This is an update to our original article.
Lumina Adhesives is a leader in light switchable adhesive technology. When the Sweden based innovator required a trusted partner to manufacture a trial batch of adhesive for an exciting new product, it chose Itac.
The patented adhesive is applied to a polyurethane film to create medical plasters, which behave like ordinary sticking plasters in respect to adhesion, water resistance and ageing. Crucially, however, due to its special formulation and a light-catalysed crosslinking process, the new adhesive transforms from sticky to non-sticky when the dressing is exposed to UV-A light. This unique feature makes the adhesive film particularly suitable for anyone with sensitive or damaged skin, and potentially the first choice for others who simply prefer pain-free plaster removal.
Lumina needed a manufacturing partner with the flexibility to make low volume quantities of the material within controlled conditions, which were protected from light. Itac was able to provide the right environment, plant and facilities, plus a team with a high understanding of industrial coating processes to ensure the finished formulation could be successfully applied in standard coating conditions.
Itac undertook the project, creating the required product, with the coated film now ready for stability and full dermal and medical testing.
BAE Systems is developing a sophisticated system using microsensors, to form a smart skin for aircraft.
The revolutionary concept could provide aircraft with the ability to conduct a ‘health-check’ continuously, whilst the plane is flying. The system will relay and feed back potential and actual faults before they fully develop. This will reduce the number of inspections required on the ground. It will also make aircraft maintenance more efficient, thus improving the planes availability and safety.
The micro sensors or ‘motes’ can be as small as a dust particle. They would have a collective power source when linked with the relevant software allowing signals similar to the way living skin communicates with the brain. Because of the miniscule size of the sensors, retrofitting to existing aircraft could be a possibility as well as application via spraying.
The original concept came from Lydia Hyde, a senior scientist at BAE System Advanced Technology Centre. Lydia said the idea came to her while looking at her tumble dryer, which uses a sensor to prevent overheating; “Observing how a simple sensor can be used to stop a domestic appliance overheating got me thinking about how this could be applied to my work and how we could replace bulky, expensive sensors with cheap, miniature, multi-functional ones. This in turn led to the idea that aircraft, or indeed cars and ships, could be covered by thousands of these motes creating a ‘smart skin’ that can sense the world around them and monitor their condition by detecting stress, heat or damage.”