Over 30 years of pioneering the use of acrylic components in pressure rated applications have made UK based Blanson Ltd a world leader for products for the medical, pharmaceutical and marine industries. One of the secrets to its success is undoubtedly quality, and the relationship it has built with Lucite International (LI) over the past 20 years has provided product consistency and technical support as the business pushed material formulation to enhance performance. Blanson’s work is a perfect example of how acrylic is helping science advance; from deep sea exploration to the treatment of medical conditions and diseases.

Submersibles

Blanson has been at the forefront of developing the latest generation of pressure resistant acrylic dome windows and lenses required for submarines and mini submersible vehicles used by scientists, filmmakers, the military, tour operators, and increasingly by wealthy enthusiasts. The most recent large acrylic domes created for U-Boat Worx’s superyacht and cruise ship submersibles are cast from one solid piece of acrylic and depending upon the depth rating required are up to 200mm thick.

Using acrylic in submersibles has allowed scientists to discover more about the depths of the world’s oceans that are normally inaccessible. The ability of the acrylic dome to withstand pressure 100 times greater than that at the water’s surface has enabled a world first, for scientists to capture footage of never before filmed giant squid at 1,000m deep on David Attenborough’s BBC Natural World Giant Squid documentary.

Hyperbaric Chambers

Blanson also specializes in the creation of large cast acrylic tubes for hyperbaric chambers, which enable the delivery of oxygen in the high concentrations necessary to treat divers suffering from decompression sickness. It can also enhance the healing of problem wounds. More recently, hyperbaric chambers have been used in the UK to treat multiple sclerosis, and across the world they are being used to support those suffering from diabetes – stimulating blood flow to treat the ulcers that diabetics often contract as a result of their condition.

Chromatography Column Tubes

A large and growing new application area is in the supply of the low pressure chromatography filtration tubes necessary for the latest state-of-the-art bio-tech production of vaccines and drugs for the treatment of conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cancer and motor neurone disease. Acrylic enclosures are particularly useful in this application because they offer clear processing visibility while avoiding the risk of catastrophic failure, which comes with using glass. Because sterilization is a key requirement, Blanson is working closely with LI to develop new, highly chemical resistant grades with the potential for acrylic to be used in even more areas of this rapidly developing sector.

To find out more about any of the applications in this article please contact us or Blanson direct.