The inventions of Ralph Klimek
page mentions some original inventions. They are probably not
unique, anything that one man can think of can be and probably has been
thought about by someone else, but at least they are mine.These
are mainly rambling thoughts and ideas....who knows, maybe some evil
mega corporation will find them usefull, if their internet security
people let them surf my web page!
have finally honored my long outstanding resolution to write stuff down
as and when I think of it and not trust memory to safeguard the brief
flashes of good ideas.
occur usually following a blinding migraine, dont ask me why that
should be the case. I guess the brain is sufficiently bumped of the
usual track and some random originality follows.
I can see it
now, somewhere in a foul Shanghai basement, peons shackled
to drafting tables and whack! think of something new!
Invention number 345, a bearingless reaction wheel for satellite station keeping.
carry momentum wheels, a gyroscope, against which a torque can be
developed for steering a satellite. Conservation of angular momentum
requires these reaction wheels to absorb angular momentum by increasing
their angular velocity, and , at some point , this angular momentum
must be removed by venting scarce propellant gas into space.
Metal on metal bearings in the vacuum of space have a peculiar
problem not noticed on earth, which is cold welding, prevented by
atmospheric oxygen. Bearings are the most vulnerable part of any
precision mechanical system and there are many ingenious sytems for
supporting gyroscope noncontact bearings, using gas jets or magnets. A
position sensing gyroscope carries and very small mechanical
load, but a reaction wheel must keep spinning and be subject to
significant load on real bearings. Propellent gas can be (easily...ha!)
replaced by a service mission and robot, but bearings cannot.
My solution , is to do away with wheels altogether for a reaction wheel device , but to use a "non contact system"
possesses the property of angular momentum. A high density fluid
moving in a torus has this property. If the fluid is electrically
conductive , such a molten metal, it may be pumped at constant velocity
using a multiphase electrical system, and not require any mechanical
contact at all. The torus must off course be non conducting. A
suitable liquid metal for space could be a thalium mercury eutectic
alloy which would require the minimum electrical power to guarantee it
remains liquid during shadow transits. It would have the advantage of
high density providing a large amount of angular momentum. To
provide a non contact measure of rotation , a small ceramic or teflon
insulating sphere would be in the fluid , which could be sensed by
inductive sensing or even by monitoring the back emf of the main
My guess is that for the greatest station keeping
accuracy the fluid should be pumped in the turbulent zone, or high
Reynolds number, laminar flow might expose the system to unavoidable
asymetries, turbulent flow should average them out.
comes from the slow sad demise of the hubble space telescope which is
doomed because it requires mechanical gyroscopes for station keeping.
Invention number 126, a pilot light for led torches.
Problem, finding a torch in the dark. My solution is
so simple it should not be necessary to even state it, yet nobody on
the planet has yet done so, which just defies belief.
Surely this idea is not actually "original". C'mon guys!
Put a high value resistor in parallel with the on off switch. See my article Lux Aeterna
Invention number 13(a) , a white light microscope illumination system that permits achromatic perfect focusing.
Problem, it is not possible to perfectly focus white light with lens based optical systems.
solution, then dont illuminate the objective with "white light".
Illuminate it with the combined light of high efficiecny red,
green and blue LEDs or solid state lasers. Lens systems can be
designed to correctly focus light at two of three discrete wavelengths.
LEDS are sensibly monochromatic and laser is (allmost) perfectly
Invention number 13(b) microscope illumination with monochromatic light.
biological objects viewed with white light reveal no further detail
compared with using a green or yellow source of illumination. Lens
be optimised for monochromatic light, they are simpler,
have better light transmission and resolution. A Yellowe or Green
Led provides a very effective
illuminator for a simple
transmission microscope. Blue light is even better as it will
scatter more effectively in biological samples.
Invention number 398, a method for the prevention of "concrete cancer" or spalation of steel reinforcement in structural concrete
steel reinforcement bars or "rebar" in structural concrete corrodes,
the volume taken up by the corrosion products, hydrated oxides of iron
, is greater than that of the parent metal. This results in
localized tensile stress being set in the concrete. This can
result in internal cracking in structural concrete or
spallation if the stress is near the surface of the concrete element.
It generally occurs in older structres or structures exposed to a high
saline flux, like seaside appartment blocks, piers etc. It
is one of the reason that structres are condemned, possibly when there
is still significant commercial value in these structures.
Concrete cancer is extremely costly to remmediate, and in the
case of structural concrete , it may be impossible or commercially
Phosphate pickling of steel in steel yards is done
by dipping the finished steel products, slab, sheet or merchant
bar in phosphoric acid. The steel is passivated on the surface, it is
not durable or strong, and can be easily removed with simple tools
and more importantly, does not interfere with standard, non
critical welding operations. Phosphoric acid, is benign and not
toxic nor is it particularly corrosive.
agricultural fertilizer known as superphosphate is supplied as small
pellets, milled from the reaction products of phosphate rock and
sulphuric acid. Superphosphate is a simple mixture of calcium
sulphate and calcium hydrogen phosphate, and calcium triphosphate.
The calcium hydrogen phosphate is what is interesting
to horticulturalists because this ionic form of the hydrated phosphate
ion is directly useable by plants, free phosphate ions in soil
are normally very rare and the lack of biologically available
phosphorous is one of the primary limits on vegetable growth.
calcium hydrogen phosphate is water soluble and is slightly
When iron corrodes, its first oxidation state is +2, the
ferrous ion is highly soluble in anearobic conditions. In the
presence of aqeous electron acceptors and even atmospheric oxygen
it is quickly oxidised to the ferric +3 ion, it is tighlty
co-ordinated with surrounding water molecules. It forms an highly
insoluable precipitate of the hydroxide from the free solution and very
readily in the normally alkaline envoironment of new concrete.
iron phosphates, especially the ferric oxidation state is highly
insoluable and very stable. Once formed in the concrete matrix it is
unlikely to mobilise again.
If standard commercial
super-phosphate fertilizer is added to cement , I believe that that
amount required to passivate ( and thus protect ) the iron rebar is not
so significant as to impact on the structural properties of the
resulting concrete and would provide long term protection to concrete
rebar by imobilizing free iron ions that orginate from the rebar as
well as preventing spallation.
The active hydrogen phosphate
from the suspended pellets would survive in concrete while it is
being mixed, transported and placed.
It might also be possible,
that ducts are placed in structural concrete to permit maintenance
doses of phosphoric acid to be applied to the rebar through diffusion
over the lifetime of the structre, especially those subject to
innundation or significant seepage.
Invention number 588, a hand saw with a differance.
is now possible to manufacture circular saw blades with cemented
tungsten carbide teeth very cheaply. The teeth have extremely long
when cutting ordinary building products. There is is still a need in
the building trade for handsaws. These traditional tools are
still used for one off cuts when it become troublesome to find
electrical power. It would be good if cemented tungsten carbide
teeth could be attached to a handsaw blade. Unlike the
traditional handsaw, one with TCT teeth could even cut metal products.
Invention number 5749, ink jet catridges filled with detergent
number of perfectly serviceale inkjet printers of mine were sent to
landfill because the ceramic inkjet nozzle plate had become clogged.
standard method of cleaning rapidly exhausts the consumeable ink tanks.
Nice if you manufacture and sell them ! Eventually the nozzle plate
so clogged that this standard method fails. I have
learned , that one can dissassemble the print head and soak it in plain
ordinary dish washing liquid for a few hours and the print head can be
restored to service. How about if the printer manufacturer or
third party could supply ink cartridges filled with just detergent to
permit a thorough clean out. Would this be a valuable printer
after market idea ? Maybe for a cartridge clone maker ?
Invention number 234, An ammeter for measuring mains AC current, that is self calibrating, self powered, and inherently linear.
See the Next Generation AC ammeter
this simple and obvious idea is actually original, as far as I can make out. Who wooda thunk it !
Invention number 235, An ammeter for HF Radio Frequency currents.
RF ammeter is a specialized and generally unobtainable unit based on a
shunt resistance and thermocouple driving an microammeter. Very
dependable, simple design. However it is expensive to manufacture and
prone to burnout and "nobody" makes them any more. The meter
calibration is highly non linear.
Does it makes sense to use
a resistive shunt and step up the sub volt range to the
multi volt range , suitable for driving a rectifier-meter combination
16:1 broadband balun transformer ? I am currently experimenting
with this idea to see if it is even possible to get sensible wide band
See also the next generation AC ammeter.
Invention number 24535, A permanent archiving medium and method for Deep Time applications.
follows a stream of thoughts from the Deep Now Project et al.
What got me thinking was seeing some actual Sumerian Stone Tablets on
display at the National Gallery of Victoria.
These tablets were over
3000 years old, and provided that you understood Babylonian Cuneiform,
they were still perfectly readable. These hand made stones recorded,
for tax purposes, the possessions of an ancient individual. We know
more about the lives of the most ancient Babylonians then we do about
European dark ages, not a good record. The ancient
stone tablets were actually potatoe sized and shaped pellets of clay,
kneaded by the hand of a slave or scribe's apprentice,
written on by
the scribe and then roasted. These ancient records endured
because they could not rot, burn,dissolve or disintegrate. They
contained absolutely no valuable materials
and so would not be
looted. They now have profound antiquarian value, which at least
serves to preserve the object, but not its archaelogical "context".
records of modern , contemporary civiliztion are by historical
standards extremely fragile. Our Land and Titles Office primary
records are leather bound ledger books made
of a reasonably durable,
but hardly permanent medium called paper. It will burn, is
subject to destruction by purely innocent processes....vermin attack,
fungi, etc. It is only as reliable
a medium as the storage
facility permits it to be. If "containment" is lost, the record
is lost. This was not the case with these ancient stone blocks.
They were lost, looted, flooded, burned
and traded by the
modern day tomb raider....and yet the record, the information that they
contained was and is recoverable.
I think this simple and ancient and proven storage technology still has a role to play today.
technology has come a very long way in 3000 years. The ceramic
material of interest here is Alumina. When sintered properly it
is extremely hard and chemically inert and very refractory. The surface
of a slab of sintered Alumina is very smooth. It is now
possible to engrave the surface of just about any refractory substance
now with scanning industrial lasers. I believe it would be
to cover ,say, a 50cm2 surface of smooth sintered Alumina with
maybe 50000 to 100000 human (with microscope) characters, or grayscaled
images or digital codes that could be
mass production, the green pre sintered blanks could be stamped by a
master die to reproduce the images, and then fired. I would think
that the primary market for this service would be political
idealogical organizations and religous organizations that require
their sacred texts to "endure for all time". Governments
might appreciate such a medium for storage of key information,
like Land and Title Documents, as such records would be immune from
destruction by flood, fire, riot or most forms of military action. The
cheapness of the product also means that multiple copies of important
archives could be made and stored out of reach of marauding armies.
key lesson of History is that your civilization will be subject to many
and ultimately fatal natural and man made events, and your
paper/electronic records will be be destroyed. But not these little
to be continued as and when and if I have a "usefull" idea from the crackpot department.
page created Mon Feb 21 18:33:41 EST 2011; Thu Mar 31 18:09:55 EST 2011