Luxembourg-headquartered steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal has announced that it is now 3D printing medical supplies in the fight against COVID-19 (coronavirus).
ArcelorMittal has joined forces with leading researchers and medical professionals in Spain to produce ventilators, ramping up efforts to find solutions for treating coronavirus. Working in full coordination with the Minister of Innovation for the Asturias Region in Spain, the ventilators have been produced using 3D printing and took one week to design.
The ventilators are currently undergoing trials and safety tests and will be contingent on regulatory approval. Once approved, they could support patients with acute respiratory difficulties, which occur in severe cases of coronavirus.
Greg Ludkovsky, CEO of Research & Development at ArcelorMittal, commented: “Our success over the years has been built on the foundation provided by our engineering capabilities and R&D expertise, and more recently, exploring the potential of 3D printing for steel solutions. But in a time of a crisis, we all want to help so we look at our resources and consider what role we can play”.
Spanish health authorities have also reportedly asked ArcelorMittal’s Research & Development team based in Avilés in Spain to support and develop 3D printed face shields for health professionals. In the space of two days, the team designed and created two types of face shields, including those attached to the head and those attached to the helmet. The former will be used by doctors, medical professionals and pulpit operators of the plant in Asturias. ArcelorMittal has already started delivering more than 350 to hospitals in Asturias and 300 to the plant for an order of 1,000. The firm hopes to have 4,000 available next week, each costing less than €5. ArcelorMittal Mexico is also producing a similar design. Regarding face shields attached to the helmet, these are predominantly for use in the steel manufacturer's plants. The firm confirmed that it is currently producing 1,000 for the plant in Asturias, each costing less than €5.
ArcelorMittal is currently working with a number of external partners to enable large scale production of these face shields.
Lakshmi N Mittal, Chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, said: “Enabling a rapid supply of ventilators and face shields is critical in helping beat this virus and I am very proud that our company and our people are able to contribute their skills and expertise to help make this a reality".