Face shield

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A United States Navy Electrician's Mate wearing a face shield while checking for bad fuses on a lighting panel US Navy 110301-N-DR144-037 Electrician's Mate Fireman Alex Kline, assigned to the electrical division of the engineering department of the Nimitz-c.jpg
A United States Navy Electrician's Mate wearing a face shield while checking for bad fuses on a lighting panel
Nurse using a face shield during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, 2014. Mask Nurse Donna Wood in her safety suit.jpg
Nurse using a face shield during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, 2014.

A face shield, an item of personal protective equipment (PPE), aims to protect the wearer's entire face (or part of it) from hazards such as flying objects and road debris, chemical splashes (in laboratories or in industry), or potentially infectious materials (in medical and laboratory environments).



A face shield is intended to protect the wearer's partial or entire face and the eyes from hazards. Face shields should be used with spectacles and/or goggles. [1]


ANSI (American Standard)

EN 166 (European Standard)

These shields are for protection against high-speed particles, and must withstand the impact of a 6 mm nominal diameter steel ball, striking the oculars and the lateral protection at the speed stated.

CSA (Canadian Standard)

Z94.3-15 Eye and Face Protectors Class 6 relates to face shields, and is divided into 3 sub-classes

See also welding helmet.


Provides excellent impact resistance, optical quality, heat resistance and normal chemical resistance.

Provides normal impact resistance, optical quality, heat resistance and good chemical resistance.


Two methods are used to manufacture face shields: extrusion and injection molding. Faceshields cut from extrusion sheets provide better impact resistance than injection molded faceshields because extrusion sheets are made of high molecular weight plastic pellets while injection molding must use lower molecular weight plastic pellets, which provide better melt flowing property needed by injection molding. For example, even faceshields 0.8 mm thick made of extrusion polycarbonate sheets can withstand the impact of a 6 mm nominal diameter steel ball traveling at the speed 120 m/s (European standard, protection against high-speed particles – medium energy impact), while injection molding faceshields must have at least 1.5 mm thickness to withstand the same impact. But injection molding can provide more complicated shape than extrusion.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people from 86 countries engaged in the voluntary production of PPE to supplement traditional supply chains - many of which had been interrupted. [2] They collectively produced a total of 25 million face shields with techniques including 3D printing, Laser cutting, Injection molding. [3]


A video describing research on the efficacy of face shields to protect against aerosol emitted from coughing

In medical applications, "face shield" refers to a variety of devices used to protect a medical professional during a procedure that might expose them to blood or other potentially infectious fluids. An example is the use of a CPR mask while performing rescue breathing or CPR. Another example is the use of personal protective equipment to guard the face against exposure to potentially infectious materials.

Police and military

In military or law enforcement environments, a face shield may be designed for ballistic or non-ballistic protection. The non-ballistic shield will provide no protection from projectiles shot from firearms, [5] but is usually designed to withstand low velocity impacts, like caused by punches or thrown objects. [6]

A ballistic face shield is designed to stop or deflect blast and fragments from operators wearing bomb suits [7] To protect the wearers eyes and face from ballistic threats in combat is envisioned in the PEO Soldier program for the United States Department of Defense. [8]


On many construction sites many workers use face shields to protect them from debris or sparks. Many tools for cutting and working with metal recommend the use of a face shield. Examples include welding equipment or metal chop saws.

See also

Related Research Articles

Personal protective equipment Equipment designed to help protect an individual from hazards

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injury or infection. The hazards addressed by protective equipment include physical, electrical, heat, chemicals, biohazards, and airborne particulate matter. Protective equipment may be worn for job-related occupational safety and health purposes, as well as for sports and other recreational activities. Protective clothing is applied to traditional categories of clothing, and protective gear applies to items such as pads, guards, shields, or masks, and others. PPE suits can be similar in appearance to a cleanroom suit.

Armor-piercing ammunition Ammunition type designed to penetrate armor

Armor-piercing ammunition is a type of projectile designed to penetrate either body armor or vehicle armor.

Bulletproof vest Form of body armor that protects the torso from some projectiles

A bulletproof vest, also known as a ballistic vest or a bullet-resistant vest, is an item of body armor that helps absorb the impact and reduce or stop penetration to the torso from firearm-fired projectiles and fragmentation from explosions. The vest may come in a soft form, as worn by many police officers, prison guards, security guards and some private citizens. Prison guards and police may wear soft vests designed to resist stabbing attacks, using metallic or para-aramid components. Some Hostage Rescue Teams, and special mission units wear hard armors, either in conjunction with soft armor or alone. This allows for protection against rifle ammunition or fragmentation.

Motorcycle personal protective equipment

To improve motorcycle safety many countries mandate the wearing of personal protective equipment such as protective clothing and helmets. Protective clothing may include certain types of jackets, gloves, boots, and pants. Jackets meant for motorcyclists are typically made of leather or specialized man-made fabrics like cordura or Kevlar. These jackets typically include padding on the elbow, spine, and shoulder regions. This was once quite bulky, but modern technology and materials have made it unobtrusive. Gloves are generally made of leather or Kevlar and some include carbon fiber knuckle protection. Boots, especially those for sport riding, include reinforcement and plastic caps on the ankle and toe areas. Pants are usually leather, cordura, or Kevlar. Except for helmets, none of these items are required by law in any state in the USA, or in any part of the UK but are recommended by many of those who ride.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene Thermoplastic polymer

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) (chemical formula (C8H8)x·​(C4H6)y·​(C3H3N)z) is a common thermoplastic polymer. Its glass transition temperature is approximately 105 °C (221 °F). ABS is amorphous and therefore has no true melting point.

Hard hat

A hard hat is a type of helmet predominantly used in workplace environments such as industrial or construction sites to protect the head from injury due to falling objects, impact with other objects, debris, rain, and electric shock. Suspension bands inside the helmet spread the helmet's weight and the force of any impact over the top of the head. A suspension also provides space of approximately 30 mm between the helmet's shell and the wearer's head, so that if an object strikes the shell, the impact is less likely to be transmitted directly to the skull. Some helmet shells have a mid-line reinforcement ridge to improve impact resistance. The rock climbing helmet fulfills a very similar role in a different context and has a very similar design.

Goggles Forms of protective eyewear that do not enclose the nose

Goggles, or safety glasses, are forms of protective eyewear that usually enclose or protect the area surrounding the eye in order to prevent particulates, water or chemicals from striking the eyes. They are used in chemistry laboratories and in woodworking. They are often used in snow sports as well, and in swimming. Goggles are often worn when using power tools such as drills or chainsaws to prevent flying particles from damaging the eyes. Many types of goggles are available as prescription goggles for those with vision problems.

Surgical mask Mouth and nose cover against bacterial aerosols

A surgical mask, also known as a medical face mask, is a personal protective equipment worn by health professionals during medical procedures. When worn correctly, it prevents airborne transmission of infections between patients and/or treating personnel by blocking the movement of pathogens shed in respiratory droplets and aerosols from the wearer's mouth and nose.

Road case

A road case, ATA case or flight case is a shipping container specifically built to protect musical instruments, motion picture equipment, audio and lighting production equipment, properties, firearms, or other sensitive equipment when it must be frequently moved between locations by ground or air. Many varying-sized road cases can be built to outfit the needs of an entire concert tour, or custom designed individually for a specific industry or product.

Vehicle armour High-strength plating used to fortify important vehicles against bullets, shells etc.

Military vehicles are commonly armoured to withstand the impact of shrapnel, bullets, shells, rockets, and missiles, protecting the personnel inside from enemy fire. Such vehicles include armoured fighting vehicles like tanks, aircraft, and ships.

Body armor

Body armor, also known as body armour, personal armor/armour, or a suit/coat of armour, is protective clothing designed to absorb or deflect physical attacks. Historically used to protect military personnel, today it is also used by various types of police, private security guards or bodyguards, and occasionally ordinary civilians. Today there are two main types: regular non-plated body armor for moderate to substantial protection, and hard-plate reinforced body armor for maximum protection, such as used by combat soldiers.

Eye protection Protective gear for the eyes

Eye protection is protective gear for the eyes, and sometimes face, designed to reduce the risk of injury. Examples of risks requiring eye protection can include: impact from particles or debris, light or radiation, wind blast, heat, sea spray or impact from some type of ball or puck used in sports.

Trauma plate

A trauma plate, also known as an armour plate or ballistic plate, is a protective armoured plate inserted into a carrier or bulletproof vest, that can protect by itself, or increase the protection of the vest.

Metal foam

A metal foam is a cellular structure consisting of a solid metal with gas-filled pores comprising a large portion of the volume. The pores can be sealed or interconnected. The defining characteristic of metal foams is a high porosity: typically only 5–25% of the volume is the base metal. The strength of the material is due to the square–cube law.

Bunker gear person protective equipment used by firefighters

Bunker gear is the personal protective equipment (PPE) used by firefighters. The term can refer, depending on the context, to just the trousers, boots and jacket, or to the entire combination of protective clothing. The terms are derived from the fact that the trousers and boots are traditionally kept by the firefighter's bunk at the fire station to be readily available for use.

Ice hockey equipment

In ice hockey, players use specialized equipment both to facilitate the play of the game and for protection as this is a sport where injuries are common, therefore, all players are encouraged to protect their bodies from bruises and severe fractures.

Thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPV) are part of the thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) family of polymers, but are closest in elastomeric properties to EPDM thermoset rubber, combining the characteristics of vulcanized rubber with the processing properties of thermoplastics. TPV is a dynamically vulcanized alloy consisting mostly of fully cured EPDM rubber particles encapsulated in a polypropylene (PP) matrix. There are almost 100 grades in the S portfolio which are used globally in the automotive, household appliance, electrical, construction and healthcare markets. The name Santoprene was trademarked in 1977 by Monsanto and the trademark is now owned by ExxonMobil. Similar material is available from Elastron and others.

Usage of personal protective equipment

The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is inherent in the theory of universal precaution, which requires specialized clothing or equipment for the protection of individuals from hazard. The term is defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is responsible for PPE regulation, as the "equipment that protects employees from serious injury or illness resulting from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other hazards." While there are common forms of PPEs such as gloves, eye shields, and respirators, the standard set in the OSHA definition indicates a wide coverage. This means that PPE involves a sizable range of equipment. There are several ways to classify them such as how gears could be physiological or environmental. The following list, however, sorts personal protective equipment according to function and body area.

Ballistic eyewear is a form of glasses or goggles that protect from small projectiles and fragments. For the U.S. military, choices are listed on the Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL). Ballistic eyewear including examples that meet APEL requirements are commercially available for anyone who wishes to buy it. The history of protective eyewear goes back to 1880 and extends through to World War I and the present. There are three standards that are currently used to test the effectiveness of ballistic eyewear. These include a U.S. civilian standard, a U.S. military standard (MIL-PRF-31013), and a European standard.


  1. ANSI Z87.1-2003, page 11
  2. "DESIGN | MAKE | PROTECT". Open Source Medical Supplies. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  3. "DESIGN | MAKE | PROTECT". Open Source Medical Supplies. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  4. "GliaX/faceshield". Glia Free Medical hardware. 23 March 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  5. A. Hunsicker: Behind the Shield: Anti-Riot Operations Guide Universal Publishers, 2011, ISBN   978-1612330358, p. 166
  6. article: "Die Helm-Maskenkombination HMK" on polizeipraxis.de (german)
  7. Ashok Bhatnagar: Lightweight Ballistic Composites: Military and Law-Enforcement Applications, Woodhead Publishing, 2018, ISBN   978-0081004067, pp. 133, 222
  8. Ashok Bhatnagar: Lightweight Ballistic Composites: Military and Law-Enforcement Applications, Woodhead Publishing, 2018, ISBN   978-0081004067, pp. 396, 397

Face Shield in India