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Supporting PPE Manufacturers for COVID-19

HALCO has long been a critical supplier of fastening solutions to medical product manufacturers. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit North America, HALCO responded quickly to help a wide array of these manufacturers get the materials they needed to make personal protective equipment (PPE) products.  

These include surgical supplies like:

  • protective face shields
  • face masks
  • gowns
  • surgical drapes
  • respiratory products like ventilator masks and chin straps
  • patient positioning products for operating tables, beds, transport carts and gurneys

HALCO’s hook and loop solutions are also important in the manufacture of portable tents and enclosures that help hospitals and clinics effectively utilize their space to manage COVID-19 patients.

Many smaller, flexible manufacturers have responded to the COVID-19 crisis by making face shields to protect workers from infectious liquids and splatter. A simple protective face shield can be made from a sheet of flexible plastic and elastic or a reclosable fastening strap to go around the back of the head.

HALCO recommends and is supplying 3M™ Grip Lock Strips as a simple, adjustable alternative to elastic for the back of the face shield. Grip Lock is a thin, flexible one-sided fastening strip that attaches to itself. It is readily available from HALCO and comes in a perfectly sized ⅜” width or a 3/4″ width.  

There are multiple options for securing the Grip Lock to the edges of the plastic film. These include heat welding (via something as simple as a FoodSaver heat bar), stapling or hole punching the plastic film. Our preference is to hole punch the sides of the plastic film so that either the face shield or the Grip Lock material can be replaced.  

A strip of Grip Lock can then be threaded through the hole and attached to itself. A second strip can be threaded through the other side. The two strips then attach to each other in the middle. The user of the face shield can then easily detach and reattach the Grip Lock to adjust the length of the strap before placing it on their head.  

What we have presented here is a very simple face shield. More advanced designs for medical workers, requiring more materials and 3D printing capability, are available from the National Institute for Health. Please contact your HALCO representative with any material needs for the assembly of PPE equipment for COVD-19.