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Dallara joins fights against COVID-19 with ventilator design

by Elliot Wood

Photo: Japanese F3

Junior single-seater chassis constructor Dallara has joined the efforts to combat the global COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic via its design expertise and manufacturing capacity.

At the end of March, Dallara switched its production capacity at its Varano factory in Italy to producing parts for medical ventilators to supply to hospitals. It also began a research and development project with Parma Hospital and its engineers that has resulted in a design of a valve that can be attached to the Decathlon brand of snorkelling equipment.

“The Parma Hospital and Dallara Automobili join forces and their respective skills to create a low-cost CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask, based on the original intuition of Dr Favero and on the valve designed by ISINNOVA,” a Dallara statement said.

“Even with a simple 3D printer for home use, it is possible to make the valve that allows you to transform the Decathlon snorkeling mask into a non-invasive respirator, useful to help patients who do not require intubation.

“Dallara Automobili has decided to make CAD drawings and instructions for breathing apparatus available to everyone, free of charge and in open source logic.”

The Italian company’s Indianapolis-based workshop, which is usually providing spare parts for IndyCar and Indy Lights cars, has also recently been using its industrial scale precision cutting tools to create personal protective equipment such as medican gowns and masks for use by medical professionals to continue their work treating coronavirus-infected patients.

Dallara usually works with carbon fibre, so called on a local supplier of appropriate fabrics and local business groups. It believes it could be capable of making several thousand gowns for use.