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Tinytag data loggers monitor heat curing cycles during the production of custom made ocular prostheses

Tinytag Ultra 2 thermocouple data loggers are used to record temperature data during the heat curing of medical grade acrylic at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.

When Manchester Royal Eye Hospital was opened in 1814 'glass eyes' were true to their name. Over two centuries later ocular prostheses are most commonly made out of medical grade acrylic and are formed in the shape of convex shells in order to cover the structures inside the eye socket.

Ocular prostheses are custom made for patients when there is an absence of a natural eye. Each prosthesis must be fabricated and fitted especially for the patient by an ocularist. NHS ocularists working in the Department of Ocular Prosthetics at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital are responsible for fabricating and fitting ocular prostheses, cosmetic shells and facial prostheses. Part of the fabrication process is the heat curing cycle, in which the medical grade acrylic which the prosthetic eyes are made out of is exposed to high temperatures so that it hardens and is suitable for wear.

The ocularists use Tinytag Ultra 2 thermocouple data loggers to monitor temperatures during the heat curing cycle to ascertain that the acrylic has been cured at the optimum temperature (a temperature range of 200°C to 1300°C for the correct amount of time).

If the acrylic is not cured properly, the material does not harden fully and remains porous, resulting in monomer leaking out of the acrylic and causing irritation for the wearer. It is therefore imperative that temperatures are recorded during the cycle. Tinytag thermocouple data loggers are ideal for use in this application, as their thermocouple probes offer fast response monitoring in temperatures from -200°C to +1370°C.

To monitor the heat curing cycle, the data logger's thermocouple probe measures the temperature within the heat curing tank, while the data logger itself remains outside the tank recording the readings taken by the probe. The data from each cycle is downloaded, viewed and analysed using Tinytag Explorer software. If the temperatures are found to have fallen outside the desired parameters, indicating that the acrylic may have not cured properly, the cycle is repeated to ensure that the prosthesis is properly cured.

Using Tinytags to monitor temperatures during the heat curing cycles gives the team at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital peace of mind that the acrylic has cured properly and therefore will give the best possible results for their patients. Feedback from the department states that the service they receive from Gemini Data Loggers is "always helpful and efficient".

Tinytag Ultra 2 Thermocouple data loggers are compatible with K, J, T and N thermocouple sensors and can measure from -200°C to +1370°C, offering fast response monitoring in high temperature applications.

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