Tuesday, October 08, 2013

3 Small Bites

Some short thoughts about what I am reading elsewhere.
  • Retraction Watch noted that a recent paper in the Journal of Applied Polymer Science, "Drug release properties of poly(vinyl pyrrolidone)/acrylic acid copolymer hydrogels", was retracted as it was the third time that some of it had been published, a no-no if there ever one was. But I just wonder what the paper was REALLY about, since it had previously been published in places that I would never think to look for polymer research, the Arab Journal of Nuclear Sciences and Applications and also in Proceeding, 2nd International Conference on Radiation Sciences and Applications.
  • Gene Quinn of the IPWatchdog blog (a blog I highly recommend for anyone with an interest in patents [*]) last week discussed some surprisingly short claims that appear in recent applications, such as
    "Claim 1 from Application Serial No. 13/416,904:
    Asymmetrical 2,5-disubstituted-1,4-diaminobenzenes"
    According to the application, symmetrically substituted 1,4-diaminobenzenes are easy to come by; it's the asymmetric ones that are the challenge. I can't say otherwise, but I think I would have expanded the claims to include asymmetrically substituted diaminonathphalenes, anthracenes, and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
  • Ninesights has a request for a "Reduced Cost and Complexity Heating Plate" which is a laugher. They want this new heatplate to
    • Be applicable to plates between 5-10 inches in width and 10-20 inches in length
    • Work with 15 Amp, 115 Volt power (20 Amp is acceptable but not preferred
    • Provide uniform heat to the entire surface
    • Reach 300 F in 3 seconds or less
    • Be resistant to water, punctures and cutting by sharp objects
    • Be integrated with a power controller/temperature regulator that maintains 300 F when significant heat drain loads are placed on the plates
    • Presents a stainless steel surface
    15 Amps, 115 VAC will give you at absolute most 1.725 kJ/s of energy, which means you have to heat the entire plate up from RT to 149 C (a ΔT of about 127 K) with just 5.175 kJ of energy. Stainless steel has a heat capacity of 460 J/kg/K, so that means you can have no more than 88.6 g of stainless. Since the specific gravity of stainless is about 7.85, you have only 11.7 cm3 to work with. As the minimal area is 300 cm2, the thickness of the steel can be no more than 0.35 mm - foil for all practical purposes. And that means it will not be resistant to "punctures and cutting by shart objects". This also assumes that nothing else in the heating plate has any thermal mass at all. Any such mass will further reduce the thickness of the stainless. As will a power efficiency of less than 1. And energy losses to the external environment via conduction, convection AND radiation.

    Walt Disney famously said "It's kind of fun to do the impossible", but this is not what he had in mind. The conservation of energy and these undergraduate level calculations are spoiling the fun of a "Major Equipment Supplier". Gee, maybe there really is a STEM shortage. There appears to be one at this company.
[*] The blog is so good that other IP attorneys, including copywrite attorneys who should know better have copied entire columns and published them elsewhere without proper permission or even attribution. Gene doesn't like that. Gene takes action. Don't cross Gene.

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