Dear Sympatex community, there is no manual for the times we are currently experiencing. The first priority is to ensure the health and well-being of our employees, customers, communities and all of you.
In this respect, we at Sympatex would like to emphasize that SYMPATEX products were initially developed to offer you protection in a wide range of weather conditions. However, our Sympatex membrane has the advantage over commercially available microporous membranes (often made of PU or PTFE) that a SYMPATEX membrane is not porous, but has a compact structure and is therefore impervious to viruses, bacteria and other germs in accordance with ISO 16604 / ASTM F1671. Furthermore, most of our laminates – especially all 2- and 3-layer laminates used in the field of occupational safety – are suitable for household washing at 60°C. According to current knowledge, the corona virus does not survive at this washing temperature together with household detergents.
When designing garments made of SYMPATEX laminates, however, care must be taken that the membrane is not damaged, e.g. by sewing. A completely sealing tape must be subsequently applied to these points under the responsibility of the respective clothing manufacturer. We are happy to make recommendations for potentially suitable tape materials from our portfolio.
When manufacturing face masks, it should also be noted that the term “breathable” refers only to the exchange of moisture through the membrane – not to respiratory air. Our membrane is known to be 100% windproof (i.e. air-tight) and therefore, when used as a face mask, for example, an additional technical function must be provided to allow breathing (e.g. filters or similar).
In an effort to play our part in supporting the community, Sympatex is currently actively working with some of our customers to find meaningful ways in which we can use our scientific expertise and production capacities to play our part in the fight against COVID-19 in both the short and long term. Unfortunately, due to home office regulations, we currently have only few possibilities to supply small quantities for individual tests. However, you are welcome to send us design ideas if you want to support us in this endeavor.
In this time of uncertainty it is important to be careful of each other and to protect your own health and well-being as well as that of your family and the community. However, we also believe that we should start thinking about how we as humanity want to continue after Corona – we can’t just continue as before. I have already tried to inspire the dialogue on this question in an open letter in mid-March.
Take care, stay healthy and #stayathome.