Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) is drawing on its access to engineers, scientists, and people in the manufacturing world, to quickly create and help mass produce a variety of personal protective equipment to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
They’re focusing their efforts on using materials that are not already in short supply, so that face shields, for example, can be made from transparent table cloths, if it comes to that.
“We’re trying to figure out how to get these things to scale in the time we have,” said Shannon Yee, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech, in an announcement. “We are looking at producing things very quickly and this is where having contacts with mature manufacturing sources is going to help.”
The group has already created a thousand face shields and are readying to create many thousands of kits that can be quickly assembled into working shields inside hospitals. These were designed with the help of folks at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory Healthcare and Piedmont Healthcare. The goals were to protect the head from any splashes, as well as keep breathing masks from as little exposure as possible, to potentially extend their usable life.
“The Georgia Tech mechanical engineering team is working to modify open source face shield designs so they can be manufactured in high volumes for the rapid response environment that COVID-19 requires,” said Christopher Saldana, another Georgia Tech professor involved in the effort. “Our team has modified these designs using a range of product and process optimization methods, including removing certain features and standardizing tool use. By working on cross-functional and cross-disciplinary teams and directly involving healthcare practitioners and high-volume manufacturers, we will be able to respond to this effort at the scale and speed required.”
To serve as a hub for others to get involved, the team created a website (www.research.gatech.edu/rapid-response) to bring together designers, engineers, and suppliers of materials, so that mass production can get underway as quickly as possible.
Here’s a Georgia Tech video about the face shields the institute has developed:
Via: Georgia Tech