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  • Additive Manufacturing - A Metallurgical Perspective

    Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as additive layer manufacturing (ALM) or 3D printing (3DP), is a manufacturing method with significant potential but a number of issues. It has been earmarked as the next industrial revolution and has already found some specific industry applications. AM involves three dimensional structures being built up one layer at a time. Each layer is melted to fuse powder particles together before the next layer is applied. This is repeated to continuously build a three dimensional product.

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  • Are 3G Artificial Pitches Harmful to Players and the Environment?

    3G artificial pitches are becoming increasingly popular with a number of sports across the world with the Football Association planning to invest £230M into installing such pitches across England. 3G pitches offer a surface which can be played on all year round that needs little upkeep in comparison to traditional grass pitches. The pitches consist of a sand base with artificial grass and a rubber crumb infill layer which is a few centimetres thick. The rubber crumb is where the cause for concern lies as this rubber is potentially harmful. Many newspaper articles have stated that this rubber is carcinogenic and case studies in America state that there are 150 players who now have cancer that regularly played on the 3G pitches, 95 of those players were goalkeepers who typically would have more contact with the pitch.

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  • Hip and Knee Wear Testing - What the Standards Don’t Tell You

    The current ISO standards for both hip (ISO 14242) and knee (ISO 14243) wear simulation provide well-defined loading and displacement conditions for anatomical joint loading and motion during typical gait. However, a few areas in the ISO standards lack additional information which makes it a challenge to design and implement a comprehensive pre-clinical wear testing program. Researchers in the wear testing field have suggestions regarding ambiguous directions in the ISO standard. The following information offers additional guidance that could help support implant manufacturers in their decision-making and justifications for regulatory submissions.

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  • Low Temperature Routes to Inorganic Powders and Structures

    In this paper we will discuss the sol-gel process for making ceramics and glasses. We will describe the main differences between sol-gel and traditional methods for making these types of materials and the advantages to be gained through utilizing the sol-gel method. The primary benefit of using a sol-gel method is that it enables the synthesis of inorganic materials at relatively low temperatures, in contrast to more traditional methods of making ceramic and glass products. This in turn offers advantages that are being exploited to develop innovative and applied technologies in a wide variety of industrial sectors. This white paper will focus primarily on the applications for new Healthcare materials technologies.

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  • Are you Ready for USP <232>/<233>?

    From the start of 2018 the outdated United States Pharmacopeia (USP) <231> limit test for heavy metals, which has been in use for more than a century, will be replaced by USP <232> which provides individual limits for specific elements, with the test methods given in USP <233>.
    To avoid any confusion, USP chapter <232> became official on the 1st of December 2015, but until the 1st of January 2018 it is acceptable to use either the current limit test, or implement the new test. After 1st January 2018 testing must be to the new chapter. Those still using the limit test by then may find themselves caught-out and unable to show their product’s compliance.

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  • Controlled Release Technologies for the Agricultural Sector

    In the agricultural sector the growth and welfare of crops and livestock are often enhanced with supplements, to create a more cost effective and desirable product. While supplement use positively affects growth, development and appearance, it can also create issues with waste, over application and environmental impact. These issues are especially difficult to manage within agriculture because of the number of factors influencing efficient additive distribution.

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  • Inorganic Powders in Dentistry

    Tooth enamel is an extremely strong material, the strongest tissue in the human body, but it has to withstand a lot of physical, mechanical and chemical attack on a day-to-day basis. If the enamel wears then teeth can become sensitive which causes pain and discomfort and also leads to a higher risk of tooth decay, or caries. Even after a tooth is filled there is still a risk of caries developing at the tooth/filling interface. Various solutions to these issues have been developed and researched, ranging from total physical replacement for teeth through to repair of damaged tooth areas and preventative solutions such as bioactive materials to strengthen or restore the tooth enamel in the first instance. In this paper we will discuss what role inorganics can play in restoring and maintaining tooth functionality and the advantages that inorganics can provide in this area for developing technologies.

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  • The Use of Imaging for Claim Support in the Healthcare Industry

    Over the last 10 years advances in high resolution imaging of both topographical features and chemical species’ distribution have been applied increasingly in the characterisation of commercially important surfaces such as hair fibres, teeth, skin and textiles. These capabilities have been used extensively to inform both the development of products and the proof of efficacy in support of performance claims for clients in several areas of the Home Care and Consumer Healthcare sectors. In this paper we describe some of these techniques and give examples of how they have been exploited in practice, from evaluating the level of protection afforded by oral health products to measuring the efficacy of skin and hair products, such as anti-wrinkle applications and conditioners.

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  • Surface Engineering Coating Technology and Characterization of the Surface Region

    Surface engineering, or surface treatment, can be defined as the design of surface composition and substrate together as a functionally graded system to give a cost effective performance enhancement of which neither is capable on its own - or, more simply, as altering the surface for advantage. This includes both physical and chemical treatments, applied coatings, including multilayer coatings, and the chemical and physical characterization of the affected surface zone. In this paper we will review some of the industrial applications of surface engineering and the techniques used to define the topography and chemical composition of the surface and subsurface regions.

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  • Extremity Wear Testing - Total Ankle and Shoulder Replacement Testing

    Wear simulation for implantable knee, hip and intervertebral spinal disc prostheses have all been well documented and standardized tests methods have been created in order to assess the performance of these medical device implants. Despite the fundamental developments in wear testing for hip, knee and spine implants there has been little focus on extremity wear testing for other medical implants. Current knowledge of wear performance in Total Ankle Replacements (TAR) and Total Shoulder Replacements (TSR) is limited which has resulted in the need for more detailed examination of the performance of these implants both under in-vivo conditions and in the laboratory.

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