In my December 29, 2010 post at …
Wonderer in the Wilderness inquired …
1. How can Novinium get the same cable life extension without a soak period? It would seem to me that Novinium puts less fluid into the cable than one would get with a soak period.
In my first post addressing this question I provided an abbreviated answer. We learned from the abbreviated answer that that when Novinium founders conceived of the first generation of treatment fluid over two decades ago, we failed to check the relative diffusion rates of the phenylmethyldimethoxysilane (PMDMS) monomer and the condensation catalyst we had chosen to provide long life. This turned out to be a grave mistake, which we have corrected. In a subsequent post on January 3, 2011 at …
Catalytic Considerations – Component I
… I provided a more comprehensive answer, but I promised five new posts that would explain the functional improvement of the five kinds of ingredients in Ultrinium™ 732 and Ultrinium™ 733 fluids. In this fourth of five sub-posts, I explain the concept of chain entanglement.
I use one of the tailored molecules found in Ultrinium™ fluids called tolylethylmethyldimethoxysilane or TEM for short. I was not willing to go on a diet of any kind, but because I desired to better illustrate chain entanglement, I had to create a much smaller clone of myself. I call my clone Nano-me, because she will be exploring molecular interactions in the nanometer range. Do not let her diminutive size fool you; she is as clever as I.
On Frogograph 1, Nano-me shows the rather boring structure of cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE). The carbon-carbon chains are typically several thousand carbon atoms long. About once every one-thousand carbons there is a cross link site, which Nano-me is illuminating with her green laser.
On Frogograph 2, an electron micrograph1 at 40,000X magnification illustrates the structure of the crystalline and amorphous phases of the polymer. Roughly half of the PE is crystalline; the balance is amorphous. If you had frog eyes you would be able to see the lightly shaded, generally parallel lines that are crystalline platelets. The darker areas between the crystalline regions are amorphous.
On Frogograph 3, Nano-me is illuminating a representation of a carbon-carbon polymer chain – the squiggly line. The chains are tightly packed serpentines in the crystalline region and wander randomly in the amorphous region. Each crystalline platelet is about 10 nano-meters thick, or about 75 carbon-carbon bonds. The amorphous layer sandwiched between platelets is roughly the same thickness. The vast majority of diffusion that occurs, does so in the amorphous region, but even crystalline polymers are not impervious to diffusion.
Frogograph 4 shows a 3D-section of two crystalline platelets and an anatomically accurate representation of the tangle of carbon-carbon chains that make up the amorphous cream filling – think about one of those chocolate cookies with the sugary white filling. In the upper right-hand corner and to the same scale – a water molecule is illustrated. It is pretty easy to visualize the water diffusing through the intra-molecular spaces of the amorphous polymer. On the left of the cream filling is a monomer of the aforementioned tolylethylmethyldimethoxysilane or TEM monomer. Considerably larger than water, the TEM monomer can squeeze through the amorphous layer, but it must bend and rotate tortuously to diffuse. As we have previously explored in Catalytic Considerations I and Catalytic Considerations II, the monomer reacts with water it encounters, and it grows as it does so. Nano-me is pushing gently on a typical hexamer. Six monomers, plus seven waters, yield a hexamer. Nano-me is encountering a great deal of resistance because of chain entanglement. If you look closely at the TEM molecules you will notice rings of six carbon atoms. These rings include what chemist call conjugated double bonds. This ring structure is quite rigid. Furthermore, the rings have a two-carbon chain to the silicone backbone and another carbon hanging off the end of the ring. These structures stick out from the molecule and slow diffusion. It is a bit like sticking your paws straight out to the side of your body and then pushing your way through a crowd. Movement is retarded and you are unlikely to make any friends. These “rude sidearms” were tailored for entanglement … specifically for the rejuvenation application. The TEM-class of materials is available only in Novinium’s Ultrinium formulations and is protected by U.S. Patent 7,643,977, other pending applications, and foreign equivalents.
TEM is a custom designed molecule for the rejuvenation application. It has no other commercial uses. This is in contrast to the legacy class of materials in use prior to the introduction of Ultrinium fluids. Those older materials, which have dozens of applications and hence were readily available, are not optimized for the cable life extension application. The molecular optimization included in TEM facilitates a significant increase in post-injection anticipated life or reduces the volume of fluid required for more modest life extension periods. Longer life through better chemistry!
1Kindly provided by Fred Steennis of KEMA in the Netherlands.