Donated acetal sheet was used by Alabama high school students to create prosthetic limbs for amputees in Honduras.
Curbell Plastics Inc. of Orchard Park, N.Y., donated $18,000 worth of acetal sheet and phenolic tubing to the project. Students at Calera High School in Calera, Ala., made a prototype of the removable prosthetic leg and then used 50 pieces of acetal sheet and 24 feet of phenolic tubing donated by Curbell to manufacture 20 prosthetics.
The prosthetics were made at significantly less cost than a typical prosthetic valued at $60,000. A Curbell spokeswoman said a precise cost of the acetal prosthetics is difficult to calculate because the project relied on volunteer labor. The new prosthetics are based on the donated plastics as well as rubber and can withstand sand and water better than conventional prosthetics made from aluminum, carbon fiber or titanium.
The project was a joint venture of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers' Education Foundation, Calera High School and Vincennes University HTEC program. Vincennes provided technical resources. The SME foundation is aimed at inspiring students to pursue careers in technical fields needed by U.S. companies.
Curbell Plastics: tel. 888-287-2355.