With fundamental patents and trade-secret knowhow in place, the development of our IP strategy is ongoing.
Since 2007 we have been building on a protection strategy for our intellectual property. We define “intellectual property” as:
- Patents and secret knowhow on materials, processes and devices;
- Registered and applied-for trademarks;
- Our website and our unique URLs;
- Copyrighted writings and publications
We make ceramic lattices by our proprietary process, which results in an entangled array of fibers in the diameter ranges of 100-300, 400-800 and 900-1500 nanometers. A human hair is about 1,000 times thicker than our finest fibers. Our manufacturing processes allow us to control, in narrow ranges, the fiber diameters we produce for high predictability of surface area.
An example of surface area can be shown by comparing a bundle of smaller diameter fibers to a single fiber of the same mass as the bundle. Our example is a single piece of spaghetti (properly called a “spaghetto”) that can be imagined as a pasta fiber.
The surface area of fibers is a simple geometric calculation:
- Length x Diameter x 3.14 (Pi)
The surface area of a standard spaghetto is about 2 square inches.
If we were able to take a single spaghetto and slice it lengthwise into “nano-spaghetti” (‘spaghetti” is the proper plural of spaghetto) of the same diameter as our thinest fibers (nanofibers), we would have 240 million spaghetti, and added up they would have total surface area of 32,000 square inches (the size of an average dining room).
Nanofibers must be contained to prevent them from breaking apart and flying around; supported by larger fibers because they are fragile; and optimized because their high surface area detracts from air or liquid flow. Ceramic lattices contain, support and optimize the benefits of nanofibers in a true composite material that has high productio scalability.
Functionality & Flexibility
We have spent years learning how to embed metals onto the surface of the fibers. We have focused initially on Platinum Group Metals (platinum, palladium & rhodium) used in Environmental Emission Controls. Fibers of different ceramic formulations can be made and intertwined for further functionality. Our process allows for unlimited final product geometries.
The following chart lists fiber materials and embedded materials that are possible. We are continually looking for other fiber and embedment options.