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. After being contacted by Spain’s national representative for the global Makers Movement at the beginning of the pandemic, their 3D printing expertise was put to valuable use, playing an integral role in the development of a ventilator prototype. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the team has designed and produced two ventilator models, intrusive ventilators and CPAP, which have already received the technical approval of the Spanish Drug Agency and Ethical Committee validation for entering clinical research with COVID-19 patients. The Asturias team produced and delivered 27 ventilators to Liberia, Brazil and the Dominican Republic, and has received further requests from Mexico, Colombia, Chile and more.


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


Our R&D teams were 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 were able to design and print face shields. From March to September, 14,540 face shields were delivered from the New Frontier center, located in Asturias, Spain, to global ArcelorMittal R&D centers, ArcelorMittal plants and regional public donations. Half of the face shields were made using 3D printing technology. We continue to work with external partners, including Santander, to enable large scale production of these face shields.

Moreover, the BIOLAB unit of the ArcelorMittal Global R&D New Frontier center successfully implemented an integrated strategy for COVID-19 surveillance during the first wave of the pandemic based on COVID-19 PCR and antibody tests. The strategy was developed in close collaboration with the ArcelorMittal medical services in Asturias. The BIOLAB was the first non-medical center in the region to be approved by the Spanish Ministry of Health for performing COVID-19 tests. In less than 6 months of activity, the laboratory has processed more than 2,000 samples, providing faster response times than any other external service, and therefore contributing to improve the management of safe working shifts routines within the plants. Crucially, this experiment has demonstrated the benefit of having COVID-19 laboratories in-situ for maintaining COVID-19-free factories.    

Ventilators, face shields and Covid-19 laboratories are essential elements of the 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.