Date: 22 July 2020
To address the need for personal protective equipment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Eastman and Guadalajara-based plastics extruder LAMINEX donated material and production resources to create protective face shields for medical personnel working with COVID-19 patients in Mexico.
Eastman donated 1.3 tons of Eastman Spectar™ copolyester, and LAMINEX donated production resources to produce 17,000 face shields designed in collaboration with researchers from UNAM and Tecnológico de Monterrey through the Laboratorio Nacional de Manufactura Aditiva y Digita (MADiT).
To aid health specialists at the front line of the national health emergency and in response to the high demand for personal protective medical equipment, MADiT researchers created an innovative new design for the face shields and increased scalability of the manufacturing process.
The new design of these shields was endorsed by the Centro de Innovación Médica Aplicada (CIMA) of GEA Hospital. Tests show that the design achieves an ergonomic fit that provides complete protection of the face, including areas that conventional face shields left uncovered, such as lateral and inferior angles of the jaw.
The face shields were produced using Spectar, a sparkling, clear plastic that has become increasingly popular for COVID-19-related protective barriers and face shields. Spectar is BPA free, has excellent optical quality, and is resilient to many harsh disinfectants. This allows it to be sanitized multiple times without fear of breaking, staining, or hazing. Spectar is easily fabricated and formed to the unique curvature of the face, which makes it ideal for face shields.
LAMINEX—one of the most important sheet suppliers in the country—performed Spectar copolyester extrusion. Mandarina Design performed the cutting process by laser, while Comercializadora de Arte, Diseño Guvimex y Suajes Diacot used a special die cutting process for the manufacturing.
Civil society initiatives also provided important financial contributions, and many volunteers contributed to the preparation of the masks for delivery.
“At Eastman we are proud to be part of this initiative because we know that, in this way, it is possible to multiply the value of our donation. It is an honor to collaborate with great companies and specialists to meet a specific need: to protect health personnel in the face of this deadly pandemic," said Rogério Dias, Eastman’s sales manager of specialty plastics in Latin America.
The face shields were donated to public health institutions in Mexico City and Monterrey, including Hospital General de México, Hospital Juarez, and GEA Hospital—as well as to the Instituto Nacional de Perinatología and the Hospital de la Mujer. Training for the correct assembly, removal, and cleaning was also provided.