During this past months, Formula 1 teams have tried to help the world using their advanced technology to study and build new types or aerosol or ventilator to help people affected by COVID-19.
The last prototype has been studied and created by former FIA medic Dr Cristiana Pace’s Enovation Consultancy Ltd, part of the Silverstone Technology Cluster (STC) network, motorsport engineering company and STC member One Group Engineering’s Ron Hartvelt and Renault DP World F1 Team: they both created an innovative new type of aerosol shield, which has been approved for use at a leading NHS trust.
The pioneering Oxford Box adds a vital layer of protection for clinical staff. The compact, collapsible box is placed over the head and chest area of infected patients, thereby greatly reducing contamination of medical practitioners and the surrounding area.
The box has been designed thanks to Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) techniques, which are normally used for the development of Formula 1 race cars. Renault DP World F1 Team’s Head of CFD, Paul Cusdin, replicated and simulated the behaviour of fluid particles (aerosols) released when coughing, greatly increasing the protection offered to medics over PPE. The use of sophisticated modelling techniques also reduced the timeframe for production by over half.
The Oxford Box will be now used across Oxford's four hospitals, marking a big step forward in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
“Most members of the STC network, based at Silverstone Park, reconverted their businesses to help with challenges generated by COVID-19. The problem solving skills and agility of our industry, combined with the clinical knowledge and expertise of Oxford University Hospital Trust, resulted in a cost effective, state of the art solution, able to keep safe clinicians during their invaluable day to day work" commented Dr Cristiana Pace.
“One Group Engineering and Renault DP World F1 Team were both instrumental to achieve this result in such a short frame of time. We engaged with Renault DP World F1 Team for their expertise in Computational Fluid Dynamics. CFD is widely used in motorsport, and it could now be a real breakthrough in terms of design technology for the medical sector” she added.
“We modelled the speed, direction and air flow as we would in F1 and were thus able to advise the best placement, size and shape of the box to take its protection level to near 100% for the treating medic" said Paul Cusdin, Renault DP World F1 Team’s Head of CFD.
“The models were complex to establish, but by applying the principles we would do in developing a car, we were able to improve its protection and condense development from months to weeks.
“F1 is once again proving its capacity to apply its thinking, technology and processes in speeding up the help we can give to those in genuine need. I hope this will be yet another tool in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.”
Once again, the great technology used in Formula 1 has led to the creation of huge tools to help people who are currently suffering and are affected by the coronavirus.