbond
Learn more about different ANSI/AAMI standards:
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