Abu Dhabi University Creates Face Shield Prototype to Support the Local Healthcare Sector
Abu Dhabi University’s (ADU) College of Engineering (COE) has rallied its engineering labs to join the fight against COVID-19. The university has been working closely with hospitals in Abu Dhabi and was able to produce over 1000 clips required for face masks using the University’s state-of-the-art 3D printers, within the course of just two days. Additionally, and in a bid to support the local healthcare sector and help flatten the curve of COVID-19, ADU has successfully developed its first prototype of a face shield to be provided for Hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the emirate.
The parts were manufactured by ADU’s faculty members Eng. Abid Abdul Azeez, a Teaching Assistant specialized in Mechanical Engineering, and Archit. Ahmed Al Awawdah, a Teaching Assistant specialized in Architecture, under the supervision of Dr. Mohammad Alkhedher, the Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department, and Dr. Magdy Ibrahim, the Chair of the Architecture and Interior Design Department. They came up with a modified design for the face shield by laser cutting the PET material in such a way that it is comfortable for use. The final prototype took a total of 2 days to create, including the initial blueprint design that was created by modifying existing design in order to accommodate the comfort factor and the time for manufacturing and assembling the parts. A total of 6-8 trials where conducted prior to obtaining the final design for the PET shield. The team working on the project applied laser cutting techniques and 3D printers in order to create the face shields and the clips. They also worked on modifying a door handle attachment that could prevent direct contact with the handle. The University aims to send a total of 100 shields to Hospitals over the course of weeks.
Professor Waqar Ahmad, Chancellor of Abu Dhabi University, said: “As part of our efforts to contribute to the healthcare community amidst the current situation, ADU is proud to provide hospitals in Abu Dhabi with the clips for face masks to help fight against COVID-19. Using resources available within our facilities, and the expertise of our resident faculty members and teaching assistance, we have been able to use advanced technology to support the local healthcare sector. We look forward to expanding our reach to other hospitals to share the products and do our part to help combat the virus.”
Dr. Hamdi Sheibani, Dean College of Engineering commented, “We were successful in creating the prototype using machinery in our laboratory, which we have also embedded in our curriculum for students to use as part of developing their practical skills. We support the students in adapting to using advanced technology such as 3D printing machines and laser cutting techniques as part of our vision to provide our students with a holistic learning experience.”
In addition to the 3D printers and laser cutting machinery, the COE laboratory also houses a CNC milling machine, a CNC lathe machine, CNC Router, Multiformer, Conventional Milling Machine and Conventional Lathe Machine. These are the machines/equipment available for manufacturing. Hot Pack Company donated 100 m*2 plastic sheet to be used by The University to create the face shields.
ADU is also reaching out to other hospitals in the emirate to provide their clinical staff with face shields with the aim to give back to the community and support in combatting COVID-19. The University will continue developing the face shield based on the demand from local hospitals and clinics, and will continue to share its resources and provide a helping hand where possible.
Abu Dhabi University
The dream began with the Charter of Abu Dhabi University in the year 2000, After three years of planning, the university opened its doors in September 2003, to an entering class of 1,000 students on its two campuses in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Unlike other colleges and universities in the UAE, ADU undertook the measures necessary to ensure that all of the degree programs it would offer had secured accreditation from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in advance of any students enrolling in them.
ADU offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees based upon the American model of higher education.