Russia’s Rusatom – Additive Technologies (RusAT, part of fuel company TVEL) has launched 3D printing of valves for ventilators. Meanwhile, another Rosatom company Sterion has stepped up efforts to sterile masks for Russian medical facilities.

RusAT said, 3 April, it has the production capacity to manufacture 300 ventilator valves per week.

It already has prototypes and is ready to begin 3D printing of Venturi valves used in mechanical ventilation devices (IVL).

Venturi valves are used in conjunction with aerosol masks for dosed oxygen therapy and provide reduced concentrations of the oxygen supplied. They are designed to be used for a few hours and require replacement. Many countries are currently facing shortages of such valves.

“Russian nuclear industry enterprises are mobilising their capabilities to combat the coronavirus pandemic," said Rosatom director general Alexei Likhachev. “We have sent information on the production capabilities of Venturi valves to the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Emergencies, the Ministry of Defence and Rospotrebnadzor. If necessary, valve production can be started in the near future.”

RusAT director general Mikhail Turundaev said that in addition to valves, breathing masks, respirators and other medical devices can also be produced using 3D printing.

Rosatom steps up to sterilises masks

Another Rosatom enterprise, Sterion, has signed a contract with Delrus to sterilise more than 58 million medical masks. Delrus supplies sterile masks to Russian medical facilities.

Sterion has already processed the first batch of products totalling 92,000 masks. The business has moved from a two-shift to a three-shift (round-the-clock) operating mode, which will allow processing up to 10 million masks a week.  

According to Alexander Shibanov, director general of Rusatom Helskea, Rosatom’s integrator in the field of radiation technologies in medicine in the coming days the LYa Karpov Scientific Research Institute of Physics & Chemistry (NIFKhl –part of Rusatom Helskea) plans to sterilise up to 3 million masks a week. “Other enterprises involved in sterilisation of medical devices have already been involved in the work,” he added.  

Sterion is the operator of a specialised sanitation centre. It was set up by  Rosatom together with a private investor in February 2016 as part of Rusatom Helskea. The company is located in Lytkarino (Moscow region) at the production site of Rosatom’s Research Institute of Instrumentation (NIIP).