Dental Sealants Help Kids Avoid Cavities

While teaching children the proper way to brush and floss is key to encouraging a lifetime of healthy dental habits, professionals working in pediatric dentistry will likely agree there are few ways more effective at preventing cavities early in life than dental sealants. Sealants are also safe, affordable and easily applied in a relatively quick and painless procedure.

Sealing a Tooth’s Natural Fissures

When a dentist applies a sealant, he applies a thin coating over the tooth. This coating smooths natural pits and fissures, usually found on molars. Those fissures and grooves serve a purpose. They help grind food. Pits in and around those grooves can trap food, however, which can lead to tooth decay.

This begins with the buildup of plaque. Typically, young children brush poorly and incompletely. Many skip brushing altogether. When this happens, plaque develops along the teeth, especially in the gaps and spaces between teeth and near the gums. Dental sealants in kids helps eliminate this plaque buildup because of the protective film that forms is designed to minimize the buildup of plaque.

Helps Defend Against Gum Disease

Because it contains various forms of bacteria, excess plaque can lead to oral hygiene issues and signal the start of gum disease, or gingivitis. Left untreated, plaque buildup will wreak havoc on tooth enamel, a tooth’s natural protective barrier, and can lead to cavities. Too much bacteria can even lead to advanced periodontitis, which attacks both gum tissue and the bone that lies underneath.

It is easy to deal with plaque and prevent those possible outcomes. Once gum, bone and enamel is damaged, however, that damage cannot be reversed. Sealants, however, provide a way to easily prevent plaque buildup. Sealants on molars and premolars stop plaque in its tracks.

Encourage Good Dental Hygiene

Sealants can prevent many dental issues, but it should not be the only defense against oral disease. Parents should always teach young children how to take care of their teeth by properly brushing, rinsing and flossing.

When searching for a children’s dentist near me, make sure you ask if they do dental sealants. Not all pediatric dentists employ dental sealants in kids. Once you find the right dentist, ask about the dental services for children that are provided and ask if you can have the child’s molars and premolars evaluated to determine if they are good candidates for sealants.

Dental sealants are usually applied early in a child’s life, often between the ages of 5 and 7. This is when a child’s first permanent molars are expected to erupt. Secondary molars arrive between ages 11 and 14 and signify another good time to have teeth examined for sealing.

How Are High Pressure Vessels for Compressed Gas Made?

If you are a buyer of pressurized gas for your business, you may be curious about how a commercial metal forming company produces high pressure vessels suitable for containing compressed gas. There are several steps involved in making pressure vessels that can withstand up to 1000 times more pressure than other more basic containers that may be used for storing dry goods under normal pressure.

Heat Treated Metal and Chemical Baths

Metals such as the steel alloy chromoly are often used for high-pressure vessels. These metals are initially treated at a temperature near 1300 degrees Fahrenheit for 36 hours before being immersed in the first of a series of chemical baths intended to allow the metal to flex and be capable of safely storing compressed gas. Once dried, the metal is moved over a hydroforming press to be formed into the shape outlined by the designer. Often there is a deep draw die that is made based upon the specifications provided by the client.

A Series of Presses

Several different types of powerful presses are used to shape compressed gas vessels. A mandrel pressor hydroforming sheet metal press applies up to 800 tons of force before another type of press may be used to continue refining the vessel shape with up to 150 tons of force while using a coolant to prevent overheating. Several presses may be employed to stretch the metal until the closed bottom end of the vessel is shaped and reinforced.

Finishing the Top and Exterior

In order for a commercial metal forming company to complete a pressure vessel, it is necessary to create a leak-proof neck and valve connection. First, a band saw is used to slice off the top of the container following pressing. A torch then heats the edge to more than 1500 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes before the vessel is returned to yet another chemical bath for several minutes. The vessel is finally reheated to a slightly lower temperature around 1200 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes before being left to cool for several hours. The surface is smoothed by shot blasting and the finished container is tested by being filled with and submerged in water.

All of the transitions between extreme heat and cooling involved in the production of a high-pressure vessel temper the metal and allow it to flex enough to safely contain pressurized gases. There are several major types of pressured vessels that that can be created by shaping deep drawn aluminum, specialty alloys and carbon steel. There are only a handful of hydroforming companies in USA that specialize in making pressure vessels for the compressed gas market.

What Are the Advantages of Fiber Lasers?

It took CO2 lasers nearly twenty years to reach the 4kW cutting threshold. Fiber lasers have achieved this level of performance and much more in only five years. Laser cutting services and custom metal fabricators now use even more powerful fiber lasers for cutting sheet metal. Fiber lasers outperform CO2 lasers when it comes to making precise cuts on thin sheets of metal. Keep reading to find out about the many advantages of fiber lasers.

Compact and Powerful Configurations

Fiber lasers feature compact solid state design configurations with fiber-to-fiber capabilities, making these machines much more efficient and powerful than CO2 lasers. This type of laser really shines when it comes to cutting thin sheets of metal. The focal point of a fiber laser can achieve a power density that greatly exceeds that of the strongest industrial CO2 lasers. The shorter wavelength of fiber lasers allows for greater absorption, particularly when the sheets of metal being cut are quite thin, ideally no more than .160″ in thinkness for the best performance and results.

Cutting Thin Sheets

The higher absorption of the fiber laser wavelength and the power density of the focused beam can increase the functionality, precision, and speed of sheet metal laser cutting. This is particularly the case when the sheets being cut are thinner than 1/8″. As the majority of cutting applications involve thinner materials, fiber laser machines can make a substantial difference in the effectiveness and efficiency of cutting metal blanks for most manufacturers.

Low Cost of Operation and Maintenance

CO2 lasers remain more common than fiber lasers, but these machines are neither as economical nor efficient. The major benefits of fiber lasers include the fact that they are cheaper to operate and easier to maintain than CO2 lasers. Fiber lasers require less in maintenance costs, require less power to operate and produce cleaner cuts faster. Metal fabricators should check the optics as well as the steel belt and the straightness and verticality of the track. Regardless of which type of laser is used, it is a good idea to regularly clear dust and dirt and clean and lubricate the guide rails and motors of a cutting machine.

Custom metal fabricators interested in improving the effectiveness of their laser cutting services may be interested in sheet metal laser cutting with fiber lasers, especially on metal sheets that are thin. Ask metal fabrication vendors about their machines and methods and make sure you end up with the best cut.

Visionaries Need Help To See Products Come To Life

Most inventors are visionaries that have been inspired to create something they believe to be useful. Often the idea stems from a specific encounter where they saw or used a device that did not perform as effectively as the inventor thought it should. Sometimes the inspiration comes to this visionary through a colleague that describes a procedure, information system or tool that failed them.

The world needs great visionaries to help improve our lives but too often the idea stalls when tasked with bringing this vision to life. The field of medicine is filled with great thinkers and visionaries, but these same people tend to be very busy and find it difficult to move an inspiration for the next great wearable medical device along the path of product development.

Medical Device Development Requires More Than Inspiration

Most of the wearable medical devices that entered the marketplace in 2017 have spent several months to several years in the development pipeline. The question is where does the inventor begin? Our recommendation is to seek out the product development firms that have a proven track record of bringing other wearable technologies to market. There are skill sets that will be required along the way that the inventor or visionary just won’t have themselves.

More importantly is the new product development process needed for your device to succeed. For example, it does not make sense to meet with a mobile app development company before you have a physical design in place. Always start with a summary of the functionality you want for your device and share your ideas with a trusted product designer after there is a formal agreement that will protect your rights and ideas.

Mechanical, Electrical & Software Engineers Should Work in Synergy

The physical design and appearance of your device is very important to the end users and the marketability of your product. If a patient must wear the device, it needs to look and feel right. If a clinician will be using the device as a handheld unit, the design must be easy to use and conform to the environment it will be used in.

Once you have nailed down the mechanical design, an electrical engineer can work within the physical limitations of the device to layout how the electrical design. Often there will be sensor technology deployed in wearable medical devices. So the mechanical and electrical designers may need to make some adjustments to structure & materials for the components to function flawlessly together. Both disciplines can be very complex and it is rare that one individual shares these design skills.

Therefore the stakeholders should foster a collaboration and a project management team may be assigned to track progress, keep the client informed and oversee all parts of the medical device development process. Once the physical and electrical design phases are near complete, then we can start working with the software and app development teams.

Prototyping and Testing Helps Dictate Manufacturing Needs

If an entrepreneur was to hire individuals to tackle the above tasks, chances are you may invest months to identify the right players and several more months to get them to a point where they are producing. Outsourcing your engineering design services has become the norm for most visionaries seeking how to get your invention started. For the prototyping and testing phases alone, it makes sense to choose a partner that has access to 3D printing and additive manufacturing technologies. This world of making functional prototypes has moved very fast and is allowing startups get to market much faster although the equipment and materials can be very costly. Testing will allow you to adjust your design and materials as you discover bugs you never anticipated.

Since actual manufacturing is often the most expensive piece of the puzzle, this engineering for manufacturing stage considers material costs, production methods, anticipated run sizes and delivery schedules. A fully functional prototype will also allow you to present your design to venture capitalists and investors. A manufacturer will need you to show them the money before they invest in materials.

As a medical product design firm in Pennsylvania, Definitive Design has seen the shift towards wearable technologies several years ago. We have partnered with Connected Device Group to bring together the skills you will need to all under one roof. A visionary simply can not do all that is required without the help of a solid team of design professionals.

7 Bathroom Renovation Ideas for Smaller Bathrooms

Many homeowners have a thousand bathroom renovation ideas for the master bath, but when it comes to the half-bath on the first floor, ideas are often harder to come by. The space is typically small, with limited room in which to get creative. Because of this, homeowners often neglect the little bathroom.

A little thinking outside the box (or outside the bathroom) can shake things up. Here are seven small bathroom design ideas that will get those renovation ideas flowing.

  1. Forget Everything You Know

Many homeowners feel stuck with a small bathroom, unsure how to create a more inviting space. The trick might be to throw out the rulebook. Rather than think of the bathroom as a smaller version of what’s upstairs, homeowners should consider bold colors and wild patterns when designing. A little bit of whimsy can go a long way.

  1. Break the Budget a Little

Make the bathroom a destination for visitors by using more expensive materials, like marble tile or crystal wall sconces. Since the space is small, splurging a bit shouldn’t break the budget. At least not by much.

  1. Take Time to Design Smart Storage Spaces

One way to give a small bathroom the illusion of extra space is to use storage space strategically. Built-in shelving for bathroom necessities will keep the floor clear. A floating vanity, which attaches to the wall and forgoes feet, will give the perception of empty space.

  1. Add a Splash of Color

While a white color scheme suggests clean space, painting with bold, bright colors can create an exciting experience for guests. A green palette in a windowless room can emulate foliage, for example.

  1. Choose Luxurious Materials

If the half-bath includes a shower, consider a floor-to-ceiling glass enclosure. Not only does the glass reflect light and suggest luxury, but because it is see-through, it will make the room appear larger than it is. Equip it with an oversized showerhead and guests may line up outside.

  1. Consider the Renovation a Challenge

If the bathroom budget is small and will only allow for a few items from the kitchen and bath showroom, consider tackling some of the project on your own. Paneled wallpaper and decorative molding is an easy way to create the look of more expensive wood paneling and a chair rail.

  1. Make a New (Floor) Plan

If possible, consider rearranging fixtures to give the bathroom a new look and feel. Consult a professional bathroom designer in NJ to see how difficult it might be to move a toilet or flip a shower. Here are a few more bathroom renovation ideas that may inspire you.

Everything You Need To Know About Hydroforming

As a purchasing agent, you need understand what you can about many different types of manufacturing processes so you can make the right decision for the parts that you are going to have produced. If you are looking for a symmetrically round metal part to be made, then it helps to learn about what hydroforming is and what can be done with this type of process. There are only a few hydroforming companies in the USA because the equipment being used is highly specialized.

What Is Hydroforming?

Hydroforming is a technology for forming and creating metal parts. It allows for precision shaping of metal parts that are drawn to a depth more than 5 inches deeper than the previous formation. Most deep draw metal stamping machines do not have the capability to go deeper than 4 inches. In this hydroforming process, a pressurized fluid is used to form the metal pieces around a mold or die. The metal materials being formed often start out as a flat sheet or occasionally a tube.

Hydroforming sheet metal starts off as an approximately cut flat sheet of metal that is pushed around a die form with the pressurized water or oil to form the shape. Hydroforming is most often used when the production runs fall below 2500 pieces and not often used in longer runs. Some of the products that lend themselves best to hydroforming sheet metal are seamless vats, vessels, tanks, cooking pans and other types of metal containers. Many of the metal forming manufacturers that include deep draw metal forming in their offerings also include seam welding services, so they can bring two haves of a vessel together.Many times, hydroforming sheet metal creates seamless parts that get attached to other metal components with the aid of gaskets and fasteners.

The Process

The actual process of hydroforming starts with tooling that is made according to a CAD diagram. The tool goes into a tray with the metal placed over the form. Everything is moved into the chamber for forming. The machine fills with the water or a specially oil and begins the process of lifting, stretching and shaping the metal using a tremendous amount of force. The fluid is then extracted back into its reservoir and the chamber opens with the completed part.

Using Hydroforming

Hydroforming can be used in many applications with various types of metal. It is great for parts that have 90-degree bends or dramatic shaping requirements. It is ideal if the part needs to be lightweight, and it also costs less than typical deep draw stamping processes, which is perfect if you are looking for lower part costs on shorter production runs.

Materials can be anything from titanium, stainless steel, various carbon steel grades, aluminum to and even copper.