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Case Study 3: Assembly of the FingaDent Device

Figure 1 shows the FingaDent finger pouch, which has been developed for dental applications. This product was initially designed for regions of the world where fresh, clean water is a rare commodity and dental hygiene is a luxury that many people cannot afford. The device consists of an outer sleeve composed of a textured, nonwoven polypropylene sleeve and an inner polyethylene sleeve, which act as a biobarrier. The outer sleeve and the interstitial space, which occurs between the outer and inner layers, contain a fluoride based antibacterial oral cleaning fluid. The device is used by inserting a forefinger into the inner sleeve and the outer sleeve is then rubbed across the teeth. The rubbing action releases the oral cleaning fluid and this fluid, combined with the textured surface is effective in cleaning the surfaces of teeth. The outer and inner sleeves are cut to the desired forms using a shaped ultrasonic cutting horn. These are then bonded together to form a water-tight bond using an ultrasonic welding horn; this process involves a simple changeover of parts.

Important Note: Ultrasonic processing is one of the few processes which can interchangeably cut and or weld both textile and thermoplastic materials.

Figure 1 - FingaDent finger pouch

© Rainbow Medical Engineering, Shaftesbury Industrial Centre, Icknield Way,  Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire SG6 1RR