As a Specialist in Technical Foams, Intec Foams were approached by a client who was looking for a particular foam for use in a medical device which was in development for a Unique Ladies Urine Collection Device. The actual application had patents pending; so we had to work with the client under a None Disclosure Agreement.
The brief was that it had to
- Absorb liquid
- To expand when wet
- Have a controlled expansion
- To have a controlled thickness
- To be biodegradable
- Compatible to a welding technique.
Many potential foams were tested for the absorbency, and finally, it was accepted that a compressed cellulose sponge was the most suitable. We had to work closely with the foam manufacturer to create a workable production process to control the compressed thickness which was critical to the application.
It became apparent that tight process controls were needed in order to prevent airborne moisture expanding the foam during transit, storage and processing into cut parts, and machine cleanliness was paramount to keep bio-burden to a minimum. Whilst this was not an easy task, a full manufacturing protocol was drawn up.
Working under very tight deadlines at times, we always met these for the client.
Since the production of many proto-types and pre-production samples, our client has gone on to receive awards for a revolutionary device which offers significant benefits over existing products on the market and has now gained NHS approvals.
The biodegradability is a feature for a new product development.