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SIMWyPES® Cleaning Cloths

Y-12 National Security Complex

Contact Y12 About This Technology

Publications:

PDF Document PublicationFact Sheet (723 KB)

PDF Document PublicationPoster (523 KB)

PDF Document PublicationPatent Application Publication (915 KB)

A respirator was fitted with an untreated cartridge and with a SIMWyPES- treated cartridge. The respirator was worn for one hour in a dusty woodshop environment. <br /><br />Untreated
A respirator was fitted with an untreated cartridge and with a SIMWyPES- treated cartridge. The respirator was worn for one hour in a dusty woodshop environment.

Untreated

3% SIMWyPES treatment<br /><br />Note the dust-trapping ability of the treated cartridge.<br /><br />
3% SIMWyPES treatment

Note the dust-trapping ability of the treated cartridge.

Inventor Ron Simandl demonstrates the "use dry, rub hard" SIMWyPES cloth, which testing shows can retain four times the amount of standard dirt that standard wipes retain.
Inventor Ron Simandl demonstrates the "use dry, rub hard" SIMWyPES cloth, which testing shows can retain four times the amount of standard dirt that standard wipes retain.

Removing road dirt and brake particulate from alloy wheels can be one tough cleaning job, compounded by the enlistment of a water pail, soap and scrub brush. Here is the result when a SIMWyPES cloth is used for the "dry" cleaning of a wheel.
Removing road dirt and brake particulate from alloy wheels can be one tough cleaning job, compounded by the enlistment of a water pail, soap and scrub brush. Here is the result when a SIMWyPES cloth is used for the "dry" cleaning of a wheel.

Technology Marketing Summary

SIMWyPES cleaning cloths remove hazardous particulates from dry surfaces so well that the contaminants are undetectable.

Description

The SIMWyPES cleaning cloth—a nontoxic, nonhazardous product perfect for government, industrial or home use—traps dry dust, dirt and other particles inside as it moves across a surface. Common tack cloths transfer a tacky residue to a surface being cleaned. However, SIMWyPES cleaning cloths employ a highly effective tackifier component that leaves no residue on the cleaned surface. The cloth can remove ultrafine particulate and other substances and could have wide applications in research settings and in the semiconductor, electronics and paint industries. At home SIMWyPES cloths can handle such routine chores as dusting furniture, cleaning counters and floors, shining shoes and buffing alloy wheels.

R&D Magazine recognized the SIMWyPES cleaning cloth as one of the most significant technological innovations of 2008, awarding it with a prestigious R&D 100 Award. The cloth was originally created at the Y-12 National Security Complex to remove residual amounts of acutely toxic beryllium oxide and beryllium particulate from solid surfaces without leaving a residue. The residue that common tack cloths leave behind often traps beryllium and anchors it to the surface. Thus, a presumably clean surface remains tainted with a contaminant that, if inhaled, can cause berylliosis and lung cancer.

Benefits
  • When the goal is to effectively remove submicron particles, SIMWyPES cleaning cloths are safe, convenient, and easy to use.
  • Effective against environmental/occupational hazards: In tests using different formula, Inventor Ron Simandl demonstrates the “use dry, rub hard” SIMWyPES cloth, which testing shows can retain four times the amount of standard dirt that untreated wipes retaintions of the SIMWyPES cleaning cloth on stainless steel surfaces, in all cases, the level of residual beryllium, a contaminant linked with berylliosis and lung cancer, was reduced to below the detection limit of 0.01 μg/100 cm2. No other method of cleaning achieved this nanoscale level. The cloths could also be valuable in removing other contaminants associated with particulate-induced diseases and ailments, including arsenic, asbestos (asbestosis, mesothelioma, cancer, diffuse pleural thickening), barium sulphate (baritosis), cadmium and lead.
  • Economical: The cloth treatment can be applied to any commercially available clean room wiper, laboratory wiper, dust cloth, porous sponge, or filter media for as little as 3 to 5 cents per square foot. Even though microfiber cloths have enormous surface areas, the SIMWyPES cloth treatment can be added for as little as 17 cents per square foot.
  • Residue-free: Unlike common tack cloths, SIMWyPES cloths leave no residue.
Applications and IndustriesThe SIMWyPES treatment is effective for the following media and more:
  • Tack mats (a SIMWyPES mat is silent and nonsticky when walked upon)
  • Filter media (respirators, air cleaners)
  • Cean room swabs (wherever particle absorption and retention are critical)
  • Detector swabs (i.e., to assess, remotely or on location, lead contamination)
  • Mitten/glove wipers (to clean around shelving, piping and other lab structures)
  • Consumer specialty wipers
  • Dry mops

 The SIMWyPES cleaning cloth is ideal for such locations as the following:

  • Facilities for the Department of Energy and Department of Defense
  • Nuclear power facilities
  • Orginal equipment manufacturers (aerospace, automotive)
  • Maintenance, repair and operations (aerospace)
  • Manufacturing (microelectronics/beryllium, pharmaceuticals/dry powders)
  • Clean room cleanup
  • Surface preparation preceding paint application (furniture, nautical, and paint facilities)
More Information

Inventor - Ron Simandl

2008 R&D 100 Award Winner

Video - http://www.y12.doe.gov/library/gallery/video.php?mov=simwypes&w=480&h=270&v=8 

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Date
Application 20090275252
Application
20090275252
CLEANING MEDIUM FOR REMOVING CONTAMINATION AND METHOD OF MAKING
A cleaning medium that includes polyisobutylene (also sometimes referred to as polybutylene or as polybutene). Cleaning media include cleaning implements, polishers, and filters. Typically a substantial portion of the polyisobutylene has a molecular weight (MW) greater than 30,000 and in some particular applications the molecular weight is around 85,000. The polyisobutylene is generally adjacent to the surface of a substrate, such as a non-woven or woven fabric. A method of making a cleaning medium is provided. The method typically involves dissolving polyisobutylene in a solvent such as hexane to form a tackifier solution, soaking the substrate in the tackifier to produce a preform, and then drying the preform to produce the cleaning medium. The cleaning media are typically used dry, without any liquid cleaning agent. In embodiments where the cleaning medium is as cleaning implement or a polisher, the surface to be cleaned is wiped with a surface of the cleaning medium adjacent to which the polyisobutylene is disposed. Vigorous wiping may be used in applications where contamination is difficult to remove. In embodiments where the cleaning medium is a filter, a fluid is passed through the cleaning medium and the cleaning medium traps particles and aerosols entrained in the fluid.
Y-12 National Security Complex 11/28/2007
Filed
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
2056Production - TRL 9 - Actual application of the technology in its final form and in Y-12 production use.Available03/28/201101/23/2013

Contact Y12 About This Technology

To: Jeremy Benton<OTCP@y12.doe.gov>