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Featured New Product Idea and Book Giveaway -- Who Wants it? (N95 straw)

  1. Feb 26, 2018 #1

    berkeman

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    EDIT -- "Who wants it" -- Obviously with no obligation to me, since I'm publishing it on a public forum. :smile:

    So I just saw the very cute "Human Kindness" commercial on TV again, where the Dad sees his son with respiratory issues having trouble blowing out the candle on his 1 y/o birthday cake. The Dad goes and gets a straw to help the kid blow out the candle. Very nice. :smile:

    But it reminded me of how bad the tradition of blowing out candles on birthday cakes is from a healtcare perspective. The last thing you want to have happen before you eat something is to have somebody blow all over it. Jeeze, especially a little kid (AKA "Germ Factory").

    So putting the two things together, how about somebody markets straws in the birthday cake section of the supermarket that have N95 filters in them? The birthday person still gets to blow out the candles, and the "Germ Factory" consideration goes away.

    Let's see how good the lung function is on us older folks blowing out our candles! Remember the lung function test from the great movie "The Right Stuff"? :smile:


     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2018 #2

    berkeman

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    BTW, there is a bit of an engineering challenge to this project as well. Just stuffing some N95 filter material in the middle of a constant-radius plastic straw won't work very well.

    Quiz Question -- Why not?

    So what is the optimum (marketable) profile for an N95 birthday cake straw? :smile:
     
  4. Feb 26, 2018 #3

    berkeman

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    Very cool -- this thread has now expanded into a PF Book Giveaway thread. Thanks to Greg and Clifford V. Johnson , we have 2 copies of Dr. johnson's book to give away as prizes in this thread.

    I would like to propose that your product ideas are posted in two categories: Professional and Amateur:
    • If you are a professional in ME or Aero or a related field, please post using the Spoiler tags, so that the Amateur participants won't see the answers too soon
    • If you are an Amateur/hobbiest, go ahead and post your thoughts on the design (no peaking at the spoilers please)
    The design challenge is to incorporate germ protection into a straw or other device to make blowing out birthday cake candles germ-free and still fun. :smile:

    Reference https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/interview-theoretical-physicist-clifford-johnson/
     
  5. Feb 27, 2018 #4
    Interesting and innovative ...
     
  6. Feb 27, 2018 #5
    How about a curly straw? The spit / phlegm particles are removed from the airstream by the "cyclone" effect as they pass through the loops in the straws. This doesn't completely decontaminate the airstream but it removes alot of the yuck. The straw would be thrown out after one use.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Feb 27, 2018 #6

    BillTre

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    While I am not an engineer, I am posting in spoilers since I have had a lot of experience using filters in both lab and aquaculture situations.
    I leave the detailed sizing considerations to the engineers.


    Work around for small filter size:


    Alternative method to a filter:
     
  8. Feb 27, 2018 #7

    BillTre

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    Well, too bad my spoilers did not work (after two tries!).
    Its some alien technology to me.
     
  9. Feb 27, 2018 #8

    berkeman

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    Just use [ spoiler ] [ /spoiler ] manual tags without the extra spaces...

    :smile:
     
  10. Feb 27, 2018 #9

    BillTre

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    I'll try again later.
     
  11. Feb 27, 2018 #10

    lekh2003

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    Why can't you stick some n95 filter in the straw? Can someone explain to me? I withdraw myself from the competition but spare me of the suspense.

    Is it because the particles will block air flow? Then how about a slowly an increasing radius towards the mouth end. Like a cone, but the mouthpiece is smaller.
     
  12. Feb 28, 2018 #11

    256bits

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    An admission of my submission.
    This has to be a winner as a lot of thought and effort went into it.
    Now all that is needed is some crowd funding to put it all together.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Feb 28, 2018 #12
    'Like' for the possitive thinking etc.
    However, the file won't open for me (after it's downloaded). Does anyone else have the same problem? It could be my device.
     
  14. Feb 28, 2018 #13

    berkeman

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    No problem opening the PDF on my desktop PC.
     
  15. Feb 28, 2018 #14
    Ok thanks. I'll find a way.
    In the meantime, here's the solution that I propose: filter on the mouth (+ either straw or not) ...
    [Simple!]

    Edit note: I'm not just saying this as a joke, but the idea comes from surgery [facial] masks etc.. The question is how you get an effective blow and how hard you can blow etc. , but I think that with the right construction of the [mouth] filter / mask it would be possible.
    (No need to mention though that I am an amateur/hobbiest in those ...)

    2nd edit: other idea: multiple straws, all connected to one filtered end etc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  16. Feb 28, 2018 #15
    Please (to everyone) take notice and review my significant editing on my previous post ...
     
  17. Feb 28, 2018 #16

    256bits

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    Capture.JPG
    Screen Capture as a jpg may be of help,
    I am most likely disqualified due to flaunting of the rules.
     
  18. Feb 28, 2018 #17
    I am simply wondering, how much germ is it taking from a blow through the straw?
     
  19. Feb 28, 2018 #18

    berkeman

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    I did a little searching just now, and found this:

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...dles-increases-bacteria-cake-1-400/536178001/
    But reading more articles, it looks like some healthcare professionals don't think it increases your chance of getting sick very much. I'll have to do a bit more reading to get a good idea of the issues.
     
  20. Feb 28, 2018 #19

    BillTre

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    OK, trying again.

    Most modern filters with particular pore sizes (like N95) are membrane filters. Their resistance to flow will go up as their surface area is reduced. The cross section of a straw is small, thus it would be difficult to get much human lung powered flow through it.

    Use a larger filter.
    1) Expand the area of the filter by making a mouth piece for the straw so that a filter several inches in diameter could fit into it (similar to standard syringe filters used for sterilizing solutions in labs, but bigger.), or
    2) Fold the filter so that it is fluted and can fit into a smaller space. These can also be bought in syringe filter-like housings.
    The filter would still have resistance and would have to be sized for the desired flow rate and the amount of pressure that could be applied (not trivial).

    Use a UV sterilizer to sterilize the air as it goes by. This would require a very strong UV to sterilize the air in its brief exposure to the UV if it is blown rapidly. A UV LED or a UV laser might be required. It might be possible to power and size it similar to vaping devices.
     
  21. Mar 1, 2018 #20
    It may be that just focusing the blow directly on the flame significantly reduces the amount of germs reaching the cake, even without a filter.
     
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