Best known as suppliers of lorry tension curtains for brands and retailers’ national fleets, Structure-Flex have developed a reusable PPE visor which is being used by businesses including Hotel Chocolat and Crown Imperial.
As flexible thermoplastic experts Structure-flex temporarily halted production of lorry trailer curtains and bulk transport bags, their team turned to designing a reusable full-face visor for the fight against coronavirus.
Now the face shield is being manufactured alongside their core products as orders are received from both health care organisations and businesses looking to protect their staff and customers.
“In these extreme circumstances our thoughts turned to how we could help” states Paul Reeve, Structure-flex’s Managing Director. “PPE is on everyone’s mind, so we thought we’d apply the materials and techniques we know best to see if we could provide a solution.”
Manufactured from flexible plastics, Structure-flex hope the transparent shields will prove more versatile and durable than rigid or disposable visors as they can be sanitised for repeat use.
Batches have already been delivered to organisations including North Norfolk-based Elite Care Cromer, whose staff are wearing them as they continue to care for elderly people in their homes. Orders have also been placed by high-street confectionary company, Hotel Chocolat, and kitchen manufacturers, Crown Imperial, as they both look to protect their staff.
The large flexible visor covers the entire face and helps protect the wearer from airborne particle entering the eyes or mouth from coughs, sneezes and breath. The shield sits away from the face for combined use with a non-surgical or N95-standard mask. Its PVC coated webbing strap can be adjusted to fit and fastens with a side release buckle.
Made from clear PVC and PVC coated polyester, Structure-flex believe the non-absorbent face shield can be sanitised before and after repeated use, using ultra violet light or anti-bacterial spray. Manufactured to British Standards, the shield’s top band can be provided in a range of colours to denote different areas or departments.
With materials arriving at the company’s Cromer headquarters to potentially produce thousands of masks, they hope they can help workers returning to work, as well as health and social care professionals.
“We’ve contacted the local councils, police and fire brigade to see if the face shields can help” says Paul. “We also think they can be useful for people working in shops or on public transport, especially once some lockdown measures begin to lift.”
About to celebrate their 50th anniversary, Structure-flex are ordinarily to UK’s leading producers of printed tension curtains used on the sides of lorry trailers. In addition, they manufacture bulk storage bags, bags for load testing structures and a unique German-designed flood defence system called Mobildeich.
Should demand be high, Structure-flex believe that can utilise their existing production line and essential staff to produce between 1,000 and 6,000 face shields per week.
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