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|New Product Announcement|
It's been a busy year here at ramé-hart
instrument company. In January we announced our new Model 190 which has
become a top seller. This tool ships with our DROPimage CA and can be
upgraded to DROPimage Standard or Advanced. In March we announced our
new fully software-controlled motor-driven Automated Tilting Base to
compliment our fully upgradeable Manual Tilting Base option. Then in
August we formally announced our newly redesigned Advanced Chamber with
Temperature and Humidity Control. This week we shipped our second
Advanced Chamber with more orders in the works.
This month's new product, while not as
exciting, is an expansion to our repertoire of manual dispensing
options. In the past we have offered stainless steel probe point
reusable dispensing needles (p/n 100-10-12-xx where xx is the gauge)
from 8 gauge to 30 gauge. Recently, with an uptick in interest in
nanoliter-sized drops, and at the request of our customers, we've
expanded our needle selection to 33 gauge. The larger the gauge, the
smaller the diameter. Our new 33 gauge needle (p/n 100-10-12-33) has an
outside diameter of 200 µm and an inside diameter of 89 µm which, by
reference, is the same diameter as the average human hair. If you are
interested in our updated needle chart which lists all dimensions,
sizes, and part numbers, you can access it here:
http://ramehart.com/pdf/needles.pdf. Note that all of our needles,
including our disposable, plastic, PTFE, taper-tip, and inverted
needles, can be purchased at our online store:
new 33 gauge needle is now in stock and available for purchase.
|My New Superhydrophobic Shower Curtain|
The old one was, well, old. You know how the plastic gets brittle, the holes for the hooks start to rip out, and a permanent film has developed on the shower side which resembles the underside of a swine. That was the state of our old shower curtain when I realized it was overdue for replacement. My wife, commissioned in all things domestic, took charge of buying a new one. She came home from the store with a light airy cloth shower curtain that resembled a woman's Spring scarf. "I'm sorry, hon, but this is the wrong type of curtain. This is for people that like to have two curtains: a plastic one on the inside and a more attractive cloth one on the outside. You know, like they have at upscale hotels.", I commented. "No," she replied with confidence, "it will work just fine...try it out." I wasn't convinced. I installed the light and airy curtain and prepared for a disappointing maiden voyage by laying a towel on the bathroom floor -- to catch all of the water I expected would be passing through the curtain. I took a longer-than-usual shower and purposefully directed more than the average amount of water toward the curtain...just to make sure we were simulating real-world conditions. Amazingly no wetting occurred. The water would just bead up and roll off. It was bewildering and surprising - a superhydrophobic shower curtain. What is the thing made of? The tag admits it's 100% Polyester, Made in Taiwan and Machine Washable but does not reveal what magic coatings or treatments might have been applied. I'd like to think that the manufacturer employed a ramé-hart goniometer to assist in the development and testing of this non-wetting fabric (we have shipped several instruments to Taiwan in recent months), but alas I don't even know who the manufacturer is...the tag doesn't say. If you're interested in getting your own superhydrophobic shower curtain, try the bath aisle at Wal-Mart.
More and more, consumer products are being formulated and treated to repel or wet in ways that make the products more useful. In our April newsletter, we reported on Lotusan paint which mimics the behavior of the Lotus leaf, repelling water and providing a self-cleaning property to surfaces that are treated with it.
Toyota is developing a film that when applied to side view mirrors will prevent wetting and thus help maintain clear and clean mirrors without wipers or wiping. German engineers (at Ferro GmbH) are currently developing a similar technology that will keep sensors on traffic control systems clean and free of image-distorting rain drops. Plus the self-cleaning property will reduce costly maintenance. Another German company is working on a spray that - when applied to glass - will produce a non-wetting self-cleaning surface with no degradation to the optical qualities. Imagine self-cleaning glasses, roof tiles, fabrics, automobile body part, and windows. And now someone in Taiwan is making superhydrophobic -- and possibly self-cleaning -- shower curtains. I'll have to report back to you on the self-cleaning properties; if the material is indeed self-cleaning, I can see someone making kids' clothes out of it.
We anticipate a surge in new products that
employ engineered nano-surfaces and treatments that will make the world a
better, safer, and cleaner place. We'll keep you posted in future