1). IP AUDIT: (Torquil Goodwin INNOVATE UK EDGE Innovate2Succeed CUE) Audit approved 11/02 with completion date of 22/03. Had meeting with Pure Ideas 19/02 to discuss audit outline and areas for potential protection (personal sports equipment, anti-stab, and radiation protection devices) including patent, design rights and trademarks. Meeting with Torquil & Roy Pulley on 01/03 and updated. Expect audit documentation mid-March.
2). SHIN PADS: (Catherine Kelly & Richard Turner AMCASH program / University of Birmingham) Samples (as detailed separately) to be delivered to Richard Turner & Cat for final testing on 11/03 having gone through shaping & default cycles. Details of samples on separate heading.
3). RADIATION PROTECTION: (Derek Sear & Richard Williams – DEMAND HUB / University of Birmingham) Richard Williams waiting for QE to advise on testing requirements/dates. torc material incorporating differing dosing levels of Boron Oxide to be tested for radiation protection (X-ray dose mapping). The claim is that this Boron Oxide is more effective than lead when used in the field of radiation protection. We still need clarification on the ‘no heat’ issue. Subject to successful tests the first three products identified for prototype development will be: Lead Aprons, Gonad, and Thyroid Protectors.
4). ANTI-STAB ARM PROTECTOR (torc composite with SAATI thermoset & neoprene comfort inner layer) All the testing carried out by Catherine (Cat) Kelly & Richard Turner (AMCASH program / University of Birmingham) has confirmed that 5 layers of thermoset embedded within standard torc will achieve level 2 anti-stab protection. Currently discussing regulatory procedure with Cat following which we will identify suitable manufacturing partners preferably UK. Possibly companies currently already working with hot melt adhesives / composites.
5). SPECIALISED COATINGS (Catherine Kelly / University of Birmingham) We may have a student available to us for a research project that needs to fit with the equipment and expertise that they have within the polymer group at the University, this would last for approx 6 months at 2 days per week. One such project proposed is based on our need to determine how to best ‘finish’ the outer element of all of the protective devices under development. The skin-side will be more about comfort with a layer of breathable Airprene (or similar), but the outer surface is more difficult to specify due to the varied features required. The outer coating must align itself with the properties of the base ‘torc’ material whilst adding an aesthetic quality. This coating becomes every bit as important as the composite itself. Features that will be required as follows:
Heat resistance – once the coating has been introduced onto the product it will not be exposed to a temperature higher than 100 degrees C. The coating cannot delaminate, crack or crease after going through shaping cycle/cycles following heating (90 degrees max) and cooling. It must not become tacky under heat. Can we spray it or print it on? Would be good to have different colours if possible or if clear then to being able to colour it, draw on it or paint on it. Does it have any impact resistance qualities? Outline sent to Cat on 3rd March.
1). STRENGTHENING ADDITIVES: (Jonathan Roberts SCHOOL of ENGINEERING / University of Birmingham) Genuine concerns on our part about the stability of the material proposed for cross-linking the ‘torc’ material. Need more time to consider the handling and processing of the additive. The idea centred around ways in which we could enhance the strength of torc material without impacting on the properties.
2). RAPID DISPENSING SYSTEM: (Greg Gibbons / Warwick Manufacturing Group) WMG have been waiting for gas supply (parts on order for the gas connection) to set up the PTA. (Plasma Transferred Arc – welding). It is embedded into the 3-axis CNC and following training will be integrated into the rapid system.
Awaiting an update from Greg as program was expected start around the end of Feb 2021 when a researcher would also be available to work on the project. This is proposed as a rapid dispensing alternative to direct feed granular additive manufacturing system.
3). 3D PRINTING tORC FILAMENT: (Naomi Green & Prveen Bidare AMTECAA program /University of Birmingham) Successful printing **of torc filament confirmed and report received 22/02. This is a significant step forward and gives us options in terms of manufacturing devices such as finger/hand splints in the treatment of carpal tunnel, RSI, etc. The 3D printer** used in the printing of torc material was a Prusa MK3S FDM 3D Printer with Bondtech Extruder. Bondtech direct drive extruder provides better extrusion for flexible filaments such as torc. Prusa in Czech Republic buy filament from PLASTY Mladec (PM) also based in Czech Republic. I met the CEO of PM at TCT show in 2019. I have reached out to him to discuss opportunities. We would need to ensure that we have a very robust and clearly defined Licence Agreement. This is something that Pure Ideas, our Patent Attorneys based in Stratford-upon-Avon can assist with putting together. The Czech Republic is one of the 23 countries in which we have validated our European Patent. Have also had a conversation with Sam Jinks at Pure Ideas about potential trademarking for torc filament.
4). SOCKET LINER/PROSTHETIC LIMB WRAP: (Richard Williams – DEMAND HUB / University of Birmingham) Richard introduced us to a Portuguese Company, Adapttech (Frederico Carpinteiro) based in Porto. Following exchange of 2-way NDA I met with Frederico on 12/02 – seemed extremely interested in what we are looking to do within prosthetics although he has a slightly different idea about where we would best fit. His initial thought was torc material being more of a mouldable wrap around the residual limb as opposed to a fixed or drop-in structure within a socket. He will introduce us to the owner of the prosthetics company (the largest in Portugal) – within which Federico’s business is based.
5). SPECIALISED COATINGS (Catherine Kelly / University of Birmingham) As above – researching suitable outer specialised coatings for Orthotic Devices.
Legwork MS Ltd
1). NEW INDUCTION HEATER: (Paul Gretton – SMARTERIALS / ASTON UNIVERSITY) Currently waiting for Nigel at Assemtron to confirm pricing for 2 x prototypes that will be sent out to be put through the paces by several experienced crafters. The heater elements are being sourced (to arrive by 11th March) for the prototypes from Holroyd Components who manufacture in the UK. They use CNC technology to compete with Asian suppliers.
This heater will be one of a kind for the Arts & Crafts sector. Listed below are some of the intended features:
* Large base to allow for a max working area of 200mm x 150mm.
* Interchangeable heater plates (different sizes) all using the same base.
* Temperature settings controlled by APP technology ensuring parental control when
heater is being used by children.
* A heat range to allow for working with different core crafting materials.
* Shaped enclosures to fit all base sizes to ensure no heat loss where control of heat is
* Safe to use in household oven.
* Aesthetically pleasing control unit enclosure.