Rusatom-Additive Technologies (RusAT, a subsidiary of Rosatom’s fuel company TVEL) has produced prototypes and is prepared to start 3D printing valves for Venturi oxygen masks – an important component of ventilators.
The need for these valves has increased substantially due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. RusAT’s production facilities have the capacity to produce about 300 valves per week using a biocompatible polymer which does not require additional processing.
Venturi valves are used in conjunction with aerosol masks to provide oxygen at low flow rates. The valves are designed for short-term use, requiring replacement every few hours. 3D printing has emerged as a viable solution to help many countries solve the severe valve deficit that has arisen during this pandemic.
Rosatom CEO Alexey Likhachev said: “The enterprises of Russia’s nuclear industry are mobilising their resources to combat the coronavirus pandemic. All Rosatom companies specialising in medical research or the production of medical equipment are harvesting the necessary manufacturing capacities and intellectual capital to quickly reorient themselves to making supplies that doctors require to fight the coronavirus. We have informed Russia’s Health Ministry, Emergency Situations Ministry, and Defence Ministry, as well as the country’s consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, of our ability to produce Venturi valves. If necessary, we will start producing the valves in the near future".
RusAT CEO Mikhail Turundaev emphasized: “Our company, as Rosatom additive manufacturing industry integrator, has studied the possibility of 3D printing valves for ventilators, has made prototypes, and is ready to start production for delivery to medical institutions. In addition to valves, 3D printing can be used to produce masks, respirators, and other medical devices".