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White Papers

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  • Additive Manufacturing of Ceramics - How New Applications and Improved Performance can be Unlocked Through Design Freedom

    Conventional ceramic manufacturing techniques limit the geometric complexity of ceramic components. Tooling and moulds used in forming often need to be accounted for in the design process, which can lead to certain structures being impossible to manufacture, even with the use of advanced CNC milling equipment. On the other hand, additive manufacture (AM) offers greater freedom of design, facilitating the manufacture of complex components, which are inaccessible through established manufacturing methods. This enhanced capability has resulted in new products with improved performance, which are slowly emerging into the market as ceramic AM matures and becomes more scalable.
    This white paper introduces the most common methods for ceramic additive manufacturing: stereolithography, direct ink writing (robocasting) and binder jetting. In addition, ceramic components with the potential to benefit from the design freedom offered by additive manufacturing will be explored, examples of which include: heat exchangers, filters, catalytic converters, solar receivers, static mixers and bio-scaffolds. Where applicable, prototype products manufactured at Lucideon are shown.

  • Geopolymer Matrix Composites for use at High Temperature - Fabrication, Properties and Applications

    Geopolymer matrix composites (GMCs) are a group of materials which bridge the temperature performance gap between reinforced polymers and ceramic matrix composites (CMCs). In high temperature environments where reinforced polymers would fail and need to be replaced with metals, GMCs offer a lightweight alternative suitable for service temperatures up to 1000°C whilst providing a non-brittle failure mechanism. GMCs are produced in a similar manner to carbon fibre reinforced epoxy composites whereby woven fibres are impregnated with a resin which sets to form a structure. In comparison to typical ceramic matrix composites which are sintered at high temperatures, GMCs need only mild processing conditions of below 100°C, allowing a simple route to manufacture. In addition, this low temperature processing route facilitates the inclusion of additives in the matrix which would otherwise decompose or deteriorate at typical processing temperatures for manufacturing conventional ceramic matrix composites.
    This paper will detail the processing considerations for manufacturing GMCs, the remarkable properties of such materials, applications where GMCs have been successful, and potential opportunities to exploit untapped markets. The properties and processing conditions of GMCs will be compared to that of conventional CMCs, detailing the pros and cons of each material system. Suitable geopolymer formulations for GMCs will be discussed, with detail provided on the compositional requirements to ensure thermal and chemical compatibility between the geopolymer matrix and ceramic fibre.

  • Ceramics Additive Manufacturing: A New Opportunity for the UK

    The National Centre for Additive Manufacturing, working in collaboration with Lucideon, has created a white paper which defines a route for the UK to create a globally competitive supply chain to service the growing ceramic AM market. The paper identifies key challenges facing the industry, and offers a number of development areas and opportunities for investment to position the UK at the forefront of this emerging technology.
    Ceramics are arguably the most versatile materials on the planet, featuring in every industry and with a breadth of application covering everything from decorative ornaments and tableware, to technical ceramics for harsh environments found everywhere from down hole oil drilling to earth orbiting satellites and beyond.
    Processing constraints limit further application of ceramics. This is driving growing interest in AM for companies looking to unlock a wider range of uses. Particularly the introduction of new systems designed to produce high-density technical ceramics is beginning to generate publicity that will in turn stimulate interest and ultimately trigger a rapidly growing global market.
    The ceramic AM white paper gives an overview into the ceramic AM technology, adoption challenges, solutions as well as providing a number of industrial case studies. The white paper was written by Dr Tom Wasley, who has been leading NCAMs ceramic AM capability development, industrial engagement and project delivery activities since 2016.

  • Encapsulation of Wastes Using Adapted Geopolymer Formulations

    A geopolymer formulation characterized by a low initial viscosity, suitable to immobilise a wide range of waste types such as oils, chemicals and solid waste, is introduced and characterized. The role of the specific surface area of magnesium oxide additions to the reference formulation is presented. Moreover, its capability to encapsulate different volume fractions of oil via the preparation of oil in activator solution emulsions is introduced. Lastly, the effect of oil incorporation on the density, the mechanical strength and the leaching properties of the compositions is presented and discussed.

  • Protecting Products and Patients in Today's Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic

    In this white paper, Aia Malik, Commercial Development Manager, Healthcare, and Gilda Gasparini, senior Chemical Engineer, discuss the journey behind Lucideon's proprietary iCRT-deter technology. iCRT is a novel series of carriers based on inorganic materials, designed to enhance the delivery of APIs by providing protection of actives and improved stability. iCRT-deter, one of the technologies in this platform, applies all these features, including controlled release to provide protection of high dose or addictive drug formulations, including opioids. This paper will review the escalating prescription abuse problem, Abuse Deterrent Formulation (ADF) drivers and the key factors that shaped the design of iCRT-deter.

  • Additive Manufacturing of Ceramics

    Additive Manufacturing can provide innovative forming opportunities and can offer the potential of being able to be integrated alongside traditional methods.
    In this white paper we discuss and compare the different forming techniques available.

  • Wind Turbine Impact Damage Study

    This paper describes a brief explorative investigation into a method to study the likely damage caused to wind turbine blades by impact of hard particles such as hail. There are many published articles on the effects and mechanism of damage on turbine blades but this present study is interested in preventing damage if possible.

  • Installing Refractory Linings in Petrochemical Units - Quality, not Compromise

    For owners of petrochemical plant equipment, there is always a concern about integrity and safety of these units in order to ensure no unforeseen shutdowns or that incidents, such as fires and explosions, do not take place. For these reasons, much attention is given to quality control and quality assurance relating to welding of steel parts and to ensuring that steel quality matches the design requirements.  However, the same cannot necessarily be said for refractory linings, and it is often seen as a lower priority component of a high temperature pressure vessel.

    Here are our tips on what to look out for when installing refractory linings in petrochemical units.

  • The Concreting Process and Petrographic Examination

    This white paper provides a broad overview of the concreting process before going on to discuss common deficiencies and degradation mechanisms in hardened concrete structures that require petrographic examination for root cause analysis.
    The context of this paper is geared toward cast-in-place concrete, but much of the content is also applicable to pre-cast.

  • The Whys & Whats of Scale-Up

    Every product on the market has made the journey from concept to commercialization. For each product that makes it, there are many that fall through the net during the process.
    One of the key stumbling blocks is the move from feasibility study to sustainable production via a demonstration (or pilot) plant. Scale-up requires an extremely wide range of skills: scientists, engineers, regulatory and business managers need to work together to develop and deliver a plan that meets technical and commercial targets. This paper gives an overview of the scale up process, highlighting possible drawbacks and best practice.

  • 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.

  • Single Use Systems in the Pharmaceutical Industry - Advantages and Considerations

    SUS can make it easier for pharmaceutical manufacturers in terms of process operation and minimizing risk of contamination. Downtime can also be greatly reduced as SUS components are delivered ready for use, and are designed so that one component can quickly be interchanged with another, clean replacement, between runs or when changing to a different product on the same line.
    SUS do however still pose challenges themselves, which need careful planning and consideration to maximize the benefit from them whilst ensuring patient safety and product integrity.
    In this paper we will discuss some of the testing and validation considerations that pharmaceutical manufacturers should look at when implementing SUS, as well as other factors that can help them to optimize their usage.

  • Failure Analysis of Plastic Products

    The extensive application of polymer materials nowadays is inevitably accompanied by the occurrence of product failure, which is costly for all organizations involved. The consequence of failure varies from loss of asset and brand credibility, to costly legal disputes, and catastrophic human casualties. This paper provides some insights into the failure of plastic products and gives an introduction to some of the analytical techniques commonly used in failure diagnosis. An understanding of the background knowledge of plastic materials and the methods generally adopted when conducting a failure analysis will help to not only investigate a failure, but can also determine the right corrective solutions.

  • Design Optimization in Medical Devices: Materials Matter

    The development of revolutionary products, the meeting of legislative requirements or the replacement of raw materials phased out by third party suppliers are just some of the critical reasons that device engineers may seek new or alternative materials. The unique and immeasurably diverse range of materials available for medical devices offers many possibilities for design and function. In this white paper, we demonstrate the risk of working with the wrong material, highlight the upside when the right material is selected, and outline what the selection process looks like. In addition to material selection, we also look at material processing and discuss how understanding how the two are unified in the actual design and function of the process is the ultimate key to success.

  • Additive Manufacturing - A Metallurgical Perspective

    In this white paper, we will take a look at Additive Manufacturing from the metallurgical perspective. As with any other manufacturing process, different materials provide different benefits for particular applications. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of AM at each of the three main manufacturing stages: pre-processing, processing and post-processing. We will also discuss some typical component applications that this new manufacturing process is being used for, and all the metallurgical issues involved.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The Use of Imaging for Claim Support in the Personal Care and 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.

  • 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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