Published on April 21st, 2020 | by Johnna Crider0
MIT Develops A Simple Face Shield For COVID-19 Healthcare Workers
April 21st, 2020 by Johnna Crider
Project Manus is what researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have named their solution to the lack of face shields and other PPE during the coronavirus epidemic. MIT plans to mass produce these shields to help fulfill the high demand for tens of millions of disposable PPE to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The disposable face shields are for healthcare workers on the front lines. These face shields are flat-packed and can be folded into shape. Each face shield is made from a single piece of plastic and comes in a flat design. These masks can be folded into a 3D structure when they need to be used. They also have flaps that fold under the neck and over the forehead for additional protection.
The face shields will be created using the die-cutting process. Machines will cut the design from thousands of flat sheets an hour. Then they will be sent in their flattened forms to hospitals, where the healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis can unpack them and finish the process. MIT says that the die-cutter machines will be able to mass produce 50,000 flat face shields daily.
Project leader and professor of mechanical engineering Martin Culpepper said that, “When you’re thinking of materials, you have to keep supply chains in mind. You can’t choose a material that could evaporate from the supply chain. That is a challenging problem in this crisis.”
He also talks about making the face shields. “These face shields have to be made rapidly and at low cost because they need to be disposable. Our technique combines low-cost materials with a high-rate manufacturing that has the potential of meeting the need for face shields nationwide.”
Assembling the mask requires that the protective film to be peeled away from both sides of the flat face shield. Then the top strip is folded over to make hard creases before it is folded down the visor elements that make the cover. Then it is folded down the side and bottom flats. After this, cuts on each side of the tab come from the top of the shield will be slotted into two more tabs positioned at either side of the shield’s main body. To secure the face shields, you can use rubber bands or scrunchies.