RAF Odiham’s Chinook Support Centre (CSC) is supporting the NHS in the fight against Coronavirus by manufacturing and distributing supportive clips to NHS workers to ease discomfort caused by the protective face masks, say the RAF.

Clips like these make face masks more comfortable to wear, allowing staff to keep them on longer with less chaffing around the ears.

Image Crown Copyright 2020.

“CSC Team members who have relations working within the NHS treating Coronavirus patients, quickly identified a request from the 3-D National Printing Society, supported by Government direction, to manufacture supportive clips to stand-off the elasticated straps on protective face masks that were causing pain and discomfort during prolonged periods of use.”

A CSC Team member was quoted as saying:

“It is great to be able to use the skills and resources that are available to me in my job and to be able to support my wife during this extremely hard time for her is really rewarding.”

The 3-D printer at RAF Odiham, ordinarily used for Service Modifications and Special Fits for the Chinook aircraft, is now running 24 hours per day, seven days per week producing ten clips per run in seven hours. After a few ‘false-starts’, the innovative improvisation from the team at the CSC has now maximised the 3-D printer’s output of this supportive clip design.

Mr Mark Goodger, Officer Commanding CSC said:

“The CSC works as a cohesive team of military and industry personnel to provide engineering solutions to the Forward Chinook Fleet; this effort has been yet another example of the teamwork and engineering innovation that the CSC strives to deliver.”

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Cam

Very good, it must be hell wearing those things all the time.

Mark B

Are they disposed of with the mask or can they be disinfected and re-used multiple times?

Mark B

Some of the MOD suppliers must have kit which can be modified to test penetration of all these combinations of kit.

This might bring some peace of mind to those who have to wear it and/or suggest some improvements in the design?

Surely the future is robust kit, easy to disinfect and store with the minimum of disposable features. Comfort must also be improtant.

Richyrich

Seven clips in ten hours. That’s 1 every forty minutes thereabouts. Not being too curmudgeonly to suggest handcrafting them with hacksaw and file at twice that rate

Jonathan

The rate of production is not high, but this is micro production at its best, these brilliant little things make a real difference and are being made at a small scale in sites everywhere, and they are getting through all over the place. But there was no manufacturing capacity in place before now because they are a comfort item for staff using prolonged PPE every day ( so little use beyond a pandemic ) and the need will disappear like smoke, so not tooling factories and investing huge amounts is perfect.

Steve Martin

I think 26 RE are also producing these.