Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Yet Another Benefit of Green Tea

19.04.2004


holding a separator funnel containing the company’s environmentally friendly fluid used in ceramic polishing.

Credit: Erica von Koerber, Evon Photography (Tucson, Ariz.)


A close-up of the machine in action. The dark brown rings on the rotating abrasive wheel are from the “lapping swarf.” The swarf is a mixture of the Ventana fluid and ceramic debris particles from the read-write head specimen. During the process, the researchers add the Ventana fluid drop by drop onto the rotating wheel. Centripetal acceleration causes the swarf to move to the outer edge of the rotating wheel.
Credit: Erica von Koerber, Evon Photography (Tucson, Ariz.)


New, biodegradable machining compound is more effective than industry standards

Derived in part from green tea, a new biodegradable machining compound for computer hard drive manufacturing is three to four times more effective than toxic counterparts. In an industry where more than 161 million hard drives leave assembly lines each year, the new compound could significantly improve manufacturing efficiency and minimize environmental risks.

Engineered by John Lombardi of Ventana Research Corporation in Tucson, Ariz., as part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant, the chemical is part of a slurry that polishes the ceramics—made from aluminum oxide and titanium carbide—used in computer hard drive read-write heads.



"The potential merits of this compound are impressive," said James Rudd, the NSF program officer who oversees Ventana’s award. "If confirmed in industrial settings, the three- to four-fold increase in efficiency could mean substantial reductions in hard-drive manufacturing costs, and all with a product that is less corrosive and more environmentally sound."

The new compound is part of a family of machining fluids that bind to polishing debris and rapidly remove tiny particles from the polishing surface. The fluids are critical because imperfections in read-write heads must be less than 10 angstroms high—larger defects can cause the head to crash into the disk, causing data loss.

Ventana formulates its fluid using a combination of synthetic proteins derived from common commercial chemicals and compounds extracted from green tea and other plants. Compared to many natural machining fluid compounds, which are often rare and expensive, the plant chemicals in the Ventana fluid are abundant and easily extractable.

Those chemicals, the same ones responsible for forming tenacious stains in coffee pots and drinking mugs, grant the Ventana fluid its ability to bind to the particle debris formed while polishing read-write heads.

According to Lombardi, the fluid’s possible biocompatibility and high affinity for ceramics and metals may lead to applications in wastewater treatment, where the compound could remove heavy metal contaminants from water, and medicine, where the compound may have advantages for delivering certain cancer treatments.

NSF awards SBIR grants to small businesses for risky, novel research with a potential for commercialization. Through SBIR and the related Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, NSF encourages partnerships between the small business and the academic sectors to develop a technology base for commercialization.

Comments from the researchers:
"South Tucson is a community currently lacking high technology manufacturing. Ventana was attracted to this location due to the friendly, cooperative and close-knit nature of this community, coupled with the fact that it is located within a designated U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Empowerment Zone. Both South Tucson and Tucson are among eight such zones established nationally." – John Lombardi, president of Ventana Research Corporation.

"The engineering requirement for a computer magnetic read-write head is similar to flying a Boeing 747 jet airliner at full throttle a few inches above the ground." – Donald Zipperian, Chief Technical Officer at Pace Technologies, Tucson, Ariz. Zipperian is an expert on the hard-drive manufacturing industry and a business collaborator of Ventana Research.

"The class of benign compounds synthesized by Dr. Lombardi has great potential for use in semiconductor cleaning and polishing operations. These compounds can serve as dispersants and corrosion inhibitors in slurries used for the chemical mechanical planarization of metals. They may also find use in chemical systems used for back-end of line cleaning processes." – Srini Raghavan, Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Arizona. Raghavan evaluated some of the properties of the fluid for Ventana Research. He is also involved in the NSF-SRC Center for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing at the University of Arizona, where he is planning to evaluate the compounds in his research projects.

Josh Chamot | NSF
Further information:
http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/newsroom/pr.cfm?ni=80

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Diamond watch components
18.06.2018 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

nachricht Quick and safe laser joining of steel-aluminum mixed connections
05.06.2018 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>