KU contributes to the fight against the pandemic: researchers inspect respirators and advise on the production of protective shields
During the pandemic, researchers of KU (Klaipėda University) are cooperating with Klaipėda Free Economic Zone (FEZ) and the plastic packaging manufacturers Terekas and contributing their knowledge and skills.
Performing the role of an expert
The protective shields, flexibly enveloping the face, are produced by the Terekas company and KU researchers of clear PET plastic, usually used to make more expensive cosmetic bottles. “The fact that we were able to create the product in a fortnight sounds incredible. Prof. Artūras Razbadauskas, Rector of KU, played the role of an expert in the project. His direct experience of working in surgery with shields as well as his active involvement in the field of health care proved to be especially useful,” says Gintautas Maksvytis, Executive Director of the said company.
Maksvytis said that Razbadauskas helped to form a technical task for the designers, participated in the product development, the discussions of technical drawings, and prototype tests, and assisted with organising feedback, i.e. testing in hospitals. According to the head of the company, thanks to the cooperation with the University, the produced shield was recognised by consumers to be the most comfortable, ecological, and best looking product in the industry.
The Terekas company calculated that the price of the shield to be cut and folded by customers themselves can amount to about 0.5 Eur. The price of the ready-to-wear shield will be about 2 Eur.
High-speed security check
Klaipėda FEZ applied to the University for the inspection of KN95 respirators received from China.
KU responded to the situation and examined the respirator under laboratory conditions. The respirators were found to be appropriate for respiratory protection and able to trap 92-100% of fine particles.
Eimantas Kiudulas, Director General of Klaipėda FEZ, expressed his gratitude to KU Vice-rector prof. Darius Daunys, prof. Arvydas Martinkėnas, dr. Žydrūnas Lukošius, and dr. Mindaugas Kurmis as well as the team of the Department of Medical Technologies and the FMTNS Department of Informatics and Statistics for their attention, determination, and experience.
For testing, KU researchers constructed a test stand in order to as close as possible meet the requirements for the standard Respiratory protective devices. Filtering half masks to protect against particles (DIN EN 149: 2002 + A1: 2009). The quantitative test was performed using an Airy Technology P311 instrument for measuring fine particle air pollution.
Based on the test results, the respirators can be used as a means of protection by both infected people and those in contact with infected people. The respirators comply with the European standards of the FFP2 respirator and are also suitable for outdoor use. They will be used by the employees of Klaipėda FEZ management companies, moreover, a large part will be distributed to Klaipėda hospitals.