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05-20-2020

Arburg Manufactures High-tech Masks

High-quality Face Mask Made of LSR

  • Arburg is involved in the corona crisis (from left to right): Manuel Frick, LSR Sales Manager, the Managing Directors Gerhard Böhm (Sales) and Guido Frohnhaus (Technology & Engineering) and Dr. Thomas Walther, Head of the Application Technology Department, present the first high-tech masks (© Arburg)

    Arburg is involved in the corona crisis (from left to right): Manuel Frick, LSR Sales Manager, the Managing Directors Gerhard Böhm (Sales) and Guido Frohnhaus (Technology & Engineering) and Dr. Thomas Walther, Head of the Application Technology Department, present the first high-tech masks (© Arburg)

  • The face mask consists of a soft LSR mask and a firm PP shield with eyelets for fastening the elastic straps. For everyday use, the opening can be closed by a so-called flow gate (© Arburg)

    The face mask consists of a soft LSR mask and a firm PP shield with eyelets for fastening the elastic straps. For everyday use, the opening can be closed by a so-called flow gate (© Arburg)

  • Four LSR masks are produced per cycle and then removed by a six-axis robot. About 3,500 multifunctional high-tech masks can be produced per day (© Arburg)

    Four LSR masks are produced per cycle and then removed by a six-axis robot. About 3,500 multifunctional high-tech masks can be produced per day (© Arburg)

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Commercial - the next slide will be displayed in seconds - skip

Commercial - the next slide will be displayed in seconds - skip

After Arburg started producing protective glasses on Allrounder injection moulding machines at its headquarters in Lossburg (Germany) in mid-April, the mechanical engineering company has now launched an additional project to combat the spread of the coronavirus: Since 11 May, face masks are injection moulded from LSR (liquid silicone rubber) and PP (polypropylene).

About 3,500 of these multifunctional high-tech masks are expected to be produced daily under series production conditions. The product will initially be used to protect the company's own employees worldwide and will then be distributed as quickly as possible via the district of Freudenstadt to hospitals and care facilities.

Cooperation with partners

"We are involved in various aid initiatives and are also push internal company projects such as this face mask. The demand is enormous. We are receiving specific requests from hospitals and nursing homes from all over the region," says Gerhard Böhm, Arburg Managing Director Sales, regarding the current situation.

"We developed the high-quality and sustainable masks made of flexible LSR and PP ourselves and additively manufactured the first prototypes with our Freeformers. The LSR component and mould simulation was carried out using the Sigmasoft software from Sigma Engineering. In a record time of only around five weeks, our partners Polar-Form and Foboha built the corresponding injection moulds for the LSR and PP components. This means that we can now start series production in Lossburg."

The companies Ewikon (cold runner) and Männer (hot runner) were also involved in the implementation of the mould technology. Other partners were Barth Mechanik (gripper) and Packmat (packaging technology), the raw material for several 10,000 masks was sponsored by the chemical group Wacker and Borealis.

Multifunctional face mask

The flexible masks do much more than act as a simple fabric mouthguard: The multifunctional product consists of a soft LSR mask that is put over the nose and mouth and a firm PP shield with eyelets for attaching elastic bands. In the middle there is a standardised connection with a hole (DIN EN ISO 5356-1:2004).

The opening is sealed with a flow gate to protect against infection in everyday life, e.g. for professional meetings or shopping at the supermarket. This diverts the breathing air downwards and thus significantly reduces the risk of infection. In the next expansion stage, a filter housing can be fitted on the opening. Arburg intends to manufacture this component in cooperation with partners very soon. The companies involved in this project are Weber (mould), Günther (hot runner technology), Küfner (filter), Herrmann Ultraschall (welding technology) and Packmat (packaging technology). By using corresponding FFP2 or FFP3 filters, doctors and nurses, for example, can reliably protect themselves from viruses or bacteria when in direct contact with sick people. The masks are designed for multiple use and can be easily sterilised.

"It was also important for us to take advantage of the performance of plastic materials and to create a product that is suitable for long-term use. In this way, resources can be conserved," emphasizes Dr. Thomas Walther, Head of the Application Technology Department at Arburg. The temper-free LSR material of type Elastosil LR 5040 is suitable for food contact applications according to FDA CFR 21 §177.2600 and BfR XV. "Silicones", and has been tested for biocompatibility. In addition, the LSR has good sealing properties, a high tear resistance and can be easily sterilised.

At least 15,000 masks per week

"We expect to produce at least 15,000 of these masks per week in two-shift operation. If we were to work around the clock, it would even be possible to double this number," explains Manuel Frick, who as an LSR expert at Arburg designed the product.

Two electric injection moulding machines are being used for this purpose. An Allrounder 570 A with a clamping force of 2,000 kN produces the LSR masks at the Arburg Training Center using a 4-cavity mould from Polar-Form, while an Allrounder 470 E Golden Electric with a clamping force of 1,000 kN and a 2-cavity mould from Foboha simultaneously produces the associated PP shields at the Customer Center. The larger injection moulding machine operates with a LSR dosing system from Elmet and a six-axis robot from Kuka, which, in a sophisticated demoulding process, removes the flexible masks from the mould and places them on a conveyor belt. In the second machine, the PP shields are handled more easily by a linear Multilift Select robotic system. Finally, the PP shield is manually placed on the silicone mask with interlocking, this is completed with the corresponding elastic bands and packed. By using a temper-free LSR, this step can be carried out without disruptive production stops caused by the time-consuming and energy-intensive tempering of the component.

The first contingents of face masks are being distributed to the company's own employees worldwide and to partners who have been significantly involved. In the next step, the district of Freudenstadt will take over the additional coordination and distribution to hospitals, care facilities and civil defence organisations.

Additional information
  • 03-21-2020

    New Arburg Training Center

    More Space, More Digitalisation, More Focus On Customers

    Friday, 6 March 2020 marked the opening ceremony of Arburg’s new Training Center measuring 13,700 square metres at the company’s headquarters in Lossburg.   more

  • 02-27-2020

    Arburg Technology Days 2020 Cancelled

    Industry Event from March 11th to 14th Does Not Take Place

    Due to the developments regarding the Coronavirus, Arburg management decided to cancel the International Technology Days in Lossburg, Germany.   more

  • 09-09-2019

    More Trainees and Students than ever before

    85 Joung People Start their Apprenticeship at Arburg

    The two new business studies courses in media and communications management, as well as in forwarding, transport and logistics, are part of the program for the first time.   more

  • 07-22-2019

    Awards for Plastics and Medical Technology

    Arburg Presents the Winners 2019

    The company recognizes pioneering dissertations and master's theses of the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Dr.-Ing. Hannes Löwe and Maria Gabriele Bauer are the winners 2019.   more

  • 06-27-2019

    Ground Breaking Ceremony in Rocky Hill

    Arburg Expands USA Headquarters

    The expansion will provide an additional 23,000 square feet of space, adding over 80% to the size of the existing building.   more

  • 06-06-2019

    Arburg Wins People’s Choice Award

    Rapid + TCT 2019: Great Success for German Machine Manufacturer

    On the last day of the Rapid + TCT, the leading trade fair for additive manufacturing in the USA, the German machine manufacturer Arburg was honoured with the People’s Choice Award.   more

Company profile

ARBURG GmbH + Co KG

Arthur-Hehl-Straße
DE 72290 Loßburg
Tel.: 07446 33-0
Fax: 07446 33-3365

Internet:www.arburg.com
E-mail: contact <AT> arburg.com



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