This web page contains information related to US Provisional Patent Application (PPA) #61475365, titled Random Action Filtering (RAF) Method. The RAF method is currently thought to be a novel method of liquid filtration, i.e., thus far, the RAF method appears to be without significant prior art. The RAF Method patent was drafted as a complete utility patent with claims, but filed as a PPA.
The reasons for filing the RAF method as a PPA, rather than a non-provisional utility patent, were so that I might have sufficient time to communicate with various members of the filter manufacturing community to attempt to assess whether or not the inventional method might have any commercial potential.
Using the information contained in the PPA, any interested party should have adequate time in which to experiment with it on their own, and to consider the possible development of various product lines, and as well more time to consider whether or not filing international patent applications on the inventional method would be a reasonable undertaking.
Thank you in advance for your time and effort in these considerations.
Perhaps the easiest way to explain the RAF method for liquid filtration is to start with a simple example of one of the various ways in which the RAF filtering effect might be used. Suppose that you have a potable water source, such as tap or well water, that has an undesirable taste and/or odor caused by residual chlorine and/or various minerals. If you want to clarify a small volume of the water using conventional filtering methods, you will have to either use gravity or some other action means to force the water volume through a filter media, or, conversely, to force a filter through the water volume. Using either of these common methods, once the water volume is passed through an appropriate filter media, such as activated charcoal and ion beads, the water will generally have the unwanted chlorine and/or other mineral contaminates reduced or fully removed.
The RAF method offers an alternate way to filter the same water volume using the same types of filter media, but utilizing a different action principle to force the water volume through the filter media. This action principle is called “induced turbulence.” Induced turbulence in a contained liquid is a kinetic state of a liquid wherein applied energy forces the liquid molecules into continuously irregular paths (random action) that respectively travel repeatedly through all portions of the container. Thus, in the example above, rather than passing the water volume linearly through a filter media, or a filter linearly through the water volume, the filter media is instead situated within the contained water volume, and the water is “turbulized” just long enough for the full filtering effect to occur, typically, with a porously encased level teaspoon of filter media, about 15 to 30 seconds for water volumes from 8-32 oz.
Induced turbulence may be achieved in any number of manual and electromechanical ways, but for the example above, the simplest way would be to manually shake the container of water. To reiterate, for the example above, the RAF “effect” is easily achieved by pouring the volume of water into a suitable closably openable container, placing an appropriate filter means into the water (either freely movable or otherwise secured within the container), closing the container, and then vigorously shaking the container to turbulize the water, and so force the water to pass non-linearly through the filter media for a brief time. Alternately, the container may be left open and irregular stirring utilized to achieve turbulization, but this process takes much longer because the turbulization is at a much lower intensity.
Extrapolating from the example above then, in principle, virtually any small scale, low viscosity liquid volume can be filtered by the same process. When a liquid is turbulized for a proper duration while an appropriate filter media is present within the liquid volume, the liquid volume will invariably be filtered in terms of the filter media. This filtering cycle can then be repeated indefinitely until the filter media is fully saturated.
RAF filters and filtering devices would offer a consumer a convenient, effective, and simple to utilize process for filtering small volumes of a liquid. The further benefits for a consumer, for example, for the filtering of tap or well water, are that RAF filters such as portable RAF “water filter balls” might be sold anywhere as a point of purchase item, and RAF filtering devices, such as water filter bottles with secured exchangeable filters might be sold wherever such items are on display. Such products would have lasting benefits for consumers, retailers, and for a RAF filter manufacturer. Consumers who welcome having the choice of using RAF filter balls in their own travel containers, might later choose to purchase a manufactured RAF water filter bottle when they understand its advantages, e.g. easy withdrawal and exchange of the filter media, as well as clearly marked, externally imprinted fill lines, and other similar benefits.
Additionally, many of the RAF embodiments could also include useful features, such as differing ways for inducing turbulence into a contained liquid, and differing means for securing attachably removable filter media means for simplified saturated filter media means exchange. RAF filters and devices can typically filter successively through numerous filtering cycles prior to media saturation, thus reducing the cost per cycle.
RAF filters and devices that are durable and reliable during use, and that are fabricated from commonly available materials, would be relatively simple and inexpensive to manufacture and could be sold at a much higher perceived value.
Thus, the possible product line for the RAF method is quite extensive and could include numerous variations on the theme of liquid filtering. Further experiments utilizing the RAF method may also be done to provide filter media means for removing other more hazardous physical and biological contaminants from drinking water, and other low viscosity liquids, as well as to experimentally attempt to extend the RAF Method to other low viscosity fluids, that is, to other liquids and gases, as a Random Action Fluid Filtering Method.
In early 2011, I was using a small spray paint can with an internal ball bearing mixing means. While shaking the container, I began to wonder about the turbulent mixing that was occurring within the can, and tried to imagine what would happen if instead of a ball bearing the moving device was a ball filter. I then experimented with variously sized containers and liquid volumes, differing amounts of various filtering media, and differing agitational means for the contained liquids, in order to determine the information that has now been set forth in the PPA specification.
Thus far RAF filters and devices have only been shown to fewer than twenty people, so the question of a “typical response” is difficult to answer. The average person seems to go through a Wow!-factor type of response because he/she is truly amazed after seeing the test strip results when a 16 oz jar of water dosed to 2-3 ppm chlorine becomes clarified to under .5 ppm after 15 seconds of shaking a .75 inch filter ball within the jar—with the end result being drinkable water. On the other side of the line, several people had a reaction that was skeptical and critical. The main complaint seems to be a lack of belief that the full volume of water has been properly filtered. Because of those critical viewpoints, I included known research information at the beginning of the RAF PPA on the nature of induced turbulence to hopefully convince any future skeptics that the RAF effect does actually filter the entire volume of a contained liquid.
Below you will find a hyperlink to a downloadable zipped folder containing PDF copies of: the RAF PPA; appended drawings; a brief consideration of RAF prior art; and, a copy of the cited prior art reference patent as well.
No RAF samples have been prepared for others to experiment with, for several reasons. First, most of the RAF devices are truly simple and require only a liquid container, a liquid, and some appropriate filter media with which to experiment. Second, no reputable researcher would accept experimental supplies from an unverifiable source. Third, there are many different types of filtering media, low viscosity liquids, means of containment, and means of turbulization, and providing samples for all of these experiments would not be cost effective.
If you have further questions, or are interested in licensing some aspect of the future intellectual property (should the RAF utility patent actually issue as planned), please contact me via the email provided below.
And again, thank you for your time and effort in considering the RAF method.