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Innovative COVID-19 prevention products developed by UWindsor engineering team
Published Friday, April 3, 2020 3:43PM EDT Last Updated Friday, April 3, 2020 4:08PM EDT
WINDSOR, ONT. -- A team of researchers at the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Engineering has designed an innovative face shield and hands-free door opener to help fight the spread of COVID-19.
Since the pandemic hit, master’s student Alireza Pasha and doctoral candidates Hamed Kalami and Morteza Alebooyeh have been working alongside engineering professor Dr. Jill Urbanic.
They set up a conference call at 2 p.m. each day to brainstorm.
“It’s just been a blur. A lot of late nights and a lot of early mornings because we’re still in school,” says Urbanic.
The team recognized a way to improve the safety and comfort of the current face shields on the market. “Some of them are open at the top so there’s a risk that the virus can go in from the opening,” says Kalami.
To solve this, they’ve created a bracket that wraps around the top of the face shield, which snugly fits the wearer’s head.
“The top part of the face shield is covered. This is important in critical situations,” says Kalami.
They’ve also added a flexible headband to cut down on the irritation allowing longer wear of the face shield.
The group has also designed a hands-free attachment for door handles. The J-hook attachment allows people to use their forearms to pull open the door rather their hands.
“You open doors with your hands, which has the highest risk of virus transmission,” says Kalami.
The team first began making their products on the 3D printer in Dr.Urbanic’s lab and have now partnered with Kevin Taylor from Kelcom 3D. The face shield takes almost two hours to print and the door attachment needs around 12 hours to finish.
“The end goal is to make things that people can use, we want to help people,” says Urbanic.