Patents by Inventor Mark R. Fernald

Mark R. Fernald has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 9833763
    Abstract: Apparatus features a container and a transducer. The container is made of a selected material and has a container wall with a selected thickness, and configured to hold a fluid therein. The transducer is configured on the outside of the container wall, and is also configured to provide a standing wave into the fluid. The selected thickness and material of the container wall is chosen to ensure about a ½ wavelength of a desired frequency exists within the container wall, so as to substantially reduce back reflections toward the transducer due to any mismatch in acoustic impedance at the interface between the container wall and the fluid, and so as to substantially maximize the amount of energy delivered to the fluid, thus improving the operating efficiency of the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: CiDRA CORPORATE SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: Mark R. Fernald, Timothy J. Bailey
  • Patent number: 9827574
    Abstract: Apparatus for use in, or forming part of, a separation process to be implemented in separation processor technology, the apparatus comprising synthetic bubbles or beads configured with a polymer or polymer-based material functionalized to attach to a valuable material in a mixture so as to form an enriched synthetic bubbles or beads having the valuable material attached thereto, and also configured to be separated from the mixture based at least partly on a difference in a physical property between the enriched synthetic bubbles or beads having the valuable material attached thereto and the mixture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: CiDRA CORPORATE SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: Paul J. Rothman, Mark R. Fernald, Francis K. Didden, Christian V. O'Keefe, Alan D. Kersey, Douglas H. Adamson
  • Patent number: 9810665
    Abstract: Apparatus is provided featuring an acoustic driver and a transducer. The acoustic driver is configured to provide an acoustic driver signal having a frequency that can be adjusted to yield a given wavelength, which in turn, will selectively capture a particular particle size of particles in a fluid, mixture or process flow. The transducer is configured to respond to the acoustic driver signal and provide an acoustic signal having a standing wave at the frequency in order to yield the given wavelength that will selectively capture the particular particle size of the particles in the fluid, mixture or process flow, in order to determine the mass of the particles having the particular particle size in the fluid, mixture or process flow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: CiDRA CORPORATE SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: Mark R. Fernald, Timothy J. Bailey
  • Publication number: 20170232451
    Abstract: An engineered collection medium for use in mineral separation is described. The engineered collection medium has a solid phase body configured with a three-dimensional open-cell structure like foam or sponge to provide collection surfaces. The surfaces are functionalized with a hydrophobic chemical having molecules with a functional group for attaching mineral particles to the collection surfaces. The engineered collection medium can be a foam block, a filter or conveyor belt to be placed in a slurry to collect mineral particles in the slurry. The engineered collection medium carrying the mineral particles is provided to a release apparatus where the mineral particles can be released by using mechanical agitation, sonic agitation and so forth.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 9, 2017
    Publication date: August 17, 2017
    Inventors: Paul J. ROTHMAN, Mark R. FERNALD, Francis DIDDEN, Christian V. O'KEEFE, Douglas H. ADAMSON, Paul DOLAN, Timothy J. BAILEY, Michael RYAN
  • Publication number: 20170234476
    Abstract: The present invention provides apparatus, including a pigging tool, that comprises a spraying mechanism configured to move along an inner surface of a pipeline, including a slurry transport pipeline in a minable oilsands facility or plant, and to spray a coating on the inner surface of the pipeline; and a curing source, including an ultraviolet (UV) light source, a microwave source or an RF source, configured to cure the coating sprayed on the inner surface of the pipeline in situ as the spray mechanism moves along the inner surface of the pipeline.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 1, 2017
    Publication date: August 17, 2017
    Inventors: Alan D. KERSEY, Mark R. FERNALD, John VIEGA, Francis K. Didden
  • Patent number: 9731221
    Abstract: An apparatus for collecting mineral particles in a slurry or the tailings is disclosed, including a collection area or tank having one or more collection surfaces configured to contact with a mixture having water and valuable material, the valuable material having a plurality of mineral particles of interest; and a synthetic material provided at least on the one or more collection surfaces, the synthetic material having plurality of molecules with a siloxane functional group configured to attract the mineral particles of interest to the collection surfaces. The one or more collection surfaces includes a conveyor belt that is driven through the collection area or tank, through a release area or tank, back through the collection area or tank. The mixture includes a pulp slurry having ground ore with mineral particles of interest forming part thereof, including mineral particles of interest of about 500 microns or larger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: CiDRA CORPORATE SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: Paul J. Rothman, Mark R. Fernald, Francis K. Didden, Douglas H. Adamson
  • Patent number: 9612194
    Abstract: Apparatus is provided featuring a signal processor or signal processing module configured to receive signaling containing information about images of an ore sample; and determine information about a Bitumen Content of the ore sample based at least partly on the signaling, including for use in real time ore blend management in a bitumen recovery process related to mined oil sands. The ore sample may be an ore face, and the signaling may contain information about the images of the ore face. The signal processor or signal processing module may be configured to determine a real time ore face ore grade visualization based at least partly on the signaling, and provide corresponding signaling containing information about the real time ore face ore grade visualization, including a composite overlay image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: CiDRA Corporate Services Inc.
    Inventors: Michael A. Davis, Andrew E. Carlson, David O. Winkowski, John V. Viega, Alan D. Kersey, Mark R. Fernald
  • Publication number: 20170080403
    Abstract: Apparatus or recovering a mineral particle of interest from a slurry in a mineral extraction process, featuring a core or substrate; and multiple layers arranged on the core or substrate, each layer of the multiple layers configured with a respective outer surface having a plurality of molecules attached thereto, the molecules comprising a functional group selected for attracting and attaching one or more mineral particles of interest to the molecules. Each layer is made from a polymer having a thickness of less than or equal to about 125 microns. The polymer is selected from a group consisting of polydimethylsiloxane or dimethyl siloxane.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 1, 2015
    Publication date: March 23, 2017
    Inventors: Paul J. ROTHMAN, Mark R. FERNALD, Christian V. O'KEEFE, Douglas H. ADAMSON
  • Patent number: 9477042
    Abstract: Techniques and systems suitable for performing low-loss fusion splicing of optical waveguide sections are provided. According to some embodiments, multiple laser beams (from one or more laser) may be utilized to uniformly heat a splice region including portions of the optical waveguide sections to be spliced, which may have different cross-sectional dimensions. According to some embodiments, the relative distance of the optical waveguide sections and/or the power of the multiple laser beams may be varied during splicing operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2016
    Assignee: Weatherford Technology Holdings, LLC
    Inventors: Mark R. Fernald, Trevor W. MacDougall, Martin A. Putnam, Rebecca S. Bryant, Christopher J. Wright, Michael Arcand, Christopher T. Chipman
  • Patent number: 9404893
    Abstract: The present invention provides new techniques for non-invasive and real-time measurement of the velocity profile of slurry flow in horizontal pipes, as well as the measurement and trending of pipe wear on slurry lines. In the first case, this information can be used to determine the approach and onset of solid deposition on the bottom of the pipe. Having this information in real time can enable operation at lower velocities or higher solids concentration or both while avoiding solids deposition or plugging and their associated operational costs. In the second case, the present invention uses a permanently or semi-permanently installed ring of conformable ultrasonic transducers clamped onto the outside of the pipe. These transducers are used to measure the thickness of the pipe under their respective locations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2016
    Assignee: CiDRA Corporate Services Inc.
    Inventors: Christian O'Keefe, Robert J. Maron, Mark R. Fernald, Timothy J. Bailey, Alex Van der Spek, Michael A. Davis, John V. Viega
  • Patent number: 9366653
    Abstract: Apparatus for determining a thickness of a wall of a pipe, featuring a signal processing module configured to respond to signaling containing information about traveling stress waves transmitted to and reflected back from a wall of a pipe by a sensor band that includes a series, ring or array having multiple transducers circumferentially arranged and mounted around, and attached to or clamped onto, an outside wall of the pipe; determine a profile of a thickness of the wall of the pipe corresponding to circumferential locations of the multiple transducers based on the signaling received from the sensor band, and the provides corresponding signaling containing information about the profile of the thickness of the wall of the pipe; and another module configured to receive the corresponding signaling and provide a visual indication of either data or a graph of the thickness of the wall of the pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2016
    Assignee: CiDRA Corporate Services Inc.
    Inventors: Christian Victor O'Keefe, Robert J. Maron, Mark R. Fernald, Timothy J. Bailey, Alex M. Van der Spek, Michael A. Davis, John V. Viega
  • Patent number: 9360309
    Abstract: A method for monitoring wall thickness of an industrial piping component or pump/fluid machinery, including a pump casing for a pump used for pumping an abrasive fluid or slurry, comprising providing a signal containing information about a ultrasonic-based transducer pulse from a discrete ultrasonic-based transducer attached directly on an industrial piping component or pump/fluid machinery at a local point of interest and configured to inject the ultrasonic-based transducer pulse into the industrial piping component or pump/fluid machinery at the local point of interest and sense the ultrasonic-based transducer pulse reflected off a wall of the industrial piping component or pump/fluid machinery at the local point of interest; and determining with an electronic monitoring system the thickness of the wall of the industrial piping component or pump/fluid machinery at the local point of interest based at least partly on the signal received containing information about the discrete ultrasonic-based transducer pu
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2016
    Assignee: CiDRA Corporate Services Inc.
    Inventors: James Michael Sullivan, Mark R. Fernald
  • Patent number: 9352335
    Abstract: A synthetic bead for use in mineral separation is described. The synthetic bead has a surface made of a synthetic material such as polymer and the synthetic material is functionalized with molecules having a functional group for attracting mineral particles to the surface in a separation process. The synthetic beads can be placed in flotation cell containing a mixture of water, valuable material and unwanted material or in a pipeline where the mixture is transported from one location to another. The enriched synthetic beads carrying the mineral particles are separated from the unwanted materials in the mixture. The mineral particles are then released from the synthetic beads by means of low pH treatment, ultrasonic agitation, thermal or electromagnetic treatment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2016
    Assignee: CiDRA Corporate Services Inc.
    Inventors: Paul J. Rothman, Mark R. Fernald, Francis K. Didden, Christian V. O'Keefe, Alan D. Kersey, Douglas H. Adamson
  • Patent number: 9335298
    Abstract: Apparatus for determining a thickness of a wall of a pipe, featuring a signal processing module configured to respond to signaling containing information about traveling stress waves transmitted to and reflected back from a wall of a pipe by a sensor band that includes a series, ring or array having multiple transducers circumferentially arranged and mounted around, and attached to or clamped onto, an outside wall of the pipe; and determine a profile of a thickness of the wall of the pipe corresponding to circumferential locations of the multiple transducers based on the signaling received from the sensor band; and one or more orientation or rotation sensors, each responding to its orientation in relation to its displacement on the pipe and to provide an orientation signal containing information about the same.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2016
    Assignee: CiDRA Corporate Services Inc.
    Inventors: Christian Victor O'Keefe, Robert J. Maron, Mark R. Fernald, Timothy J. Bailey, Alex M. Van der Spek, Michael A. Davis, John V. Viega
  • Patent number: 9327294
    Abstract: A synthetic bead for use in mineral separation is described. The synthetic bead has a surface made of or coated with a synthetic material such as a polymer that is naturally hydrophobic or a polymer that is hydrophobically modified. The synthetic bead can be made of glass having a coating or polysiloxane. The synthetic beads can be placed in flotation cell containing a mixture of water, collector molecules, valuable material and unwanted material or in a pipeline where the mixture is transported from one location to another. The collector chemical can be xanthates. The enriched synthetic beads carrying the mineral particles are separated from the unwanted materials in the mixture. The mineral particles are then released from the synthetic beads by means of low pH treatment, ultrasonic agitation, thermal or electromagnetic treatment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2016
    Assignee: CiDRA Corporate Services Inc.
    Inventors: Paul J. Rothman, Mark R. Fernald, Francis K. Didden, Christian V. O'Keefe, Alan D. Kersey, Douglas H. Adamson
  • Patent number: 9302270
    Abstract: An apparatus for collecting mineral particles in a slurry or the tailings is disclosed. The apparatus may take the form of a filter, a conveyor belt or an impeller to be used in a processor to collect mineral particles in the slurry, or in a tailings pond to collect mineral particles in the tailings. The filter, conveyor belt or impeller has a collection area made of or coated with a synthetic material having a functional group, either anionic or cationic to attach to the mineral particles. Alternatively, the synthetic material has hydrophobic molecules to render the collection area hydrophobic. When the mineral particles in the slurry or tailings are combined with collector molecules, the mineral particles also become hydrophobic. The hydrophobic mineral particles are attracted to the hydrophobic collection area. The filter, conveyor belt and impeller may have a plurality of passage ways in order to increase the contacting surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2016
    Assignee: CiDRA Corporate Services Inc.
    Inventors: Paul J. Rothman, Mark R. Fernald, Francis K. Didden, Douglas H. Adamson
  • Publication number: 20160067631
    Abstract: An apparatus for collecting mineral particles in a slurry or the tailings is disclosed, including a collection area or tank having one or more collection surfaces configured to contact with a mixture having water and valuable material, the valuable material having a plurality of mineral particles of interest; and a synthetic material provided at least on the one or more collection surfaces, the synthetic material having plurality of molecules with a siloxane functional group configured to attract the mineral particles of interest to the collection surfaces. The one or more collection surfaces includes a conveyor belt that is driven through the collection area or tank, through a release area or tank, back through the collection area or tank. The mixture includes a pulp slurry having ground ore with mineral particles of interest forming part thereof, including mineral particles of interest of about 500 microns or larger.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 13, 2014
    Publication date: March 10, 2016
    Inventors: Paul J. ROTHMAN, Mark R. FERNALD, Francis K. DIDDEN, Douglas H. ADAMSON
  • Publication number: 20150362418
    Abstract: Apparatus features a signal processor or processing module configured at least to: receive signaling containing information about acoustic emissions resulting from particles impacting a solid sensor element configured in a process pipe having a process fluid flowing therein, including a slurry; and determine particle sizes of solids in the process fluid, based at least partly on the signaling received. The signal processor module may also be configured to provide corresponding signaling containing information about the particle sizes of solids in the process fluid.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 22, 2014
    Publication date: December 17, 2015
    Inventors: DAVID V. NEWTON, Mark R. FERNALD
  • Patent number: 9169158
    Abstract: An improved concrete is provided having a concrete formed from a wet concrete mixture; and a non-chemical admix added to the wet concrete mixture and configured to contain bubbles in order to control the amount of entrained air formed in the concrete when the wet concrete mixture cures into the improved concrete. The non-chemical admix includes a multiplicity of hollow objects, bodies, elements or structures, each configured with a respective cavity, unfilled space, or hole to trap and maintain a bubble inside. The hollow objects, bodies, elements or structures include hollow cylinders, or spheres, or capillary tubes, or some combination thereof. Each hollow object, body, element or structure is configured with a dimension so as not to absorb liquid, including water, including where the dimension is in a range of about 20-30 microns, and is made of glass or a glass-like material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2015
    Assignee: CIDRA CORPORATE SERVICES INC.
    Inventor: Mark R. Fernald
  • Publication number: 20150209799
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for collecting mineral particles in the tailings is disclosed. The apparatus may take the form of a filter, a conveyor belt, a collection plate or an impeller configured to contact with tailings of a flotation process, before and/or after the tailings are discharged into a pond. The filter, conveyor belt, collection plate or impeller has a collection area or surface made of, or coated with, a synthetic material having a functional group, e.g., having an ionizing bond to attract the mineral particles of interest. Alternatively, the synthetic material has hydrophobic molecules to render the collection area hydrophobic. When the mineral particles of interest in the tailings are combined with collector molecules, the mineral particles of interest may also become hydrophobic. The hydrophobic mineral particles of interest are attracted to the hydrophobic collection area or surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 25, 2012
    Publication date: July 30, 2015
    Applicant: CIDRA CORPORATE SERVICES INC.
    Inventors: Paul J. Rothman, Mark R. Fernald, Francis K. Didden, Christian V. O'Keefe, Alan D. Kersey, Douglas H. Adamson