Read the text below.
Leading sportswear brand Nike has repurposed its shoe and apparel materials to produce full-face shields and other protective medical equipment for healthcare workers in the United States.
As part of Nike’s pandemic response, the company has worked with medical experts from the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) to manufacture Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Nike patterned its output from the face shields currently used at OHSU. OHSU health professionals tested the prototypes and approved the final product for mass production.
Nike made use of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), collar padding, and cords to create the face shields. These materials were previously used for making Nike Air soles, shoes, and apparel, respectively.
In a press release, Nike said it wanted to not only produce high-quality face shields but also develop an efficient production process. People from Nike’s Innovation Teams and Air Manufacturing Innovation (Air MI) facilities collaborated to streamline the process. Air MI’s decades of experience in creating different kinds of TPU products made it easier to seamlessly adapt to manufacturing PPE while also complying with government guidelines.
Miko Enomoto, an associate professor from the OHSU School of Medicine, explained the importance of Nike’s initiative. She said the lack of protective gear compromises the health of frontline medical workers, which could potentially put the healthcare workforce under strain in the coming months. She added that full-face shields can prolong the usability of surgical or N95 masks.
Nike shipped its first batch of full-face shields and other protective medical equipment to OHSU in April, and it will continue sending PPE to health facilities across the United States.