With the goal of contributing in the fight against COVID-19, the Siemens Advance Manufacturing Transformation Center (AMTC) in Singapore, has been developing a new medical-grade face shield using 3D printing.
Unlike the numerous face shields that we saw during the peak of the pandemic, this one required the use of a coating agent named UNISTOLE™. Developed by chemicals company Mitsui Chemicals, UNISTOLE™ is a liquid-form primer and adhesive based mainly on a modified polyolefin, which itself is created by using proprietary technology to introduce a polar group to the polyolefin.
The adhesive has been used by as a coating for a wide range of materials, including both polyolefin plastics (polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP)) and engineering plastics.
The Siemens Advance Manufacturing Transformation Center (AMTC) provides guidance, support and training to companies for their digital transformation journey. This face shield was designed by Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) that has been testing the optimized product since June.
AMTC used UNISTOLE™ as a coating agent for the frame component of these face shields. The use of UNISTOLE™ avoids the installation of viruses and bacteria within the micropores on the frame’s surfaces.
By coating the frames with Mitsui Chemicals’ UNISTOLE™ polyolefin-based liquid adhesive, engineers have been able to achieve good adhesion with the frame material, a flatter surface to prevent virus and bacteria residue, resistance to alcohol that can be used for sterilization to facilitate face shield reuse, scratch resistance, improved elasticity, crack resistance and sterilization by way of low-dose UV resistance.
As such, not only does the adhesive give the 3D-printed frame a smoother surface; it also provides added strength, flexibility and sterilization potential – greatly enhancing reusability of the product as a whole.
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