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Eastman donates material to Purdue for protective lenses, face shields

From staff reports • Apr 14, 2020 at 9:15 AM

KINGSPORT — Eastman announced Monday the company is donating materials to produce protective lenses and face shields for medical personnel in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eastman donated 600 square feet of material to Purdue University. More than 40 volunteer faculty and staff members are using the school’s laser cutting system to produce up to 3,000 lenses and 4,000 face shields. The protective equipment will be distributed to hospitals across Indiana, according to Eastman.

“I’m proud of the speed at which the Eastman team was able to get material to the teams at Purdue,” said Brendan Boyd, vice president, Specialty Plastics & Fibers Technology. “The need for more protective equipment is urgent. We value these innovative partnerships that can meet a significant community need quickly and effectively.”

Personal protective equipment plays an essential role in protecting medical personnel and others on the front lines battling the epidemic. Safety glasses and face shields protect people from droplets produced by coughing and sneezing and can help prevent workers from touching their faces.

Purdue’s Bechtel Innovation Design Center is using a pilot-scale manufacturing facility to make protective glasses and face shields.

“Under guidance from medical professionals, we have redesigned and manufactured complex fittings for ventilators and are actively producing laser cut, waterjet cut and 3D-printed parts for face shields and safety glasses,” said David McMillan, assistant director of the center.

In addition to the Purdue donation, Eastman employees around the globe are serving an essential role in the response to COVID-19. Eastman has donated material to organizations in Tennessee, Virginia, and Brazil for the production of face shields. In Europe, the company has donated resins to customers that are making hand sanitizer instead of cosmetics.

Eastman is a Kingsport-based global specialty products company.

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