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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
CONDENSATE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/104827
Kind Code:
A4
Abstract:
A condensation management system includes an elongated flexible film configured to be stretched under tension between a first film support and a second film support. The film includes first and second ends that extend laterally across a width of the film. The film includes first and second sides that extend longitudinally between the first and second film ends. The film has a concave surface and an opposing convex surface extending between the first and second sides of the film. Microchannels are disposed in at least one of the concave surface and the convex surface. The microchannels induce a predetermined radius of curvature in the concave and convex surfaces of the film when the film is stretched longitudinally between the first and second film supports.

Inventors:
HALVERSON, Kurt J. (3M Center, Post Office Box 33427Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55133-3427, US)
SWANSON, Steven P. (3M Center, Post Office Box 33427Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55133-3427, US)
Application Number:
IB2017/057494
Publication Date:
August 02, 2018
Filing Date:
November 29, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
3M INNOVATIVE PROPERTIES COMPANY (3M Center, Post Office Box 33427Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55133-3427, US)
International Classes:
F25D21/14; F16T1/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BERN, Steven A., et al. (3M Center, Office of Intellectual Property CounselPost Office Box 3342, Saint Paul Minnesota, 55133-3427, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
1

AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 25 May 2018 (25.05.2018)

1. A condensation management system comprising:

an elongated flexible film configured to be stretched under tension along a longitudinal axis of the film between a first film support and a second film support, the film comprising:

first and second ends extending laterally across width of the film; first and second sides extending longitudinally between the first and second ends;

a concave surface extending between the first and second sides and an opposing convex surface extending between the first and second sides; and microchannels disposed in at least one of the concave surface and the convex surface, the microchannels arranged at an angle greater than zero with respect to the longitudinal axis of the film and configured to induce a predetermined radius of curvature in the concave and convex surfaces of the film when the film is stretched longitudinally between the first and second film supports, wherein the predetermined radius of curvature is a function of a distance between the first and second supports, each of the first and second film supports has a substantially flat attachment surface to which the first and second ends of the flexible film are respectively attached, a minimum value of the radius of curvature of the film occurs at a longitudinal intermediate point of the film between the first and second film supports and a maximum value of the radius of curvature occurs proximate to the first and second film supports.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein the sides of the film are unsupported other than by the first support and the second film support.

3. (Cancelled)

4. (Cancelled)

5. (Cancelled) 2

6. (Cancelled)

7. The system of claim 1 wherein the film is removably attached to the first and second film supports.

8. The system of claim 1 wherein the microchannels extend along one or both of the concave surface of the film and the convex surface of the film.

9. The system of claim 1 further comprising a second set of microchannels wherein longitudinal axes of the microchannels are substantially parallel to a longitudinal axis of the film.

10. The system of claim 1, wherein longitudinal axes of the microchannels are disposed at an angle greater than 0 degrees and less than about 60 degrees with respect to a longitudinal axis of the film.

11. The system of claim 1 wherein a bottom of the film slopes downward along the direction of gravity between the first and second film supports.

12. The system of claim 11 wherein a downward slope of the film is between about 0.01 and 0.2.

13. The system of claim 1 wherein a stiffness of the film along one or both of a longitudinal axis and a lateral axis is between about 100 pounds per foot per linear inch and about 1500 pounds per foot per linear inch.

14. The system of claim 1 wherein the film comprises at least one of polyethelyne, polypropylene, polyester, co-polyester, and polyurethane.

15. The system of claim 1 wherein a ratio of width to length of the film is greater than about 0.01 and less than about 0.5. 3

16. The system of claim 1 wherein the longitudinal tension in the film is between about 2.5 pounds and about 12 pounds.

17. The system of claim 1 wherein at least one of the surfaces of the film is hydrophilic.

18. The system of claim 17 wherein the hydrophilic surface includes an organosilane coating.

19. The system of claim 1 wherein at least some of the microchannels are capillary channels configured to wick condensate in the channels against the force of gravity.

20. A condensation management system comprising:

a first film support;

a second curved film support separated from the first support by a distance;

an elongated flexible film stretched between the first support and a second support, the film comprising:

a first end extending laterally across the film, the first end supported by the first support;

a second end extending laterally across the film, the second end supported by the second support;

first and second sides extending longitudinally between the first and second ends; a concave surface extending between the first and second sides;

an opposing convex surface extending between the first and second sides. 21. The system of claim 20 wherein the sides of the film are unsupported other than by the first support and the second support

22. The system of claim 20 wherein:

the first film support has a curved attachment surface to which the first end of the film is attached; and

the second film support has a curved attachment surface to which the second end of the film is attached. 4

23. The system of claim 20 wherein a lateral stiffness of the film is less than a longitudinal stiffness of the film. 24. The system of claim 20 further comprising microchannels disposed in at least one of the concave surface and the convex surfaces of the film, the microchannels configured to induce a predetermined radius of curvature in the concave and convex surfaces.

25. The system of claim 24, wherein the microchannels are capillary channels configured to wick fluid against the force of gravity.

26. A condensation management device comprising

an attachment portion comprising a curved attachment surface;

a film retainer configured to attach an end of an elongated flexible film to the curved attachment surface, the curved attachment surface configured to impart a curve to the flexible film, the curved attachment surface and film retainer configured to operate together to secure the flexible film such that the film extends away from the attachment portion under tension; and

a mounting portion mechanically coupled to the attachment portion and configured to mount the condensation management device relative to a condensate forming surface in an orientation so that condensate that forms on the condensate forming surface falls onto a concave surface of the film.

27. The device of claim 26 wherein the curved attachment surface comprises one or more condensate drain notches configured to allow the condensate to drain from the film.

28. The device of claim 26 wherein:

the condensate forming surface is a surface of a pipe; and

the mounting portion is configured to at least partially encircle the pipe.

29. The device of claim 26 wherein the film retainer comprises a strap that at least partially encircles the curved surface.

5

30. The device of claim 26 wherein the curved attachment surface has a radius of curvature between about 3 cm to about 10 cm.

31. The device of claim 26 wherein the condensation management device includes a mechanism configured to facilitate replacement of the film, the replacement mechanism comprising:

a supply roll that holds a quantity of the film;

a waste roll, wherein rotation of the waste roll draws clean film from the supply roll while storing used film onto the waste roll.