Fast mass-production of medical safety shields under COVID-19 quarantine: Optimizing the use of university fabrication facilities and volunteer labor

Vladimir Kalyaev, Alexey I. Salimon, Alexander M. Korsunsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

COVID-19 pandemic provoked a number of restrictive measures, such as the closure or severe restriction of border transit for international trading traffic, quarantines and self-isolation. This caused a series of interrelated consequences that not only prevent or slow down the spread of disease, but also impact the medical systems’ capability to treat the patients and help their recovery. In particular, steeply growing demand for medical safety goods cannot be satisfied by regular suppliers due to the shortage of raw materials originating from other countries or remotely located national sources, under conditions of quarantined manpower. The current context inevitably brings back memories (and records!) of the situation 80 years ago, when WWII necessitated major effort directed at the rapid build-up of low-cost mass production to satisfy all aspects of war-time need. In the present short report we document a successful case of fast mass-production of light transparent medical safety face shields (thousands per day) realized in Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) at Fablab and Machine Shop Shared Facility (Skoltech FabLab). The demand for safety face shields by tens of hospitals in Moscow and other cities rapidly ramped up due to the need to protect medical staff during patient collection and transportation to hospitals, and within both the infected (“red”) and uninfected (“green”) zones. Materials selection for sterilizable transparent materials was conducted based on the analysis of merit indices, namely, minimal weight at given stiffness and minimal cost at given stiffness. Due to the need for permanent wear, design was motivated by low weight and comfortable head fixation, along with high production efficiency. The selection of minimal tooling in University fabrication workshops and the use of distributed volunteer labor are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3418
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Mass production
  • Personal protection equipment

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