Etihad Engineering, the Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) division of Etihad Aviation Group has collaborated with Etihad Airways Medical Centre (EAMC), the airline’s medical division, to produce face shields that will be provided to medical institutions across the United Arab Emirates, as part of the airline’s corporate social responsibility programme.
Using the latest 3D-printing technology, the engineering organisation has designed and developed a face shield to protect medical professionals from contracting the novel-coronavirus (COVID-19). The Etihad team carried out an extensive review of the functional requirements of the face mask to produce a final design that provides the safety, comfort and durability required by medical professionals. This research and development resulted in a non-disposable headpiece which rests on the forehead and is combined with a detachable transparent shield that can be easily removed for sanitisation or replacement purposes.
Created at Etihad Engineering’s 3D printing lab, the face shields are produced by an aviation-certified 3D printer that uses the latest selective laser sintering (SLS) technology which normally produces aircraft parts. The shields are made entirely from recyclable material making it a sustainable product, and the printer can produce approximately 42 pieces per day.
Dr. Nadia Al Bastaki, Vice President Medical Services at Etihad Aviation Group said: “On behalf of the entire Etihad Aviation Group, we would like to send out a gesture of solidarity and support to all medical institutions and their teams in our community, by providing them with face shields developed especially for them.
“We are very fortunate to have access to innovative technology within the Etihad Group and when it came to testing the prototypes by EAMC doctors, they confirmed the shields were fit for medical use. Our ultimate objective is to provide medical professionals with an additional layer of protection when working hard to combat COVID-19.”
Etihad Airways Medical Centre will be working with medical institutions across the UAE to provide the reusable face masks to practitioners on the front line.