TRB Lightweight Structures is using its material science knowhow and specialist equipment to produce vital personal protective equipment (PPE) based on the Foster + Partners design in the fight against COVID-19.
The company has redeployed personnel and machinery that normally create advanced composite components for electric vehicles to produce an innovative reusable face visor, and is now generating 1,000 of these per day.
Effective PPE is an essential part of efforts to slow the transmission of the coronavirus between individuals, and is particularly important for healthcare workers who are in close contact with patients. Unfortunately, the unprecedented demand for PPE caused by the global pandemic has led to shortages in almost every country.
To help meet some of this shortfall, TRB has adapted its expertise and kit cutting equipment to manufacture face visors for the NHS. The company is now in full production and able to make one face visor every 50 seconds.
This simple, reusable face visor has been created by London architects Foster + Partners, with an open-source design aimed specifically at fast mass production. Richard Holland, Managing Director of TRB, explained: "These face visors can be produced quickly and easily with kit cutting technology, using the same expertise and equipment we would normally apply to making carbon fibre and composite components. As the momentum grows, more local composite companies are getting involved.
These companies, including TRB, have the capacity to produce a combined total of between 10,000 and 15,000 visors a day once funding is secured to purchase sufficient raw materials for high volume manufacturing.”