Sunday, December 12, 2010

Aerosol Spray by Sammy Bozza

I.                   Introduction

 It doesn’t matter if they destroy the ozone layer; as long as your house smells nice, that’s all that counts. You see them used all the time. Aerosol spray cans have the ability to make things smell better, put a nice coat of paint on the wall etc. Aerosol spray is a type of dispensing system, which creates a mist of liquid particles. This can be used with either with a bottle or can that contains a liquid under pressure. When the container’s valve is opened, the liquid is forced out of a small hole and emerges as a mist. As gas expands to drive out the payload, only some propellant evaporates inside the can to maintain an even pressure
II.                Discovery
 Aerosol spray originated in 1790, when carbonated beverages were introduced in France. In 1837, a man named Perpigna invented a soda siphon incorporating a valve. Metal spray cans tested as early as 1862. They were constructed from heavy steel making it too bulky to be commercially successful. In 1899, inventors Helbling and Pertsch patented aerosols pressurized using methyl and ethyl chloride as propellants. On November 23, 1927, Norwegian engineer, Erik Rotheim, patented the first aerosol can that could hold and dispense products and propellant systems. This was the “prototype” of the modern aerosol can and valve. In 1943 during WWII, soldiers also had to deal with a bug and insect problem. Two American scientists from the Department of Agriculture, Lyle David Goodhue and W.N. Sullivan, modified Rotheim’s design to create a portable and dispensable insect repellent. They used a fluorocarbon as the propellant. The aerosol insect repellent was a relief, but sometimes the tubes would become clogged. In addition, the soldiers' insect repellent containers somewhat resembled hand grenades. (Imagine the confusion that may have caused.) Still, the aerosol technology was a huge relief for the itchy soldiers in the fields and jungles.
Figure 1

III.             Biography of Investigator.
Like most inventions, the contribution to aerosol spray included many people, whether it may be just the thought or idea about it, or the significant improvements. However, the man who is given the most credit for this invention is Erik Rotheim, who patented the invention. "Erik Andreas Rotheim was a Norwegian professional chemical engineer and inventor."
He was born in Kristiania (Oslo) in 1898. He earned his engineering degree in Switzerland and established his own company  in Oslo in 1925. He is best known for invention of the aerosol spray can, and the patent application for which he submitted in 1926. The Norwegian patent was granted in June 1929. He was awarded by the United States for the concept in September 1927. "Prior to the issuance of the patent, Rotheim had negotiated an agreement with Alf Bjercke's paint factory in 1928, but commercial success was initially limited. The patent was sold to a US company for NOK 100,000." The patent was not  introduced in the United States untill the 1940s. Norway Post celebrated the invention by issuing a stamp in 1998.

IV.             Impact on the World/Humanity
Aerosol spray has done more than just cleaning, keeping your hair straight, and repel. Beginning in the 1970s scientists noticed a massive decrease in the amount of ozone present in the ozone layer. Ozone levels had been constant throughout geological time, but over Antarctica, the levels had dropped so low that there appeared to be a "hole" in the ozone layer. As the ozone hole grew larger, scientists began to suspect that CFCs were responsible. "CFCs react with chlorine and break down, thereby destroying the ozone layer and allowing more radiation from the sun than is normal to reach the earth." In 1978 the U. S. Government banned the use of certain types of CFCs, and manufacturers of aerosol products had to find other propellants. Today, less than two percent of American-made aerosol cans contain CFCs. One promising alternative propellant is Polygas, developed by Scottish inventor Bernard D. Frutin. "This mixture of carbon dioxide and acetone is reportedly superior to other propellants because it is more environmentally sound, less flammable, and creates higher and more consistent pressure."
V.                Journal Article Review.
This article talks about the use of aerosol spray and some of its history. It does not go quite into detail as some of the other sources when talking about who is responsible for the invention/idea. However, it is very specific when talking about how the product works. It talks about the very diverse uses of the product, such as repellent in WWII, and an easy way to paint. One other thing that it talks about is how it is said to cause depletion of the ozone layer.
VI.             List of References

1.     Mary Bellis. “The History of Aerosol Spray Cans” Guide. Retrieved December 11, 2010.

2.     “The Development of Aerosol Technology: A Misty History.” Retrieved December 11, 2010.

3.     “Aerosol Spray” Retrieved December 11, 2010.

4.     “The Inventor: Erik Rotheim” Retrieved December 11, 2010.


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