Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory have recently invented an air amplification device that can be used to quickly fill marine rafts, rigid inflatable boats, life rafts, and other inflatable objects. The patented technology is available via patent license agreement to companies that would make, use, or sell it commercially.
Compressed air from a pressurized tank, such as a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) tank, is employed to inflate large objects. However, storing and transporting multiple tanks can be costly in terms of both weight and physical volume. For instance, military personnel must carry at least two standard-size SCUBA tanks onboard to fully inflate a Zodiac FC470 boat.
To address this problem, Navy researchers have developed an air amplifier that reduces the amount of tanked compressed air required for inflating collapsible boats and other objects.
This small device augments compressed air from high-pressure containers with ambient air from the atmosphere. Utilizing air amplification reduces the amount of carried air needed and, consequently, reduces weight and saves space while accelerating the inflation of the object.
- Requires less air from pressurized tanks to fully inflate objects by using atmospheric air to supplement the compressed air
- Prototype testing demonstrated a 50% reduction in the inflation time
- Designs include threads printed directly onto the device to interface with an inflatable boat and compressed air tank without requiring any additional hardware via additive manufacturing by a 3D printer
- Businesses can commercialize the technology by licensing U.S. Patent Application 20190192884 from the Navy
- License fees paid to the Navy are negotiable
- Businesses that license the technology may have the opportunity to pursue collaborative research with the inventors
- Testing data may be available to companies evaluating the technology
- TechLink guides businesses through evaluation and licensing; services provided at no cost