Last Updated on January 18, 2022 by Stephen Paul Robertson
Many professions involve people wearing face shields to protect themselves or the people they are serving. In the foodservice industry, they are worn to prevent workers from contaminating food with bacteria or viruses. On the other hand, on construction sites, those involved in welding or grinding will sport them to protect their faces from flying sparks, dust, and debris. People in healthcare, grocery stores, salons, etc. wear them while carrying out certain tasks, and nowadays, due to COVID–19, people regularly put on face shields while going out too.
So, does that mean a face shield can shoulder the responsibilities of all trades?
No, different types of face shields are available for different works. Allow us to present them to you in-depth!
Read Also: Best Face Shield for Grinding
Various Types of Face Shield
- Headband Face Shield
- Wide Face Shield
- Food-Grace Plastic Shield
- Disposable Face Shield
- Pivot Face Shield
- Face-shield With Built-in Goggles
As we mentioned before, face shields come in several types–each holding its own unique features. Their characteristics make them suitable for certain jobs as protection from various particles are offered.
Headband Face Shield
A face shield that starts and forms a tight band around your head and then extends till the bottom of your chin is known as a headband face shield. It allows amazing ventilation properties and padded straps which combine to let the wearer work in comfort while wearing it.
This particular type of face shield is mostly used by people in health care or grocery stores where one needs to avoid coughing onto others. It also manages to block out quite a bit of dirt.
Wide Face Shield
Such face shields are pretty similar to headband face shields, except that they are wider and thus, cover a bit of your ears too. A band is present around the forehead to hold the shield tightly into position and stop sparks or dust from getting in and causing inconvenience.
A string is provided that connects one upper corner of the face shield to the other. When somebody wants to wear the shield, they should pull back the string and allow it to wrap around the back of their head while the plastic front covers the face.
Food-Grace Plastic Shield
As you could have guessed by the name, such shields are the ones used by bakers, chefs, and other people in the food industry. They avert exhaled gas from the food and stop contamination of any form to ensure the good health of all consumers.
Food-grade plastic shields also have a similar build to headband face shields. They are a tad bit longer and the plastic exterior spreads out towards the back to create a better fit.
Disposable Face Shield
Such face shields are made for single-use and hence, have a very low price. As they are made to be discarded after single-use, disposable face shields have poor durability. It gets scratched easily and can even develop cracks or tears after harsh usage.
Disposable face shields are usually brought by people for daily use during a pandemic. They can wear it while running errands or visiting stores to put a stop to germs traveling into their face.
Pivot Face Shield
If you are looking for flexible face shields, this is the one you should consider investing in. A pivot is present on top of the face shield, which allows you to pull it up and reveal your face while in use. This makes it extremely suitable for those who use grinding or welding tools as they can lift it up and eat or communicate with others.
Pivot face shields have a durable build that lets people use them for a long time. They are shaped exactly like food-grade plastic shields and so offer similar ventilation features.
Face-shield With Built-in Goggles
When it comes to safety, face shields with built-in goggles have the most to offer. Not only is your entire face curtained, but an added layer is used to protect your eye from damage. Lab technicians, construction workers, and welders can, therefore, use such face shields to narrow down the risks associated with their field of work.
Materials Used for Making Face Shields
Face shields vary between types but they can be further differentiated through the material they are made of. Here are some common materials used to manufacture face shields:
Face shields made out of polycarbonate tend to be used for welding or grinding tasks. This is because of the material’s toughness that lets it stand resiliently against impact. It also remains unaffected by heat so sparks will not melt the surface. Other than sparks, dirt and debris, polycarbonate face shields will also keep your face out of UV rays’ way. Sunburns can be easily prevented and chances of skin cancer are reduced.
Problems with face shields made out of this material include the fact that they get damaged upon contact with chemicals. Cleaning is made difficult, as you never know how certain types of cleaning agents will react to its body.
Although face shields manufactured out of mesh do not resist impact, chemical damage, or UV rays, their ventilation alone serves as an outstanding feature. Mesh allows a proper airflow that lets the wearer breathe comfortably while working. Sweating and any feelings of stuffiness are reduced, making it ideal for workplaces that have a damp environment.
Acetate is a material that is plant-based. It can be used to construct face shields that cause absolutely no hindrance to your line of vision. Your breathing will not cause it to fog up, making it ideal for lab technicians or salon use.
Impact resistance allows acetate face shields to be free from cracks and scratches. Unlike the other materials, it also manages to stay intact at a wide range of temperatures and offers flexible usage. A hypoallergenic feature also makes it suitable for all customers.
The only problem with acetate includes its cost. It manages to be more costly than PETG or polycarbonate because of all the advantages it brings.
Another common matter used to make face shields is propionate. This does not have too many commendable properties except for its high resistance against chemical splashes. One can hence, use it in chemistry or other science labs to patrol their face from rashes and burns.
Other than this, in terms of vision, propionate manages to be better than acetate. Users can easily continue with their work while also receiving optimum protection.
This is a thermoplastic polyester with a praiseworthy strength that increases longevity. Properties include an excellent chemical resistance that allows it to be used in labs or hospitals. One can sterilize it with cleaning solutions to keep it free from bacteria or viruses.
PETG face shields are extremely easy to make since cutting them requires little effort. Nevertheless, due to their amazing features, you will have to pay a big sum for purchasing them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need a face shield for grinding?
Yes, face shields must be worn while grinding. This is because dust and debris are produced while working, which can get into your nose or mouth and obstruct your health. Besides that, sparks can cause the facial skin to burn.
What is a hooded face shield?
This is a type of face shield made for kids. It consists of a hood that can be zipped up with a frontal shield to cover your entire head from dust or dirt.
What type of eye and face protection should be worn for heavy grinding?
Safety goggles are a must since they prevent broken parts or dust particles from getting into your eyes. Face shields are also made a must in some places to offer an added layer of protection.
Can I reuse a face shield?
Most face shields can be reused as long as they have not suffered from cracks or scratches. However, disposable face shields should only be worn once as their protective properties face a decline after a single use.
With all the different types of face shields mentioned and described, you probably already know which is the right pick for you. Thoroughly go through the article before you decide on a type and material.
Keep your face safe and have a fun time shopping for face shields!
Paul, a graduate from the University of California, has been a Safety Advisor for over 5 years in USA. Along with his other 2 partners, who are professional bikers, he has been the chief of the headsafetyguard.com to create mass awareness on an often neglected issue: HEAD SAFETY