An unexpected application process

Every once in a while, a unique application involving an EXAIR product comes to our attention. EXAIR had the pleasure of speaking with a customer who was working on a project involving the milling of a human body. Yes, you read that correctly. Here is an unusual and „morbid“ application we want to discuss about today.

I must admit I was a bit taken aback upon the initial description of the process, but was very intrigued about the concept. Susan Potter, a medical education activist and cancer survivor, signed on to a project in 2000. She had recently been involved in a major car accident and was told her life expectancy would be just one more year. She decided that she would donate her body to science for continual study and education. The study would culminate with a complete dissection of her body, from head to toe, with photos taken after each “cut”. She was well aware of the grisly nature of what would transpire, but wanted to fulfill her dream of making medical students more compassionate doctors.

Solution with EXAIR products

Instead, she lived on for another 14 years and allowed National Geographic to chronicle her life story and subsequent dissection. All in the name of furthering medical research. The process involved removing 300µ layers at a time, taking a photo after each pass that would be used in a time-lapse video showing the entire dissection of the human body.  So how does EXAIR play into this fascinating story?

In order to get a clean picture, the milled material had to be blown off. An isopropyl alcohol solution was sprayed onto the surface just before they snapped a photo. At about 12:45 in the video, you can see the process begin. The blowoff was performed with an EXAIR Model 110012SS Super Air Knife and the isopropyl alcohol was applied with an EXAIR EB1020SS Atomizing Spray Nozzle.

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Model 110012SS performing the blowoff after each pass

Atomizing Spray Nozzles as a solution for clear image

You can also see a 9212 12” Stay Set Hose being used to position the spray nozzles just above the ice block. When this particular video was taken, they hadn’t yet implemented the Atomizing Spray Nozzles. They contacted us looking for a better solution to the cheap liquid only nozzles that they were previously using. These used a significant amount of the isopropyl alcohol solution and they couldn’t get an even or repeatable coating prior to the photo. This resulted in some of the images not being quite as clear as they hoped and would have to check each individual image as it was taken. At 300µ at a time, that would’ve taken forever if they had to continuously verify and retake images that didn’t come out clear enough.

The Atomizing Spray Nozzles provided a uniform coating of the solution just prior to taking the photo which resulted in a perfectly clear image each and every time. This way, they could confidently run the machine without having to stop after each pass to check the photo.

While it won’t be every day you encounter something quite like this, you can count on EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products for all your point-of-use compressed air needs. Reach out to an Application Engineer if you need help in any of your processes.