In order to facilitate and support critical R&D, PNB Housing Finance Ltd (PNBHFL) signed a memorandum of understanding with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi for the development of a unique prototype material to be used in manufacturing washable and reusable personal protective equipment (PPE) surgical gowns and masks. This material once produced will be supplied to notable government hospitals and contribute to the well-being of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In managing patients afflicted with the highly-contagious COVID-19, healthcare workers rely heavily on PPEs in protecting themselves from being infected or infecting others. But a shortage of PPEs is exposing ill-equipped doctors, nurses and other frontline workers to the risk of infection while caring for COVID-19 patients. Through this MoU, PNBHFL will support the Department of Textile and Fibre Engineering, IIT Delhi in fast-tracked R&D of high-quality PPE material. The cloth technology developed under this initiative will help in producing affordable, sustainable and reusable PPEs.
The prototype will be tested at government-accredited labs. The main objective of the current research is designing and developing critical PPE face masks and surgical gowns using Jacquard knitting technology. The knit construction for the mask will be optimised for a secure 3D-fit around the face with a layer of melt-blown, non-woven material in between ensuring efficient filtration and barrier protection with good breathability.
For the gown, the fabric and lamination process can be engineered in achieving a stretchable, non-permeable gown adhering to international standards. PNBHFL Managing Director and CEO Neeraj Vyas said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an unprecedented lockdown in many geographies globally.
“We believe all public and private stakeholders must contribute their might in stopping its spread. As part of our societal responsibilities, PNBHFL has joined hands with IIT Delhi in ensuring we contribute to the national effort in flattening the COVID-19 curve,” he said in a statement.