Ford is using airbag material to make hospital gowns for COVID-19 responders

Ford
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After partnering with 3M to produce respirators in response to shortages caused as a result of coronavirus, Ford has announced demonstrated further measures to help support frontline workers.

The US automaker announced that it is working to use the same material for airbags to produce 1.3 million medical gowns for the country’s medical professionals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ford is working with airbag supplier Joyson Safety Systems to repurpose the material and create reusable gowns. The lightweight fabric used in airbag construction — a material called nylon 6,6 — is fluid-resistant and retains its performance qualities, even after 50 times in the wash.

Ford hopes to produce these 1.3 million medical gowns by july 4. It said that the production of the gowns will ramp up to a weekly rate of 75,000 by Sunday (April 19), eventually increasing to a rate of 100,000 gowns per week. It has been working with local hospitals to perfect the sewing pattern for the hospital gowns and has conducted internal tests to make sure the reusable gowns are meeting the standards set by both the american society for testing and materials (ASTM f3352-19) and the association for the advancement of medical instrumentation.

In other news, Ford is working with Minnesota-based 3m to produce an all-new air-purifying respirator (PAPR) designed to help protect front-line health care professionals fighting COVID-19. The company has said that it has the ability to make more than 100,000 respirators. The machines will be made by 90 paid united auto workers union volunteers, according to Ford.

‘UAW Ford members continue to step up and volunteer to work during this difficult time as we expand at the facility across from flat rock to make respirators and at the van dyke transmission plant to make face masks for medical use,’ Gerald Kariem, vice president of UAWs Ford department, said in a statement.

‘The UAW also continues to work with Ford to follow stringent CDC guidelines and go above and beyond protections for these members who are so proudly volunteering to serve their communities and their nation,’ he added.

Project info

Company: Ford

Collaborator: Joyson Safety Systems

Ford is using airbag material to make hospital gowns for COVID-19 responders