COVID-19: IITKanpur makes cheaper PPE kit, names it PIPES

Prof Nitin Gupta (Image: EP Photo)

Kanpur: In the backdrop of Coronavirus outbreak, researches at IITKanpur along with industry partners have designed a low cost Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all those exposed to high-risk environment. IITK has named this PPE suit as PIPES (Polyethylene based Improvised Protective Equipment under Scarcity). While PIPES Kit can be produced from any small/medium scale factory, its mass production will bring down its cost below Rs 100, claimed IITK.

Prof Nitin Gupta of Department of BioSciences and Bioengineering at IITKanpur said, “Spread of COVID-19 has resulted in a huge demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical professionals, policemen and workers involved in essential services. Since these men work in risky COVID environment, a PPE kit is a must for them. As standard PPE kits have become scarce there is a need for low-cost and mass producible alternatives that provide protection for the entire body. Keeping this in view, we at IITKanpur decided to develop a PPE kit which can both provide protection from virus and is also economical in price.”

Prof Gupta further said, “In close co-ordination with industry partners we have designed PIPES (Polyethylene based Improvised Protective Equipment under Scarcity) Kit based on thin cylindrical rolls/pipes of polyethylene (polythene), which is non-porous and commonly used in the industry for packaging and making plastic-bags. The design and the production process of the PIPES Kit is open-source, so that a small/medium-scale factory anywhere can start manufacturing them in large quantities within a few days. If mass produced, these kits will cost even less than Rs 100 each .”

He said that his PIPES Kit may not be as comfortable and visually appealing as standard PPE kits but it meets the primary goal of protection against contamination. He also said, “We have checked the usability of the kit by using it for hours in non-AC rooms and taking feedback from doctors.”

Prof Gupta also showed how he and his team readied PIPES kit and how it is wore.

“We invite manufacturers from various parts of the country to use our design. The process to make PIPES kit is available on our website and its free”, he said further.

The uniqueness of PIPES kit being that it can be produced in large quantities by local factories.

By EP Web Desk

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