Turbine Maintenance Sponge

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A sketch of an FME sponge with an RFID chip installed

This is a patent on:

Protective sponges for turbines and machinery. These sponges are described as various shaped foam pieces designed for a snug fit with a device for extraction. This item is patented so making, using, offering for sale, importing, or selling the invention without permission is prohibited.

It was created because:

Machinery downtime can cost a company significant cash depending on the importance of the equipment. Power-plant down-time is especially expensive and foreign material in turbines causes significant down-time. Turbines have a significant number of different shaped openings so they can be difficult to seal off during construction and maintenance. The sponges provide an easy way to install protective devices in odd, hard to reach crevices. They condense to fit through small openings that would be too small for the usual protective devices and then expand to seal off debris.

The benefits of using such a device:

The previous methods were plywood sheeting and bag plugs. Plywood is difficult to remove once construction and maintenance work is complete and it poses the threat of flaking and adding to the problem it was meant to prevent. Bag plugs are less desirable because the pressure in the plug must be closely monitored to prevent leaks in the seal. They are also heavy. Sponges are both light and flexible while providing the necessary protection.

How to use the device:

A prefabricated kit or custom order pieces are inserted into the necessary turbine components during construction or maintenance.

The same invention is also patented with an individually identifying tag, specifically referring to, but not limited to RFID. Patent #7533698.