The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated a ramp up of our country’s healthcare infrastructure. To aid the frontline healthcare professionals in their efforts, Tata Steel along with other Tata Group companies including Tata Projects and Tata Consulting Engineers have demonstrated both agility and collaborative spirit by working together on a 500-bed Greenfield hospital project being developed over a 5-acre site in Kasargod in Kerala.
With design specifications and inputs from Tata Projects and Tata Consulting Engineers, Tata Steel is supplying a range of modular pre-fabricated Completely Built Units (CBUs) to be used primarily as quarantine and isolation cabins, rest rooms, canteens and other service units within the hospital.
These pre-fabricated units are being produced by Tata Steel’s brand Nest-In, its Tubes Division and its New Materials Business in collaboration with eight manufacturing partners across the country. Besides steel, Tata Steel is using Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) to manufacture quarantine units for the first time in India. FRP is positioned as a new-age alternative building material that has compelling pros that makes it a viable mass-production solution for the future.
Commenting on this unique project and successful use of FRP in the production of quarantine units, Dr Debashish Bhattacharjee, Vice President, Technology & New Materials Business, Tata Steel, said: “While our Nest-In business had experience of manufacturing modular steel enclosures, we innovatively made use of FRP material in this project. FRP sandwich sheets were used for the walls and roof. The doors were also made of FRP, which is a more durable material than traditional options. The design was optimised to keep the price point similar to that of an all-steel unit. New Materials Business, together with Nest-In and with professional support from the Product Application Group and Logistics team, provided key support to meet Tata Steel’s commitment for timely supply of COVID-19 cabins to Kasargod.”
Each 400m2 quarantine unit can accommodate five beds and one washroom. The FRP units are made using Tata Structura hollow sections with FRP walls and roof panels. They come with factory-fitted electrical and plumbing systems as well. The FRP units offer several benefits such as being lightweight, a high strength to weight ratio and being easier and cheaper to transport. Moreover, FRP is completely corrosion-resistant and weatherproof, while offering maintenance-free service life.
“Tata Steel is working to create a tangible impact towards combating the COVID-19 crisis through our expertise and specialty products by creating customised solutions for the healthcare sector. Creating solutions powered by innovation and collaboration is at the core to combat the crisis,” said T. V. Srinivas Shenoy, Chief, New Materials Business, Tata Steel.
Nest-In, part of Tata Steel’s Services & Solutions portfolio, has also enabled smooth manufacturing and timely supply of quarantine and isolation cabins across the country. The Company is in discussions with health authorities to explore the possibility of setting up Nest-In Covid-19 units across different parts of India.
“The quarantine and isolation cabins designed and manufactured by Nest-In will be a key aspect of our efforts to provide the best physical infrastructure to augment the larger efforts undertaken to treat and contain COVID-19. Through innovation and collaboration, our expert professionals are committed to creating solutions for all sectors needing support to contain the spread of the pandemic,” said P. Anand, Chief, Services & Solutions, Tata Steel.
Tata Group has always remained committed to socially relevant initiatives and the recent attention to synergy, simplification and scale is encouraging many collaborations within the group. This project with quarantine units is one such initiative and the usage of FRP further drives Tata Steel’s commitment to an innovative and sustainable future with materials beyond steel.