Idaho Patent of the Month – January 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of chemical blending and fluid management, the innovative minds at Diversified Fluid Solutions, LLC have unveiled a new on-demand in-line blending process. This cutting-edge invention addresses the shortcomings of traditional batch processing and continuous blending systems, offering a dynamic and on-demand solution with unparalleled precision.

At the core of this invention is a sophisticated blending unit that seamlessly integrates with the first and second species inputs, producing a mixture that meets the exacting requirements of the application. The method involves providing a flow of each species, blending them in the unit, and distributing the resulting mixture to points of use through a specified output. What sets this invention apart is the meticulous control and monitoring facilitated by advanced metrology systems and an intelligent controller.

The controller, in electronic communication with the metrology systems, plays a pivotal role in maintaining the concentration in the mixture within a remarkable 1% of a predetermined concentration range. This is achieved through a dynamic mass balance that takes into account real-time data from the first and second metrology systems, as well as the flow in the output to the points of use. The result is an unprecedented level of accuracy and adaptability, even as the demand rate at the points of use fluctuates.

The invention goes beyond conventional continuous blending systems by offering the flexibility to adjust flow rates on the fly. Whether it’s changing the flow rate of individual species or modulating the overall mixture flow, the controller ensures that the concentration remains within the specified range. The system is further equipped with safety measures, such as the ability to open a drain valve to increase flow when needed.

One of the standout features of this invention is its ability to provide blended mixtures at variable on-demand production rates. From 0.0 liters per minute to a maximum design value, the system excels at maintaining high-resolution blend accuracy. The blending unit itself incorporates a well-thought-out design, featuring components like directional flow perforated plates, homogenizing turbulence mix zones, and insertable injection nozzles.

This invention isn’t confined to a singular industry; its applications span semiconductor processing tools, chemical-mechanical planarization tools, and beyond. It can handle diverse fluids, from aqueous acids and bases to solvents, salts, and slurries. Moreover, it accommodates the introduction of a third species and even ultra-pure water into the blending process, showcasing its adaptability to various chemical compositions.

Diversified Fluid Solutions is successfully tackling the challenges posed by traditional blending methods, presenting a game-changing invention that brings unprecedented accuracy, adaptability, and efficiency to the world of fluid management. As industries continue to demand more precise and flexible solutions, this innovation paves the way for a new era in chemical blending.

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