Abu Dhabi: In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, Abu Dhabi University and Exxon Al Khalij (ExxonMobil) will together ramp up production of face shields and clips created by the university’s College of Engineering.
The university developed its first prototype of a face shield that can be supplied to healthcare facilities in May, and ExxonMobil’s donation will help increase the speed of production and allow the university to meet hospital demand, it announced in a statement on Sunday.
Face shields are items of personal protective equipment that protect the wearer’s face from hazards, including flying debris, chemical splashes and infectious materials. Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, they have become essential for certain healthcare workers so that they can increase personal protection against contracting the virus from infected patients.
Abu Dhabi University’s face shield prototype was a modified model developed by laser cutting polyethylene material, which is more comfortable for use. The prototypes, including the shield and the clips, were created using 3D printers.
According to the university, the ExxonMobil donation will also help improve the quality of the product by ensuring a better surface finish. Developers said some hospitals are currently using up numerous masks every day, amounting to 4,000 face shields a week.
“We are very pleased to be working with ExxonMobil. This partnership underscores the vital corporate social responsibility of the private sector across all domains. Through this collaboration, we strive to reinforce efforts in combating this global pandemic, using all resources and capabilities available, and boosting the production of the face shields, which will be provided to hospitals in Abu Dhabi. This comes in a bid to contribute to the healthcare community and ensure the safety and well-being of all members of the society amidst the current situation and help fight COVID-19,” said Dr Waqar Ahmad, chancellor at the university.