Bedside respiratory devices, like ventilators or CPAP machines, are common pieces of equipment recommended by doctors for breathing assistance and sleeping disorders. As bedside devices, they need to perform their designed tasks quietly and effectively or risk negatively impacting customer sleep quality as well as brand reputation.Additionally, the machine must be easy to clean and disinfect, with the ability to withstand various and repetitive cleaning processes vital to the health of the user.
One respiratory device manufacturer set out to test a new material that would address these needs. The incumbent low-density polyurethane material was not holding up well to regular cleanings and had a propensity to wear and crumble over time. This presented performance degradation of the device along with a risk of material fragments entering the unit’s air stream. The new material would need to meet a stringent list of requirements including being able to reduce noise and vibration to satisfy customer expectations for quiet performance, be bio-compatible, be resistant to fungal growth, be easily manufactured and assembled, provide the correct product properties for the application, and be able to withstand regular cleaning/disinfecting via the traditional chemical, UV/ozone and/or steam sanitization processes used to clean the machines.
After a rigorous testing period, Rogers' BISCO® MF1® silicone foam was selected for this application. The decision was made due to the material being able to hold up better and longer to multiple cleanings (especially via UV/ozone methods), its ability to provide attractive sound and vibration absorption, and its open-cell structure allowing for airflow.
With three different densities, three compression/springforce deflection ranges, and two colors (white and gray) to choose from, the manufacturer was able to tailor BISCO MF1 silicone into a solution that met their exact needs. As a result, the manufacturer's devices achieved better acoustic performance and improved resistance to cleaning methods, and users were able to realize a better night's rest.