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  • Cleaning and Sterilization Validation of Reusable Medical Devices

    Nosocomial infections (hospital acquired infections) are a major threat to patient safety and are often preventable. One significant source of such infections are contaminated medical devices used during surgeries and other clinical procedures. In an attempt to minimize this particular source of infection, regulatory authorities require medical device manufacturers to ensure that the recommended cleaning and sterilization procedures used in the reprocessing of such devices are fully validated and shown to be effective.

  • Lithium-Ion Batteries: Achieving High Performance and Optimal Life-Time at the Cell and Packaging Level

    In this new white paper, Dr Richard Padbury, Senior Commercial Scientist, looks at the challenges relating to materials and processing optimization in Lithium-Ion Batteries.
    He discusses how different material properties influence the performance and properties of the final energy storage device at the cell and battery pack level.  Challenges at the development and processing stages are also considered.

  • Understanding Materials Choices, their Performance and Selection

    This paper sets out to affirm the value of material characterisation in product and process development activities in technology based industries, whilst sustaining the quality of manufacturing output.  A selection of techniques, applications and case studies, relevant to a wide range of industry sectors is covered.

  • Milling Processes and Techniques

    Milling can broadly be summarized as breaking down a material powder into progressively smaller particles within a closed vessel using repeated small-scale collisions with each other, the vessel walls and often additional milling media.
    This white paper discusses some of the milling options that are available, their advantages and disadvantages, as well as focusing on how the milling process can help to control key characteristics to optimize the properties of end products in manufacturing processes.

  • Chemical Imaging of Industrial and Healthcare Materials by ToFSIMS

    Chemical imaging is a powerful tool that can be applied to a wide variety of applications. Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToFSIMS) is an advanced technique that provides information about the chemistry of the surface of samples and allows analysts to also spatially map the chemistry of the surface. To obtain a more in-depth profile of analytes, ToFSIMS is often used in conjunction with other surface analysis techniques but, as a standalone technique, it still offers valuable insight into the surfaces of materials. This white paper will discuss the power of ToFSIMS across a range of different industries and materials and the specific information and value provided.

  • The Use of Digital Image Correlation in Masonry Research

    Digital Image Correlation (DIC) is a technique which can deliver video film of the strain development on the surface of a material due to loading or other actions. Lucideon has recently used the technique on concrete masonry for the first time with some extraordinary results. This paper describes the technique and how it was used on two projects. The first project was to study the strain development in masonry walls made from Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) and dense aggregate concrete and subjected to a single concentrated load. The results illustrate clearly that the material beneath the point of load application was the most heavily compressed and that the pressure is gradually dissipated from the point of load application with contours of equal principal compressive stress in ‘bulb’ shapes. On failure the heavily compressed zone beneath the loading plate effectively became “part of the loading plate” in a similar way as soil under a foundation. The second project studied walls made from storey-height panels of AAC, jointed vertically by mortar, and subjected to a concentrated vertical load. In this case, the load effects were transmitted across the vertical joint indicating that more than one panel resisted the load until just prior to failure, which was by the joint failing in shear. The results were used to improve design provisions for walls subjected to concentrated loads.

  • Drying Processes - the Balance Between Efficiency and Product Quality

    Drying is an important process in almost all industry sectors, including ceramics, pharmaceutical, food, chemical, construction and semiconductors. This process is always concerned with two main criteria, maximizing the product efficiency and maintaining the product quality. However, in most cases, an efficient drying process often requires a high temperature to promote the evaporation of the water or any solvent from the product.
    Harsh thermal conditions can affect the product quality, i.e. lead to cracks and distortion in ceramic products, or cause deactivation of key ingredients or undesired phase transitions for food and pharmaceutical products, etc. On the other hand, to maximize product quality, a moderate temperature could be selected, which leads to low process efficiency, i.e. prolonging the drying cycles. As a result, there seems to be a dilemma between efficiency and quality inherent to the drying process. This dilemma can be resolved either by the proper selection of drying methods/dryer types or the optimization of the drying profile.

  • The Value of Drying - Choosing the Right Equipment and Methods

    Drying is an important and often necessary unit operation for many processes. It can determine the quality of the final product, determine its shelf life or expose imperfections and lead to defective products. It is also very energy intensive and time consuming, so a lot of attention should be paid to optimizing the drying step in order to make the overall process competitive.
    Drying is the removal of water or other solvents from the product, firstly from the surface, then from the pores and cracks. If done too quickly, the solvent leaves a weak structure behind and this could cause fractures or imperfections, as seen in the ceramic industry. If done at too high of a temperature, it could degrade the product, a common issue in the pharmaceutical and food industry. Moreover, drying can be a hazardous step as the removal of the solvent (when drying paints and coatings for example) can create an explosive atmosphere.

  • Your Metal Component has Failed in Fatigue: What do you do next?

    Fatigue is a major failure mode for metal components, in commercial, industrial and research environments, and can have catastrophic consequences. Understanding the mechanisms behind fatigue failures, and knowing how to handle samples after they have failed in fatigue, is essential for engineers to perform effective analysis.

  • Offsite Construction: The Relevance of Full Scale Testing

    In recent years, Lucideon has seen large numbers of wall, floor and roof systems passing through its laboratories, usually for testing to one ETAG or another; the scopes are often rather unclear. The focus, however, is nearly always on the testing of the panels and rarely whole assemblages. The purpose of this paper is to show some examples where the results from whole building tests have demonstrated distinct improvements in performance due to particular details or elements, or simply overall robustness, not evident from tests on sub-assemblies. The aim is to raise awareness that despite there being established testing regimes for potential offsite or pre-manufactured approaches, a test on the complete assemblage may provide surprisingly beneficial results.

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