Sunday, November 17, 2013

I am now looking for a regular job

I had a great run with Rethink Technologies Inc., but I am now preparing to "pack it in" and go to work for an established company. I now have a baby to support, and I must have a regular income. I have a very unusual assortment of talents, that I can deliver for an employer. I am a great formulator, with really diverse experience.

In addition, I have pre-existing inventions I am willing to bring into employment, and if employed, I will assign an idea that I've been paid to develop further over to my employer, under certain conditions. I have posted a list of available inventions elsewhere on this blog. I want to specifically call attention to these polymer-related inventions:

  • If you make floatation modules or radomes from syntactic foam, my reaction wave polymerization invention is especially important, because the reaction wave can penetrate clear through a thick buoyancy module or radome, curing the matrix-phase polymer as it propagates. This is lower cost than placing the modules into an autoclave or an oven, as in the prior art. Since the shrinkage is localized in the narrow reaction wave, the volume change due to polymerization shrinkage can be relieved, which allows less expensive monomers to be used.
  • If you are interested in thermoplastic elastomers, I have several inventions of interest to you, starting with an important invention I created in my time at West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (then The West Company). I learned only much later (after these three patents had expired) that West filed for three patents on my work that do not list me as an inventor; the best one of these describes butyl rubber based dynamic vulcanizate thermoplastic elastomers that have been dynamically cured in an SEBS (Kraton G) matrix phase. This patent should list me as the sole inventor but instead it is in the name of Malcolm Smook, our consultant at the time. This is still the best way to make TPE-based vial stoppers, and the patent is long since expired. I could help a company manufacture these TPEs.
  • I have a second TPE that I developed during my time at Rethink Technologies, a classical dynamic vulcanizate thermoplastic elastomer, or "thermoplastic vulcanizate" (TPV). I originally proposed the development of an ETFE fluoroplastic matrix TPV, with FKM as the curing elastomer phase to Daikin's Dai-Act program in 2001; they chose not to back it. But three years later, I was asked to consult on the project, started long before (but not, I think, before 2001): Daikin's ETFE/FKM dynamic vulcanizate! I was flabbergasted, but I made a deal to work on the project. There were two teams, one in Osaka, the other in the Rethink lab, in New York. We got dramatically better results than the Osaka team, but I fell out of favor when I refused to let them file a patent without my name on it. I did file the patent as assigned to Daikin (no problem), but they had a problem with an American inventor. Daikin abandoned the patent in mid-prosecution, but it was still published. I created an ETFE-matrix TPV (30% ETFE) with crosslinked FKM particles. The product passed many fuel swelling and permeation specifications, with elongation 230% and 2200 psi tensile strength...ideal for O-ring cord and peristaltic tubing for chemicals.
  • Reactive polymer processing: I have experience with  elastomer graft modification, including a method to economically make maleic anhydride grafted butyl rubber (IIR). The dual ionomeric/conventional vulcanizate from this material combines high strength with low durometer to an unprecedented extent for a butyl elastomer. I called this material maleated butyl rubber (MIIR), and tried to raise money to manufacture it after I left Monsanto Rubber Chemicals, where I developed it (I got an official release of the technology from Monsanto). MIIR was reported in part in an ACS Rubber Division paper in 1989, with David Russell of ARDL (Akron Rubber Development Lab). 
  • Rubber grinding to particle sizes below 40 microns: I understand wet grinding of rubber inside out. As Technical Director of Erickson Materials, I learned this from the true inventor: Jim Rine, who was our consultant. He taught others hiow to do it as well, including Michael Rouse, founder of Rouse Rubber. This technology had a bright future, but was set back in a big way by an explosion of rubber dust and a fire that killed several people at Rouse Rubber's Vicksburg factory. Mike Rouse's daughter still wet grinds FKM scrap, and I stand ready (either as a consultant or an employee) to help you implement this elegant and effective technology.
  • Incorporation of graphene and graphene precursors into polymers for reduced permeability: I showed in a Phase 1 SBIR for the Navy in 2008 that I could reduce the sea water permeability of butyl rubber by more than an order of magnitude by using expanded graphite (a graphene precursor). I even got that compound to stick to NBR. Later, I showed that the same trick can also be used to reduce solvent permeation in HNBR.

I am a real expert, but more important, I am a proven problem solver. If you want to hire me as a consultant, hurry up because my job will likely interfere with my ability to consult or write a patent for someone.

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