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Electropolishing and cleaning stainless steel and aluminum

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  • Evan
    replied
    Not at all true. If you derive a benefit from it, i.e. you use it, you have deprived the patent holder of the income he otherwise could have gotten from you (directly or indirectly). Therefore your private use of the patented process or device is exactly equivalent to selling a product based on it with no license, just on a much smaller scale.
    That is correct for an unexpired patent. However, there is a principle that makes it unenforceable in practice. Since there is no commercial gain if used for personal use only, the most that a patent holder can do is to notify the infringer to "cease and desist". Actual damages cannot be collected as they cannot be enumerated. A lost oppourtunity to sell you a license cannot be counted as actual damages since it cannot be shown that you would buy such a license. Only punitive damages can be collected and only from the date of notification of infringement. It is also impossible to "conspire to infringe". Only actual infringement is actionable.

    At any rate the information I have used is all from prior art that has long since expired or was never patented at all.

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  • rollin45
    replied
    Evan,,this is great information!!

    I'm 1949 vintage and haven't expired and I am glad of that, and glad you posted this.

    rollin'

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  • J Tiers
    replied
    Originally posted by Tony Ennis
    More accurately, they are a wealth of information... from which you can't derive income.

    Market the mixture, you have a problem. Use it in your garage, no problem.
    Not at all true. If you derive a benefit from it, i.e. you use it, you have deprived the patent holder of the income he otherwise could have gotten from you (directly or indirectly). Therefore your private use of the patented process or device is exactly equivalent to selling a product based on it with no license, just on a much smaller scale.

    You are unlikely to be prosecuted, but that is at least partly because your use is not known to the patent holder. And also because the results are not likely to pay. But a patent holder has an obligation to take note of, and demand cessation of, any unlicensed usage. If that is not done, the patent may become null and void, and non-action could even be a defense in the case of an infringement, claiming that the patent has been nullified by non-defense of rights.


    This isn't just a cleaning process. It is a levelling process. It actually makes the finish flat.
    Probably better to say it is a 'smoothing" process to avoid confusion. The chemical action has little effect on overall flatness as was discussed in the 'glass plate thread". What it does is to remove small roughness. There would be little effect on a large radius bow of say 20 thou in 10 inches, for instance, but such a bow is a distinctly "non-flat" condition for our purposes.
    Last edited by J Tiers; 11-29-2009, 11:12 AM.

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  • Evan
    replied
    from which you can't derive income.
    You can if it has expired.

    This one is a good reference. It was granted in 1949.

    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/2461035.pdf
    Last edited by Evan; 11-29-2009, 10:41 AM.

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  • Tony Ennis
    replied
    Patents can be a wealth of information ... that you can't use.
    More accurately, they are a wealth of information... from which you can't derive income.

    Market the mixture, you have a problem. Use it in your garage, no problem.

    Leave a comment:


  • QSIMDO
    replied
    Originally posted by Evan
    Phosphoric acid is sold for adjusting the pH of greenhouse water supplies. Check with anybody that supplies the greenhouse trade.
    And any farm supply store.
    It's used for cleaning milk stone out of milking/storage equipment.

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  • John Stevenson
    replied
    Originally posted by Evan
    I am really surprised so few people seem interested in this. I recall quite a few comments on this subject in the past.
    Evan,
    Just because someone doesn't post on it doesn't mean to say they are not interested.
    I have read this and found it very interesting, I have no intention of ever using it due to not needing it but nether the less it's still interesting to read how other are tackling different problems.

    .

    Leave a comment:


  • Evan
    replied
    Phosphoric acid is sold for adjusting the pH of greenhouse water supplies. Check with anybody that supplies the greenhouse trade.

    I'll try a test today using a scuffed sample.

    Leave a comment:


  • aboard_epsilon
    replied
    Originally posted by Evan
    This isn't just a cleaning process. It is a levelling process. It actually makes the finish flat. I will take a comparison micrograph a bit later this am of the surface of the faceplate and post it.
    i want you to scuff a bit a stainless up with 100 grit paper ..then do the polishing process ..
    only then will i be convinced .

    where the hell do you get phosphoric acid from cheap ?

    all the best.markj

    Leave a comment:


  • mochinist
    replied
    Originally posted by Evan
    BTW, are you related to oldtiffie?
    lol I was thinking the same thing

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  • Evan
    replied
    Is this really just for tarnished stainless ..

    or does it remove scratches and turn brushed finished stainless to polished finished .
    This isn't just a cleaning process. It is a levelling process. It actually makes the finish flat. I will take a comparison micrograph a bit later this am of the surface of the faceplate and post it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Evan
    replied
    Originally posted by whitis
    Propylene glycol doesn't sound all that bad but disposal is still a little ambiguous even for the pure form, let alone mixtures.
    Help. You are seriously confusing the issue. Propylene glycol is used to protect potable water plumbing from freezing in situations where the plumbing is not in use such as in a RV or a closed house. How do you think it is removed from the lines? The water is turned on and it is flushed down the drain. I recommend running the water for at least 10 minutes as the stuff tastes terrible.

    BTW, are you related to oldtiffie?

    Propylene glycol USP from DOW Chemical:

    PG USP/EP from Dow is an important ingredient for a multitude of uses, including:

    Solvent for aromatics in the flavor-concentrate industry
    Wetting agent for natural gums
    Ingredient in the compounding of citrus and other emulsified flavors
    Solvent in elixirs and pharmaceutical preparations
    Solvent and coupling agent in the formulation of sun screen, lotion, shampoos, shaving creams and other similar products
    Emulsifier in cosmetic and pharmaceutical creams
    Ingredient for low-temperature heat-transfer fluids involving indirect food contact, such as brewing and dairy uses, as well as refrigerated grocery display cases
    Very effective humectant, preservative and stabilizer in semi-moist pet food (with the exception of cat food), bakery goods, food flavorings and salad dressings
    http://www.dow.com/propyleneglycol/prod/pguspep.htm
    Last edited by Evan; 11-29-2009, 07:56 AM.

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  • aboard_epsilon
    replied
    Is this really just for tarnished stainless ..

    or does it remove scratches and turn brushed finished stainless to polished finished .

    if it does not ..then i would rather just use metal polish ...for a couple of mins .

    all the best.marekj

    Leave a comment:


  • whitis
    replied
    Originally posted by Evan
    I have no intention of patenting anything. Patents are a goldmine of information though.
    The question wasn't whether you were going to patent it but rather whether someone else already has and whether the patent still holds. Patents can be a wealth of information ... that you can't use. Anyone here who uses the process in any commercial capacity needs to be concerned about the patents. And unfortunately, the stuff that is likely to be still covered by patents is the newer stuff that meets modern environmental standards.

    Propylene glycol MSDS: "Whatever cannot be saved for recovery or recycling should be managed in an appropriate and approved waste disposal facility. Processing, use or contamination of this product may change the waste management options. State and local disposal regulations may differ from federal disposal regulations. Dispose of container and unused contents in accordance with federal, state and local requirements. "
    Of course, the MSDS for water might say the same thing. It also says:
    "When released into the soil, this material is expected to readily biodegrade. When released into the soil, this material is expected to leach into groundwater. When released into water, this material is expected to readily biodegrade. When released into the air, this material is expected to be readily degraded by reaction with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals. When released into the air, this material is expected to have a half-life between 1 and 10 days. "
    http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/p6928.htm
    Another MSDS for Propylene Glycol gives instructions to treat a land or water spill like other hazardous wastes:
    http://www.google.com/search?&q=prop...col%20disposal
    Yet says it is not a hazardous waste.
    This one says that aqueous solutions under 95% are don't have a flash point but that over 22% flamable vapors are produced when heated. And the flash point if over 95% is near the boiling point of water.
    http://www.ppe.com/msds/Propylene%20Glycol.pdf
    But MSDS tend not to tell you how you can really dispose of stuff.

    There has been at least one case of a small airport being prevented from discharging into the sanitary sewer system. In other places, it is allowed:
    http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/hm/hhw/...antifreeze.htm

    Propylene glycol doesn't sound all that bad but disposal is still a little ambiguous even for the pure form, let alone mixtures.

    I had the suspicion that glycerin may work and apparently this is the case, though most of the articles are pay to view. Nitric/sulfuric acids and glycerine, though, can make nitroglycerin. May not patented unless you are electopolishing semiconductor wafers aided by ultrasonics or using an acid other than phosphoric: http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20080213995
    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/EP0941373.html
    http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/50...scription.html
    http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/7501051/claims.html
    The second of these, incidentally, involves polishing carbide cutting tool inserts. The fourth one patents certain rather odd concentrations. Glycerine is a waste product of biodiesel - unfortunately in that case it is often contaminated with methanol. Apparently, adding glycerin to the sanitary sewers can substantially increase methane bio-gas production to the point that at least one treatment plant deliberately adds it. Also is compostable.
    http://www.journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_glycerin.html

    Phosphoric acid might be useable (after pH correction?) in composting or soil additive as phosphorous is a critical soil nutrient. At least in small quantities that can't leach into waterways (phosphates cause trouble). If some soap is used, a potassium based soap would be preferable to a sodium one but the quantities are very small. Phosphoric acid is also used to separate glycerin in biodiesel so there is some information on phosphoric acid/glycerin combinations:
    http://www.journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_glycsep.html
    "In the electropolishing of aluminum and for coloring by electrochemical means, glycerin used as an inhibitor prevents excessive etching and helps produce a smooth, white surface."
    http://www.sdascience.org/docs/Uses_of_Glycerine.pdf

    Thing is even if the ingredients are safe, when you mix acids, organics, and metals and apply electricity, who knows what other compounds you might produce?

    There can be some surprise contaminants of alloys. Cobalt-60 can be a contaminant of some stainless steel (particularly from a particular plant in india, and possibly 4 others) or in irradiated metals. Otis elevator had to replace the buttons in 600 elevators. Oak Ridge discusses eliminating from electopolishing solutions:
    http://www.osti.gov/bridge/servlets/...ble/211395.pdf
    Lead is an additive in some free machining steels.

    Drain disposal of laboratory Quantity Chemicals to the Sanitary Sewer (1 liter/day max):
    http://www.ehs.uconn.edu/Chemical/La...20Disposal.pdf
    "Solutions containing any amounts of Arsenic, Barium, Cadmium, Chromium, Lead, Mercury, Selenium, Silver, Copper, Nickel, Osmium and Zinc should not be discarded into the sanitary sewer system."
    An electopolishing solution would probably contain serveral.

    Quantity, of course, makes a big difference. What in small quanities could be beneficial in large quantities could be bad news. Soil normally contains a variety of elements, including those metals likely to be found in an electropolishing solution.
    http://www.answers.com/topic/soil-chemistry

    Anyone who could come under scrutiny by the EPA or other agencies would do well to dot their i's and cross their t's.

    But you might have the beginnings of a fairly green process here.

    Detail proceedures for an electopolishing solution for stainless steel using glycerin, phosphoric acid, and sulfuric acid:
    http://psfcwww2.psfc.mit.edu/esh/epolish.htm
    http://www.metalast.com/documents/Te...sses/TB-SS.pdf

    Electropolishing stainless steel micro-needles with "in a solution containing water, phosphoric acid and glycerin in a ratio of 1:3:6"
    http://aiche.confex.com/aiche/2006/t...ram/P59329.HTM

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  • Evan
    replied
    Yes, threads should be protected. The process depends on the fact that the pointy bits are eroded faster than the flat areas. The large initial current is due to the many microscopic burrs and edges that are present from previous machining operations.

    Protecting threads is easy as they can be wrapped with electrical tape for OD threads or plugged with a plastic threaded plug for ID threads. Since the process is a form of electroplating the action is mostly line of sight to the cathode and the closer it is the faster the reduction in high points. As long as the suface area to be treated is visible it will be acted on by the process.

    In the case of a firearm virtually no erosion will take place in the ID of the barrel or cylinder of a revolver. Some rounding of OD corner detail is likely and engraving could be obliterated. Serial numbers should be masked.

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