Anatomy of a Face Shield from a Plastics Perspective
Key features and plastic material considerations for each part of a reusable face shield design.
The demand for face shields has never been higher with many looking to enter the market to help fill this critical need. Designs need to perform flawlessly and provide superior end-user comfort for long hours of wear while being low cost. Plastics play an important role in meeting these performance criteria. Here’s a look at the key features and plastic material considerations for each part of a reusable face shield design.
FRAME / HALO
Designed to be reusable, a face shield frame has an integrated standoff, providing space for eyeglasses, a protective N95 face mask and other PPE while providing ventilation for user comfort and to prevent fogging. The wrap-around design offers exposure protection for the entire face. High-profile frame designs more evenly distribute load across the forehead.
- Typically made from low-cost lightweight polypropylene or ABS
- Inherent material flexibility for a universal fit with long-wearing comfort
- Sufficient material stiffness for integrated button studs allow for quick and easy face shield replacement
- Integrated mounting studs for easy and secure attachment of a variety of different adjustable and replaceable stretch bands
- Chemically resistant for wipe-down disinfection
OPTIONAL COMFORT LAYER
Provides long-wearing comfort with a soft durometer elastomer or foam cushioned against the forehead.
- Ideal resins include thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) like SEBS, polyolefinic elastomers and olefin block copolymers
- Typical shore durometer between 35A and 55A
- Provides additional standoff from the forehead for improved ventilation and less surface area contact.
- Designed to be reusable but also easily replaceable
- Optional self-adhesive disposable foam options commonly available
Optically clear, flexible and allowing for full range viewability, a disposable face shield is the first line of defense to effectively block contaminants of all types from reaching the eyes, nose or mouth of the wearer.
- Many different material options including styrenics, polyesters or clarified polypropylenes
- High melt strength for sheet extrusion processing
- Ability to be coextruded with anti-fog and anti-scratch films on one or both sides without impacting transmissivity
- Easily cut by die or laser
- Ductile to allow for stretching over button studs without brittle fracture
- Lightweight and low-cost
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