Catalytic converters operate at extreme efficiency, but only after warmup.
Placing a zeolite adsorber between a "split" converter controls cold start
emissions. Here's how:
Upon ignition, outside air diverts cold hydrocarbons to the adsorber's zeolite-coated channels, where they are collected and retained.
The diverter shuts down when the first converter lights off. Exhaust flow then passes through the adsorber's central channel, heating the second converter. The second converter oxidizes the hydrocarbons as they are released by the adsorber.
The combined volume of the two converter halves equals that of a conventional unit.
Jim Nagel, Corning Inc., Environmental Products Division, Corning, NY 14831, 607-974-7823.
Dead man brake
Three manufactured pieces make this simple brake: a base, foot, and rubber shoe. Designed for an off-the-shelf swivel caster, the brake assembles and operates as follows:
Its base mounts on the same bolts as the caster. Eight holes around the circumference hold an equal number of loosely fitted guide pins. Pressed into matching holes in the foot, the pins support a series of springs that rest between the foot and base.
Shoe and foot are the same dimensions. Bonded to the bottom of the foot, the shoe contacts the wheel with the same surface area no matter what position the wheelis in. Stopping force, therefore, is always the same.
Curtiss Engineering, 118 Ashdown Dr., Simpsonville, SC 29680, 803-228-0998.