The inventions of Ralph Klimek

This 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!

I 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.

These 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.

The problem.
Satellites 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"
that 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 driving coils.
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.
The inspiration 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.
My 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 monochromatic.

Invention number 13(b)   microscope illumination with monochromatic light.

Most biological objects viewed with white light reveal no further detail compared with using a green or yellow source of illumination. Lens systems can
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

When 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 impractial.

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.

The Commercial 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 acidic.

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.  

The 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.

It is now possible to manufacture circular saw blades with cemented tungsten carbide teeth very cheaply. The teeth have extremely long
life 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

A number of perfectly serviceale inkjet printers of mine were sent to landfill because the ceramic inkjet nozzle plate had become clogged.
The standard method of cleaning rapidly exhausts the consumeable ink tanks. Nice if you manufacture and sell them ! Eventually the nozzle plate becomes
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.

The 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 with
a 16:1 broadband balun transformer ?  I am currently experimenting with this idea to see if it is even possible to get sensible wide band measurements.

 See also  the next generation AC ammeter.

Invention number 24535,  A permanent archiving medium and method for Deep Time applications.

this 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,
presumeably for tax purposes, the possessions of an ancient individual. We know more about the lives of the most ancient Babylonians then we do about the entire
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".

The 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.

Ceramic 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
possible 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
transcribed manually.    

For 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.

One 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 ceramic slabs.  

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