Patents Represented by Attorney Philip D. Lane
  • Patent number: 8105512
    Abstract: An infiltrated carbon foam composite and method for making the composite is described. The infiltrated carbon foam composite may include a carbonized carbon aerogel in cells of a carbon foam body and a resin is infiltrated into the carbon foam body filling the cells of the carbon foam body and spaces around the carbonized carbon aerogel. The infiltrated carbon foam composites may be useful for mid-density ablative thermal protection systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2012
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
    Inventors: Rick D. Lucas, Harry E. Danford, Janusz W. Plucinski, Douglas J. Merriman, Jesse M. Blacker
  • Patent number: 8071065
    Abstract: Tools for the forming of composite parts from composite forming materials, having tool bodies that comprise, at least in part, high density carbon foam where a surface of the high density carbon foam may comprise a tool face or support tool face materials. The tools of the present invention may be lighter, more durable, and less costly to produce and/or use than conventional tools used for the production of composite parts, particularly those tools used for the production of carbon composites. Additionally, such tools may be reusable, repairable, and more readily modifiable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2011
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd
    Inventor: Thomas M. Matviya
  • Patent number: 8071206
    Abstract: A blast energy mitigating composite useful for protecting a surface or an object from a blast, shock waves, or stress waves caused by a sudden, violent release of energy is described. Certain configurations of the blast energy mitigating composite may include energy mitigating units contained in an energy mitigating matrix. If desired, various reinforcement layers may be incorporated on or within the energy mitigating composite. The energy mitigating units may comprise a porous energy mitigating material such as carbon foam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2011
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
    Inventors: Susan C. Chang, Douglas J. Merriman, Jesse M. Blacker, Rick D. Lucas
  • Patent number: 8048528
    Abstract: According to the present invention there is provided coal-based cellular or porous products, also referred to herein as “carbon foams”, having a density of preferably between about 0.1 g/cm3 and about 0.8 g/cm3 and most preferably between about 0.3 and about 0.4 g/cm3 that are produced by the controlled heating of coal particulate preferably up to ¼ inch in diameter in a “mold” and under a non-oxidizing atmosphere. The coal-based cellular or porous products of the present invention have ash contents typically greater than about 1%. More typically these coal-based cellular or porous products have ash contents greater than about 3%, with ash contents in the range of about 7% to 15% being most typical. The ash residue remaining after essentially complete combustion/oxidation of these coal-based cellular or porous products is predominately composed of oxides of aluminum and silicon. Additionally, the cellular coal-based products of the present invention have relatively low overall B.E.T. surface areas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2011
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
    Inventors: Thomas M. Matviya, Darren K. Rogers
  • Patent number: 8034266
    Abstract: A process for the production of an open-cell carbon foam from a metallic salt of a lignosulfonate is described. The process includes heating the metallic salt of a lignosulfonate from ambient temperature to a maximum temperature, greater than about 250° C., at a rate sufficiently slow as to provide for essentially uniform heating of the lignin derived material. Heating of the lignin derived material is performed in a non-oxidizing atmosphere having a pressure greater than about 100 psig. The resultant carbon foam can subsequently be optionally subjected to carbonization or graphitization temperatures as desired. The resultant carbon foam has a regular open-cell structure. Densities of the carbon foam products are commonly in the range of about 0.1 g/cm3 to 0.2 g/cm3. The carbon foams may also exhibit compressive strengths of up to about 200 psi. The carbon foam materials potentially have utility as lightweight thermal barriers and in many other of the applications associated with carbon foams.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2011
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
    Inventors: Drew M. Spradling, Doug R. Amie
  • Patent number: 8021638
    Abstract: Tools for the forming of composite parts from composite forming materials, having tool bodies that comprise, at least in part, carbon foam and high density carbon foam are described. In some embodiments, a surface of the carbon foam or high density carbon foam may comprise a tool face. In other embodiments, the carbon foam or high density carbon foam may support an other material, referred to as tool face material, wherein a surface of the tool face material may comprise a tool face. The tools of the present invention may be lighter, more durable, and less costly to produce and/or use than conventional tools used for the production of composite parts, particularly those tools used for the production of carbon composites. Additionally, such tools may be reusable, repairable, and more readily modifiable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2011
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd
    Inventor: Thomas M. Matviya
  • Patent number: 7960656
    Abstract: Enclosures for at least partially shielding an at least partially enclosed volume from electromagnetic interference and various methods for producing such enclosures are described. Enclosures for at least partially shielding an at least partially enclosed volume from electromagnetic interference may be prepared by bonding at least two sections of carbon foam with a carbonizable binder to provide an enclosure, wherein said enclosure defines an at least partially enclosed volume, and carbonizing the carbonizable binder to provide an electrically conductive carbon char. An enclosure for at least partially shielding an at least partially enclosed volume from electromagnetic interference may include at least two sections of electrically conductive carbon foam interconnected by an electrically conductive carbon char. The electrically conductive carbon char is substantially electrically continuous with the sections of electrically conductive carbon foam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2011
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
    Inventor: Thomas M. Matviya
  • Patent number: 7931961
    Abstract: A composite exhaust flue which may be used to shield an area or object from convective, conductive, or radiated heat transfer from hot exhaust combustion gases is described. In certain embodiments, the composite exhaust flue may be used to protect structures from hot exhaust gases and particles such as those produced by cars, trucks, ships, boats, jets, rockets, as well as other vehicles with internal combustion engines, turbines, or rocket motors. In some embodiments, a composite exhaust flue may comprise a ceramic fiber reinforced ceramic composite high temperature face sheet positioned over an insulating layer and a structural support layer comprising a rigid, porous foam material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2011
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
    Inventors: Rick D. Lucas, Douglas J. Merriman, Gregg W. Wolfe, Brian L. Gordon
  • Patent number: 7902116
    Abstract: A system comprising an activated carbon bed in contact with carbon foam is described. In some embodiments, the system, which may be a fluid treatment system, may comprise an activated carbon bed and a carbon foam section covering at least a portion of a surface of the activated carbon bed. In other embodiments, a fluid treatment system may comprise two or more activated carbon beds which are at least partially separated by one or more carbon foam sections. Further embodiments of a fluid treatment system may comprise a vessel, where one or more walls of the vessel comprises carbon foam, and an activated carbon bed contained within the vessel. Still further, a fluid treatment system may comprise an activated carbon bed and a carbon foam section at least partially contained within said activated carbon bed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2011
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
    Inventors: Isaac Post, Thomas M. Matviya
  • Patent number: 7883683
    Abstract: An assembly comprising carbon foam and high density carbon foam is described. In some embodiments, such an assembly may be a composite or composite assembly. One or more pieces of carbon foam and high density carbon foam may comprise the assembly. The assembly may comprise other materials in addition to the carbon foam and high density carbon foam. One or more of any given type of other material may be incorporated into the composite. Additionally, a given other material may be incorporated in more than one volume or location on or in the assembly. The other materials may provide for bonding of the elements of the assembly together, strengthening of the assembly, increased assembly oxidation and weathering resistance, modification of the electrical, thermal, or fluid transport properties of the assembly, and any of a number of other purposes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2011
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
    Inventor: Thomas M. Matviya
  • Patent number: 7867608
    Abstract: Electrically gradated carbon foam materials that have changing or differing electrical properties through the thickness of the carbon foam material and methods for making these electrically gradated carbon foam materials are described herein. In some embodiments, the electrically gradated carbon foam materials exhibit increasing electrical resistivity through the thickness of the carbon foam material such that the electrical resistivity near a second surface of the carbon foam is at least 2 times greater than the electrical resistivity near a first surface of the carbon foam. These electrically gradated carbon foam materials may be used as radar absorbers, as well as in electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding schemes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2011
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
    Inventors: Jesse M. Blacker, Janusz W. Plucinski
  • Patent number: 7824645
    Abstract: A high density carbon material produced from coal is described. The carbon material may have a density ranging from about 1.0 g/cc to about 1.6 g/cc and may have a crush strength of up to about 20,000 psi. The high density carbon material is produced by slowly heating comminuted swelling bituminous coal particles under pressures of 400 psi to about 500 psi to a first temperature at about the initial plastic temperature of the coal. The material is held at this temperature for a period of time sufficient to provide for a uniform temperature throughout the coal. The material is then heated to a second temperature for a period of time sufficient to provide for the coal achieving an essentially uniform temperature. The resulting product is a three-dimensional, self-supporting carbon that has a substantially continuous carbon matrix defining grain boundaries within the carbon matrix.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2010
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
    Inventors: Dwayne R. Morgan, Rick D. Lucas
  • Patent number: 7774912
    Abstract: Metal matrix composites having open or closed channels extending longitudinal through the length of the composite as well as methods and apparatus for forming the same are described. The shaped metal matrix composites are made of continuous fiber reinforced metal matrix composite materials. They have an integrally formed, non-cast, metal matrix composite body portion where the walls have a substantially uniform distribution of continuous fibers in a matrix metal throughout the volume of the walls and have at least one channel extending through the body of the shaped metal matrix composite.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2010
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
    Inventors: Brian L. Gordon, Gregg W. Wolfe
  • Patent number: 7766984
    Abstract: A method for increasing the yield of carbon foam is described. The method includes placing a foaming sheet over the top surface of the material to be foamed. In certain embodiments, the foaming sheet is placed over the top surface of particulate coal prior to and during the foaming process. In some embodiments the foaming sheet is a smooth, continuous sheet, such as aluminum foil or the like. The resulting carbon product includes an increased amount of usable carbon foam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2010
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
    Inventors: Rick D. Lucas, Thomas M. Matviya
  • Patent number: 7767183
    Abstract: Methods for the production of carbon foam from swelling coals that do not require the use of high process pressures, oxidized coal, devolatized coal, or high-strength, foam expansion confining molds are described. In some embodiments, a comminuted swelling bituminous coal is heated to a first elevated temperature sufficient to result in the coal particles softening and melting together to form a substantially homogeneous open cell plastic carbon material. The substantially homogeneous open cell plastic carbon material may then be heated to a second elevated temperature at a slow rate to form carbon foam. In some embodiments, the resulting carbon foam may be heated to a higher third elevated temperature. The resulting carbon foam may be subsequently heated to elevated temperatures as great as 3200° C. or more.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2010
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
    Inventor: Thomas M. Matviya
  • Patent number: 7736729
    Abstract: A blast energy mitigating composite useful for protecting a surface or an object from a blast, shock waves, or stress waves caused by a sudden, violent release of energy is described. Certain configurations of the blast energy mitigating composite may include a energy mitigating units contained in an energy mitigating matrix. The energy mitigating units may comprise a porous energy mitigating material such as carbon foam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd
    Inventors: Susan C. Chang, Douglas J. Merriman
  • Patent number: 7681625
    Abstract: A wet filament winding method and apparatus for producing a consolidated metal matrix composite is described. The methods are directed to winding a softened metal infiltrated fiber bundle and layering the resulting softened metal infiltrated fiber bundle onto a rotating mandrel in a prescribed pattern on the surface of the mandrel to form a consolidated metal matrix composite. Upon cooling, the matrix metal solidifies and the resulting consolidated metal matrix composite may be removed from the mandrel. The consolidated metal matrix composites may be produced in a variety of shapes, such as cylinder, a tapered cylinder, a sphere, an ovoid, a cube, a rectangular solid, a polygonal solid, and panels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2010
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd
    Inventors: Brian L. Gordon, Gregg W. Wolfe
  • Patent number: 7635844
    Abstract: A microsystem manipulation apparatus and an associated kit is described that may be used to facilitate the assembly and testing of Microsystems and microsystem components. The microsystem manipulation apparatus may include a scanning electron microscope imaging system, a stage, and at least one manipulator having an associated tool. The microsystem manipulation apparatus may be partially or fully automated to provide for routine microsystem assembly, disasembly, and/or testing. The associated kit may include one or more manipulators and associated tools for retrofitting an existing scanning electron microscope to produce a microsystem manipulation apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 22, 2009
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
    Inventors: Brian E. Joseph, Elizabeth N. Kraftician, Thomas M. Matviya
  • Patent number: 7591299
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for the production of long lengths of continuous-fiber metal matrix composite prepeg ribbon or tape. The tape or ribbon is produced by bringing together multiple fiber tows into a formed bundle of fibers and infiltrating the bundle with metal using a continuous pultrusion process. Pultrusion is a preferred method of tape or ribbon manufacture since it places the fibers in tension during manufacture and avoids subsequent issues associated with buckling stress.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2009
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
    Inventors: Brian L. Gordon, Gregg W. Wolfe
  • Patent number: 7588608
    Abstract: According to the present invention there is provided a porous coal-based material having a density of between about 0.1 g/cm3 and about 0.6 g/cm3 that is produced by the controlled heating of small coal particulate in a “mold” and under a non-oxidizing atmosphere. The coal starting material preferably exhibits a free swell index of between about 3.5 and about 5.0 and most preferably between about 4.0 and about 4.5. The porous product thereby produced can be machined, adhered and otherwise fabricated to produce a wide variety of low cost, low density products, or used in its preformed shape as a filter, heat or electrical insulator etc. Such porous products, without further treatment exhibit compressive strengths of up to about 6000 psi. Further treatment by carbonization or graphitization yields products that can be used as electrical or heat conductors. Methods for the production of these coal-based cellular products are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2009
    Assignee: Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
    Inventor: Darren Kenneth Rogers