DUIVEN, Netherlands—If you're worried about catching COVID-19 in a car, Buitink Technology has a solution.
The Dutch manufacturer has developed the Buitink Inflatable Car Screen, a clear, inflatable screen that can separate the front and rear passengers and/or the driver from the front passenger. The screen can be adapted for virtually any passenger car, private taxi cab, chauffeur car, MPV, transporter or commercial van.
The BICS can be installed in minutes using a bicycle pump or mini compressor and the supplied straps. No drilling or special tools are required.
When not in use, the BICS isolation screens can be quickly deflated, removed from a vehicle, cleaned and flat packed away.
The worldwide patent is pending.
The entire range of BICS products are manufactured from 0.2mm Tuftane thermoplastic polyurethane flexible plastic film, produced by United Kingdom-based manufacturer Permali. High clarity Tuftane TFL-2Z TPU film is the grade specified for the BICS main screen panel and the integrated inflatable securing frame; when filled with air, the fully inflated clear outer ring tightly holds the isolation screen in position inside the vehicle. Depending on the type of BICS design, various built-in eyelets and fixing straps with quick-release end hooks are included in the supplied system to hold the inflated screen in place, with no need to drill additional fixture points.
Completely transparent, Tuftane TFL- 2Z is a highly conformable, flexible film, with high puncture and tear resistance, even at a thickness of 200 microns (0.2mm). For BICS products, Tuftane TFL-2Z film grade was recommended by Permali as it provides the best combination of physical and mechanical properties for the application.
Critically, for the BICS product design, these TPU films can be welded to provide the strong, impermeable, leak free, inflatable outer ring frame section of the protection screen.
Permali's elastomeric films are proven barrier materials, used in a wide variety of medical equipment and health care products, including personal protection equipment such as surgical gloves, gowns, aprons, clear isolation drapes and hoods.
After Buitink contacted Permali, the U.K. film manufacturer identified the best Tuftane grade and thickness for the application, provided sample materials and shipped the first Tuftane TFL-2Z order of 100m by 1.5 wide rolls to the Netherlands within 10 working days, said Fraser Rankin, Permali sales and marketing director.
"Being COVID-19 PPE related, we gave this project a high priority."
The BICS systems come with a number of marked advantages. The transparent film means that driver visibility is unrestricted; moreover, the film is thin enough to enable a passenger to hear and talk to the driver and even pay as usual through the screen by mobile phone or contactless card.
The film has good chemical resistance to commonly used antibacterial cleaning products and disinfectants, with no loss of clarity over repeated cleaning.
Buitink Technology has created a range of standard screen sizes for specific models and makes of cars, which are supplied flat-packed in a box, ready to install. The patented design concept can be adapted to provide isolation screening for different types and models of public transport and passenger carrying vehicles, including buses, coaches and police vehicles.
Buitink Technology's managing director, Rienk de Vries added that "We also custom make BICS products if we don't have an existing size which will fit, or if it is for a specialty vehicle."