Y-12 cleaning technology licensed by local engineering firm

Posted: October 31, 2012 - 10:00am

A Knoxville engineering resources firm recently became the newest licensee of technology developed at the Y‑12 National Security Complex. MK Technologies Corporation is now the exclusive commercial patent licensee of SIMWyPES®, a method of enhancing cleaning items so that they leave dry surfaces ultraclean.

The environmentally friendly method of removing contamination on a nanoscale level incorporates a highly effective nontoxic proprietary treatment that transfers no residue to cleaned surfaces. A variety of items including cloths, swabs, polishers, filters and sponges can be treated. The company plans to start production in 2013.

Y‑12 senior chemist Ron Simandl had the lead in inventing this technology, which was originally developed to remove residual amounts of unwanted particulates from dry, solid surfaces. Engineered to permeate the cleaning medium suited to the job at hand, it can be employed to remove submicron particles in a wide range of manufacturing industries in which surface cleanliness and air purification are critical.

The method also has a wide range of household applications, several of which are of particular interest to the licensee. Specific uses around the home include removing brake dust and dry road dirt from alloy wheels, preparing surfaces for painting, filtering air flow, dry-mopping floors, and dusting.

Simandl, a 35-year Y‑12 employee, holds 11 U.S. patents. Two of his inventions have won R&D 100 awards, one of which was for this newly licensed technology. The coveted R&D 100 awards, considered “Oscars of Invention,” are given annually to the world’s top 100 innovations as determined by R&D Magazine. SIMWyPES® earned the award in 2008. Regarding the method’s development, Simandl noted that “the trick was finding the right combination of ingredients.”

MK Technologies CEO and founder Mike Carroll said, “This technology is synergistic with our existing products that improve safety in industrial processes and safely remediate and handle toxic materials. We also plan to use it to create more effective filters for use in medical facilities to help prevent the spread of infection and in public spaces to help contain the spread of diseases or biological agents. We are especially excited about uses that benefit the everyday consumer. This technology will help make personal environments safer and will make cleaning activities more effective. Its versatility is impressive.”

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