Inventor’s corner

Cleanroom filter replacement device

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The method uses an auxiliary device that replaces a cleanroom filter above a production line without interrupting the production process. The auxiliary device has a block plate that fits within the filter frame below the filter to be replaced. A tube is inflated to press outwardly and seals the device in the filter frame, blocking the flow of any unfiltered air past the filter and into the production area. The auxiliary device is raised into the filter frame below the damaged filter. The damaged filter is removed by an operator and a new one is set in place by the auxiliary device. The tube is then deflated to free the device from the filter frame.

Patent number: 5,993,519
Date granted: November 30, 1999
Inventors: Chang-su Lim; Hyun-joon Kim; Youn-soo Han; Kun-hyung Lee,
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Suwon, Korea)

Hand-washing and drying apparatus

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The self-contained apparatus is outfitted with a showerhead, a soap dispenser and blow dryers.

Sensors located within the hand port activate the respective cycles that are regulated by controllers.

A soap dispenser works in conjunction with the wash cycle, and blow dryers are activated once the rinse cycle is complete. Users can also use hand-towels from a dispenser within the chamber.

The towels disintegrate in a moist environment and they, along with other debris from a wash, are broken down further in a drain that is equipped with a conventional kitchen blender.

Patent number: 5,992,430
Date granted: November 30, 1999M
Inventors: William M. Chardack and Charles A. Pfretzschner,
144 Limited Partnership (New Canaan, CT)

Boot with anti-static upper

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It happens simply by walking across the room and as soon as you touch something, you get spiked with static electricity. In a cleanroom where semiconductor devices or disk drives are manufactured, the result can be damaging.

The problem stems from rubber-soled shoes worn by cleanroom workers, according to the inventor. Rubber soles insulate the worker's body from the floor. That means they are not grounded.

To dissipate the charge, the sole of the boot has upper and lower surfaces, which provide an electrical path. An H-shaped insert outfitted with carbon strips communicates electrically with the sole's upper surface. The insert has a tail that can be connected to the legs of coveralls, while tips and grooves of the insert are sewn to the sidewalls of the boot soles. The boot's upper is made of polyester that has a grid of carbon-suffused thread woven throughout the fabric. The thread has a carbon sleeve around the polyester, which also provides a path for any electric charges that are within the fabric. Electric charges normally flow between the tail and the boot sole.

Patent number: 6,003,247
Date granted: December 21, 1999
Inventors: Daniel D. Steffe, White Bear Lake, Minn.

Airborne contaminant indicator

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The system includes a probe for sampling air and a flow meter with a control valve. An indicator is downstream of the flow meter, while a pump maintains airflow. The pump is an ejector type, which is activated by a compressed air supply. A regulator between the compressed air supply and the pump serves as a safety valve. The valve controls the flow and is calibrated by the flow meter. The pump returns the sample air through a vent to a duct and back to the sampled or ambient air.

Patent number: 5,976,467
Date granted: November 2, 1999
Inventors: Andrew J. Dallas, Kristine
Marie Graham, Timothy H. Grafe,
Donaldson Co. Inc. (Minneapolis)

Cleaning kit

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The kit is used to clean surfaces in semiconductor and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. It consists of a stack of clean wipers that are packaged with a container of cleaning fluid in a liquid-tight outer container that is vacuum-sealed. The kit is stored until just before it is to be used. Fluid is released from the inner container into the wipers by puncturing one of the walls. The wipers absorb the cleaning liquid and are removed from the outer container for use.

Patent number: 5,988,371
Date granted: November 23, 1999
Invetors: William R. Paley; Steven J. Paley, Douglas W. Cooper, Peter B. Russo, Jeffrey C. Sayre; Howard Siegerman and Robert Amabile,
The Texwipe Co. LLC (Upper Saddle River, NJ)

Cleanroom air filter

Organic substances can be absorbed on semiconductor surfaces, causing damage. HEPA and ULPA filters contain particles and dusts, yet gaseous organic substances still enter a cleanroom. The invention is a cloth-like filter that comprises fibers treated with a water-repellent synthetic wax. The filter traps airborne particles that in turn eliminate the presence of organic substances in the cleanroom. A gasket made from polyurethane epoxy is used to seal the filter and frame. A carboxylic acid ester is used as a plasticizer, and a phenolic compound is used as an antioxidant, which is added to the filter fibers and gasket..

Patent number: 5,997,598
Date granted: December 7, 1999
Inventors: Sadao Kobayashi,
Masayuki Imafuku, Yoshihide Wakayama,
Taisei Corp. (Tokyo, Japan)

Surface cleaning method

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A water film is applied to the contaminated surface while steam is sprayed into the water film. Water is continuously applied to the water film, and the steam is directed into the water film and onto the contaminated surface. The surface is rotated counter-clockwise and particles are removed from the surface.

Patent number: 5,964,952
Date granted: October 12, 1999
Inventor: Horst Kunze-Concewitz
(Wiernsheim, Germany)


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