Additive Manufacturing: How 3D Printing Saves Lives

by Kathy S. on October 16, 2015

Additive Manufacturing--How 3D Printing Saves Lives3D printing is one of the hottest topics in the tech space now, but did you know it is saving lives? Professors from the University of Michigan created a 3D-printed lung split that was used in 2011 to save the life of a six-week-old infant with severe tracheobronchomalacia, a rare disease of the central airways. When the infant’s trachea and left bronchus collapsed, preventing crucial airflow from reaching his lungs, the child underwent a tracheostomy and was put on a ventilator—only it didn’t work.

At the time, only a prototype of the 3D-printed device existed. The doctors obtained emergency clearance from the Food and Drug Administration. A CT scan of the trachea and bronchus was used to design the device. With computer modeling software, doctors created a splint that perfectly matched the child’s windpipe and printed it with a biodegradable polyester called polycaprolactone.

The splint envelopes the outside of the bronchus. Sutures pass through the splint to tether the trachea, which expands the bronchus and inflates the trachea. The splint opens with growth and will dissolve within three years. While it may sound like science fiction, this successful procedure is paving the way for advances in dissolvable devices printed for medical use and surgical reconstruction.

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How Lint-Free Are Your Lint-Free Wipers?

by Kathy S. on October 14, 2015

How Lint-Free Are Your Lint-Free WipersA “lint-free wiper” Google search yields thousands upon thousands of returns. With all those results, certainly one must actually be “lint-free,” right? Wrong.

That’s because lint refers to the short, fine fibers that pull away from the surface of a fabric. Since fabric is used to make wipers, lint is a natural consequence regardless of fabric type. So, whether you select man-made polyester or nylon, natural cotton or cellulose, or a blend, you can’t completely circumvent lingering lint.

The term “lint-free” originated in the early 1980s with the advent of air particle measurements or “dry testing.” These tests resulted in few, if any, visible particles on wiped surfaces, and hence the phrase was coined. A few years later, “wet testing” revealed significant numbers of particles microscopically. Wiper experts from Berkshire recommend you exercise caution when it comes to “lint-free” wipers, and wipe away the “lint-free” fallacy, particularly in your cleanrooms.

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Save a Bolt, Time, Money and More with an Anti-Seize LubricantEver snapped the head off a bolt? Chances are the anti-seize you almost grabbed would have saved you a lot of time, not to mention aggravation.

Although they’ve been around since the 1940s, anti-seize lubricants are widely misunderstood and under-utilized. So, what is the typical application for an anti-seize? Any bolted joint which experiences a high temperature environment and requires future maintenance. It also improves gasket performance, prevents galling, protects against corrosive environments and more.

Is it worth the extra step? If you’re interested in saving time and lowering equipment replacement costs, you may want to consider an anti-seize lubricant.

One application for an anti-seize is during the assembly and disassembly of outside equipment. Anti-seize can be used to fill in the gaps between threads on a bolt. The lubricant protects against moisture and adds lubricity, so the bolt can be easily removed and replaced as needed.

The applications for anti-seize are virtually limitless. Save a bolt or two—and the ensuing headache; try Henkel Loctite anti-seize lubricants for maximum efficiency.

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LEDs in the Extreme--How to Keep Them Lit Regardless of EnvironmentRain and wind. Extreme heat, moisture and more—LEDs need to work properly regardless of the elements. While adhesives have been perceived as slow and expensive assembly methods, the correct LED adhesive for harsh environments not only expedites the manufacturing process but also perfects it.

Adhesives perform well on glass, metal, ceramic and most plastic substrates. They provide excellent chemical and solvent resistance, serve as insulators and can be used in high-speed production environments. And, when it comes to LED assembly, these benefits are critical. In some cases, choosing the right adhesive for the job at hand also means cost-effective production that would have been impossible with mechanical fasteners.

For every type of LED package, from circuit board mounting to completed luminaires, adhesives and sealants play an important role, including long-term protection from vibration and shock. If you’re operating in an extreme environment, explore modern LED adhesives and sealants, like those from Henkel Loctite®, that perform over a long range of temperatures and provide excellent chemical, humidity and UV resistance.

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The Changing Face of ESD Control--Have You Done Your Due DiligenceEnsuring compliance to ESD requirements and standards presents challenges, especially in light of recent ESD Association changes. Depending on your workplace or environment, improper ESD control can cause fires or explosions resulting in costly damage and injuries. For these reasons, maintaining compliance, and ensuring your program’s efficacy, requires due diligence, including the careful selection of all appropriate instrumentation and other equipment.

Selecting the right equipment for the job at hand is paramount. Desco’s ESD control products are designed to help you maintain compliance with your organization’s ESD program, the basic tenets of which likely include the following:

  1. All conductors of electricity should be grounded to ensure an equipotential balance of electrical charge at all times in protected areas.
  2. Ionized-air sources should be provided to neutralize electrostatic charge on the necessary nonconductors in protected areas.
  3. Appropriate static control packaging or containment for protection of sensitive items should be used when the items are removed from protected areas.

ESD control products from SCS, on the other hand, are primarily comprised of testing and measurement equipment, so you can verify your program is working properly. When used in conjunction, Desco and SCS brand products help to create fail-safe methodologies for an efficient and safe ESD program in any environment.

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