TBRL develops face shields, safety enclosures for PGI docs

TBRL develops face shields, safety enclosures for PGI docs

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5

From evaluating the technical parameters of missiles and explosives, the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL) here has switched its expertise and in-house innovation to develop personal protective gear for the medical fraternity in the nationwide fight against Covid-19.

As many as 10,000 full face protective shields and 15 acrylic enclosures for examining infected persons are being produced by the TBRL for the PGI here.

“The face shields are single-use as well as multiple-use type while the intubation protective enclosure can be used multiple times,” Dr Manjit Singh, Director, TBRL, said. “We are making about a 100 face shields and three-four enclosures each day,” he added.

An important Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) establishment based in Chandigarh, the TBRL is involved in development, production, processing and characterisation of different high explosive compositions, fragmentation studies of warheads, captive flight testing of bombs, missiles and airborne systems and ballistics evaluation of protective system like body armour, vehicle armour and helmets.

The face shields are light weight and can be worn full day with comfort. Commonly available A-4 size transparency sheets used in overhead projectors are being used as visors while the holding frame is manufactured through Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), commonly known as 3-D printing. Polylactic Acid filament, a biodegradable thermoplastic derived from renewable resources such as corn starch or sugarcane, was used for 3-D printing.

The enclosures were requested by the PGI’s Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care to act as first level of protection for doctors and medical staff during the intubation of Covid-19 patients. This is a process in which a tube is inserted into the patient’s mouth to keep the airway open so that the patient can be placed on a ventilator.

Made of perspex sheets, the transparent enclosure is a cuboid that covers the patient’s face and upper chest, with two holes on one side through which a doctor can insert his arms to work. Medical professionals are at elevated levels of risk of infection as virus particles can become aerosolised during intubation.

Mass production of the products is planned using theh injection moulding technique to expedite the process. Industrial partners are also being developed to meet the possible demands from neighbouring states. Being a research laboratory, in-house production in the TBRL is limited.

Dr Manjit said the TBRL was also making hand sanitisers for the Chandigarh Police using base compositions developed by the DRDO. The requirement is for 6,000 bottles of 500 ml and 1,200 bottles had already been supplied. The TBRL was to get the sanitisers bottled from a commercial plant in Baddi in Himachal Pradesh, but the area has been sealed off due to the death of an infected person. Alternative measures are being explored.

In addition, the TBRL is also acting as a facilitator for the procurement of bio-suits developed by another DRDO lab for use by health care service providers. A walk-through disinfection tunnel, which is placed at the entrance to a building or complex, is also being evaluated at the TBRL. Developed by Research Center Imarat, Hyderabad, the tunnel is equipped with sensors to assess body parameters, air showers and disinfectant sprays. It has the potential of being deployed at any public place or office complex.


  • The face shields are light weight and can be worn full day with comfort
  • Commonly available A-4 size transparency sheets used in overhead projectors are being used as visors while the holding frame is manufactured through Fused Deposition Modeling , commonly known as 3-D printing
  • Polylactic Acid filament, a biodegradable thermoplastic derived from renewable resources such as corn starch or sugarcane, was used for 3-D printing

15 Acrylic enclosures

  • Made of perspex sheets, the transparent enclosure is a cuboid that covers the patient’s face and upper chest
  • There are two holes on one side through which a doctor can insert his arms to work. Medical professionals are at elevated levels of risk of infection as virus particles can become aerosolised during intubation

Top Stories

Phased exit from tomorrow: MHA

Phased exit from tomorrow: MHA

Shrines, malls, hotels open from June 8 | Curbs in containme...

‘Bold steps marked Modi 2.0  first year’

‘Bold steps marked Modi 2.0 first year’

BJP president Nadda says 370 abrogation result of PM’s willp...

COVID-19: 340 cases in 3 days, Gurugram all set to have 100 containment zones

COVID-19: 340 cases in 3 days, Gurugram all set to have 100 containment zones

Distancing goes for a toss, containment zone mgmt a challeng...

Cities

View All