ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker, has joined forces with leading researchers and medical professionals in Spain to produce ventilators to help tackle the global COVID-19 crisis.

The ventilators, produced using 3D printers, took one week to design and are currently undergoing trials and safety tests. Once approved, they could support patients with acute respiratory difficulties, which occur in severe cases of coronavirus.

Greg Ludkovsky, CEO of research & development at ArcelorMittal, commented: “Our success over the years has been built on the foundation provided by our engineering capabilities and R&D expertise, and more recently, exploring the potential of 3D printing for steel solutions. But in a time of a crisis, we all want to help so we look at our resources and consider what role we can play.”

Spanish health authorities have asked ArcelorMittal’s Research & Development team based in Avilés, Spain, to support and develop 3D printed face shields for health professionals. In the space of two days, the team designed and created two types of face shields, including those attached to the head – to be used by doctors, medical professionals and pulpit operators of the plant in Asturias – and those attached to the helmet, for use in the company's steel plants.

ArcelorMittal has already started delivering more than 350 face shields to hospitals in Asturias and 300 to the plant for an order of 1000. The company hopes to have 4000 available next week, each costing less than €5. ArcelorMittal Mexico is also producing a similar design.

Lakshmi N Mittal, chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, commented: “Enabling a rapid supply of ventilators and face shields is critical in helping beat this virus and I am very proud that our company and our people are able to contribute their skills and expertise to help make this a reality.”