Tears keep eyes moist and pliable, free from dirt, and help fight infections. A Tufts University engineer's design for an eyeglass-mounted eyedrop dispenser may alleviate the symptoms of the estimated 12 million people in the U.S. who don't produce tears in adequate volume.
The system's patented pump uses a constant-force spring to pressurize eyedrop solution within an accordion-pleated reservoir. A peristaltic wiper serves as a valve to dispense a given volume of solution, then withdraw the remaining solution partway from the delivery-tube nozzles. The supersaturated vapor that subsequently forms within the tube between the end of the solution and the nozzles prevents clogging of the tube between doses.
Van Toi Vo, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Tufts University , Medford, MA 02155, (617) 627-3217.
As long as tankers ply the oceans, there will be oil spills. Greener and faster cleanups is the promise of the Dynamic Rotary Oil-Spill Recovery System (DROSRS(TM)). The system uses externally driven drums of radially oriented honeycomb material mounted between a catamaran's hulls. As the partially submerged drums rotate through the floating oil, much of the oil is captured within the honeycomb cells. A steam or air blast from nozzles arranged in an annular sector atop the drums blows the oil into a non-rotating trough within the drum where it collects and flows into storage tanks. The patent is available for license.
Cosby Newsom , Bondline Products , 15517 S. Seaforth Ave. P.O. Box 1473, Norwalk, CA 90651, (310) 921-1972.
A precision-machined brass cage shepherds the spherical rollers in new E-Type bearings, eliminating the need for separate roller-support rings. The design provides space for more lubricant and larger rollers than similarly sized conventional bearings. According to its maker, benefits resulting from the design include as much as 37% higher load capacity, dimensional stability to 390F, and nearly three times better longevity in replacement applications. Available in English and metric sizes, the bearings offer optional internal radial clearances to C0, C3, or C4 standards.
Tom Pavey, FAG Bearing Products and Technologies , 911 Hope St., P.O. Box 4918, Stamford, CT 06907-0918, (203) 830-8115.