We are working with all our stakeholders, partners, governments and health organisations in each country we operate, in order to protect our employees from infection and ensure we and they do everything possible to minimise the spread of the virus.

But we realise we have a responsibility to do more than that. And as our success over the years has been built on the foundation provided by our engineering capabilities and R&D expertise, harnessing these talents within our business to support the medical fightback against coronavirus was a natural evolution.

Our R&D teams in Spain have been exploring the potential of 3D printing for steel solutions for some time. And last week, after being contacted by Spain’s national representative for the global Makers Movement they put their 3D printing expertise to valuable use, playing an integral role in the development of a ventilator prototype. The ventilator will be tested in hospital in the coming days in order to obtain the medical validation for use. Work is also underway to establish the supply chain required to begin printing ventilators so they can be used by those who need them most and ease the burden on healthcare workers.

 

Respirator prototype - parts have been designed and 3D printed at ArcelorMittal (R&D) facilities, Avilés, Spain

 

In addition to printing ventilators, our R&D team was also contacted by Spanish health authorities to see if they were able to support and develop a 3D printed face shield for health professionals. Remarkably, in the space of just two days, our teams defined and printed face shields which are already being used by health professionals in Spanish hospitals. We are currently working with external partners, including Santander, to enable large scale production of these face shields.

The ventilators and face shields are essential pieces of equipment required to fight the coronavirus, and an apt demonstration of the support industry can offer to help society navigate the unprecedented COVID-19 challenge. We are incredibly proud of the work our colleagues are doing to help produce vital medical equipment which will hopefully save lives.