Eastman Donates 400 lbs. of Plastic to Help PHCC 3-D Print Protective Gear

This week, Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) received a donation of 450 pounds of double-laminated seven-millimeter film from Eastman in Martinsville, Va.

PHCC recently launched an initiative to produce hundreds of face shields for health care providers in its Fab Lab at the Dalton IDEA Center. The college had several rolls of appropriate plastic in stock to create the base of the shield, but did not have enough clear plastic on hand to create the face coverings. The college reached out to Eastman to see if it had the necessary plastic to create a face shield. Eastman did not have any plastic thick enough for a face shield, and according to the company, it quickly developed a creative solution. Within 72 hours, Eastman’s team figured out how to use the materials they had on hand and began producing a product that would fit the need.

Eastman then presented the college with 1,000 feet of the specially designed plastic. From this one donation, the college estimates it will be able to make over 400 face shields.

“We’re extremely proud to partner with Patrick Henry Community College for this important cause,” said Steve DuVal, Eastman Martinsville operation site director.

College technicians say it will only take a few seconds for its laser cutting machine to turn a plastic sheet into a face shield. The base of the face shield – which the college is producing using 3-D printers – takes about four hours to print.

“We believe this whole event showcases how strong the Martinsville community is – how we can come together to support one another in a time of need,” says PHCC workforce and community development vice president, Rhonda Hodges.