Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2407880 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2407880
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • C08J 5/04 (2006.01)
  • B29C 43/00 (2006.01)
  • C08F 255/02 (2006.01)
  • C08L 23/04 (2006.01)
  • C08L 23/10 (2006.01)
  • C08L 23/12 (2006.01)
  • C08L 29/04 (2006.01)
  • C08L 31/04 (2006.01)
  • C08L 51/06 (2006.01)
  • C08L 97/02 (2006.01)
  • C08L 1/00 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • SAIN, MOHINI M. (Canada)
(73) Owners :
  • SAIN, MOHINI M. (Canada)
(71) Applicants :
  • SAIN, MOHINI M. (Canada)
(74) Agent: NA
(74) Associate agent: NA
(45) Issued: 2011-02-01
(22) Filed Date: 2002-10-26
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 2004-04-26
Examination requested: 2003-06-10
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

English Abstract

The use of natural fibers as reinforcing filler in thermoplastics is a relatively new innovation and has great potential to replace glass fiber products in building, consumer goods, furniture and automotive industry. Our published results demonstrated that laying natural fiber mat and polymer film in a definite pattern and orientation can enhance mechanical strength. In this invention, a unique process has been developed to manufacture high impact strength composite that contains loose natural fiber and/or a combination of loose natural fiber and natural fiber mat to develop green composites outstanding impact strength and other mechanical properties. Loose fibers used in this process can be obtained from agro-plant and wood. Mats, if used, can be obtained from similar sources. Polymer those are used include thermoplastic polyolefins (TPOs), acrylic and polyester films. This invention is especially useful for natural composites with natural fiber content above 40% by weight up to 93 wt% fiber. Film stacking and fiber spraying methods were used to construct sheet, laminates and thermoforming and compression molding were used to design a product. A range of impact strength was obtained which varies from 100 J/m to as high as 250 J/m with a significant increase in flexural and tensile strengths. Products having uniform density profiles yield maximum enhancement in impact properties.

French Abstract

L'emploi de fibres naturelles comme charge de renfort dans les thermoplastiques est une innovation assez récente et présente de grandes possibilités pour remplacer les produits en fibres de verre dans les industries de la construction, des biens à la consommation, du meuble et de l'automobile. Les résultats que nous avons publiés montrent que la pose d'un mat de fibres naturelles et d'un film de polymère selon une orientation et un motif définis peut accroître la résistance mécanique. Dans la présente invention, un procédé unique a été mis au point pour la fabrication d'un composite à haute résistance au choc contenant des fibres naturelles lâches et/ou une combinaison de fibres naturelles lâches et d'un mat de fibres naturelles pour l'élaboration de composites verts ayant de remarquables propriétés mécaniques et de résistance au choc. Les fibres lâches utilisées dans ce procédé peuvent provenir du bois et de végétaux agricoles. S'ils sont employés, les mats peuvent provenir de sources analogues. Les polymères utilisés comprennent des films de polyester, d'acrylique et de polyoléfines thermoplastiques. La présente invention est particulièrement utile pour des composites naturels contenant plus de 40 % par poids de fibres naturelles et jusqu'à 93 % par poids de fibres. Des méthodes de projection de fibres et d'empilage de films ont été employées pour la fabrication de feuils, de stratifiés et le thermoformage et le moulage par compression ont été employés pour la conception d'un produit. On a réalisé une plage de résistance au choc comprise entre 100 J/m et 250 J/m avec accroissement significatif des résistances à la flexion et à la traction. Les produits ayant des profils de densité uniformes présentent les propriétés maximales de résistance au choc.

Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


1. A manufacturing process to produce thermoplastic composite in which
reinforcement fibers in the form of loose bundle layers are stacked
with thermoplastic matrix, whereby each layer of loose fiber is covered by at
one film or foil of matrix material on each side, thereafter hot pressing the
alternate film stack/lay-up at high temperature followed by cooling under same
consolidation pressure to manufacture desired composite material,
in that the loose, random, and un-processed fibers are used and distributed
in the said film stacking arrangement where each layer of fiber and matrix
material has equal pre-defined quantity by weight.
2. A process according to claim 1, characterized in that fiber mats can be
used in
similar lay-up method.
3. A process according to claim 1, characterized in that interfacial bonding
cellulose fibers and matrix is introduced by using pre-treated matrix films
maleic-anhydride polymers of polypropylene (MA-PP) or polyethylene (MA-PE).


4. A process according to claim 1 and 2, characterized in that reinforcement
fall in one of following categories:
a. Cellulose bast fibers obtained from plants of hemp, flax, kenaf, sisal and
b. Agri-residue fibers, such as rice husk and wheat straw.
c. Virgin or recycled wood fibers.
5. A process according to claim 1 to 3, characterized in that matrix selected
is from
thermoplastic family of polymers consisting either of homo polypropylene (PP)
co-polymers of polypropylene and polyethylene.
6. The thermoplastic polymer manufactured through the said inventive process
consists essentially the following:
1. Alternate stacked layers of loose ligno-cellulose fibers and/or mats in
combination with thermoplastic matrix films distributed evenly in stacked
2. The matrix films may or may not be treated with coupling agent.
7. The manufacturing process of compression molding consists following steps:
1. Film stacking of fiber layers and matrix films in alternate arrangement in
such a way that each layer of natural fibers is covered on both sides by at
least one film of matrix.
2. Hot pressing of film stack at elevated temperature and pressure followed
by cooling under same consolidation to manufacture desired thermoplastic
8. Thermoforming process can be also used to make three dimensional/intricate
products by using same raw materials as mentioned in claim 4 and 5.
9. In the product of claim 6, the reinforcement material belongs to any of
fibers, agri-residuals or virgin/recycled wood fibers as mentioned in claim 4.


10. The matrix in the product of claim 6 is essentially of thermoplastic
family as
mentioned in claim 5.
11. The coupling agents in the product of claim 6 can be either impregnated
thermoplastic films or cellulose fibers as mentioned below:
a. The matrix is treated with maleic-anhydrie co-polymers of polypropylene
or polyethylene.
b. Reinforcement fibers can be treated with Silane solutions through quick
aqous method if required.
12. The commercial use of said product according to any claims 6 to 10 in auto
sector, general purpose household, upholstery and semi-structural construction
applications as mentioned in potential application section.


Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

CA 02407880 2003-06-10
Patent Application no. 2,407, 880 Amendment
Natural Fiber Thermoplastic Composite: Manufacturing process and use of
Specific Area of Invention
This invention pertains to a simple and low cost process technique of
natural long fiber thermoplastic composite with improved mechanical
properties. In this
method, alternate stacking of loose natural fiber instead of woven or non-
woven mat or
filament-wound fiber yarn is used as main source of enforcement. Each layer of
fiber is essentially covered on both sides with at least one film of
thermoplastic matrix,
where after the stack of alternate fiber layers and matrix films is pressed at
temperature and pressure for desired consolidation followed by in-press
cooling. This
invention also describes actual manufacturing of sample product and its
applications in different specific areas like automotive, structural and
furniture industry.
Over the last few years, ecological concern and stringent environmental
legislation in
North America and Europe has initiated a renewed interest in using natural
materials to
produce green products. Traditionally, glass fibers have been extensively used
reinforcement in thermoplastics in various applications , especially in auto
sector, due to
their better impact strength properties. However, glass fiber thermoplastics
have several
environmental disadvantages as glass fibers are obtained from non-renewable
and a lot of energy is consumed in their production. Further, these products
are non-
recyclable and land filling is the main option to dispose off after their
useful life span.
On the other hand, natural fibers offer an environmental friendly alternative
to be
used as reinforcement in both thermoplastic and thermo set composites. These
fibers, like
hemp, flax , kenaf, jute etc, have various advantages as being renewable, non-
to process equipment and possible incineration at the end of their life cycle
for energy
recovery.. They are also very much safe during handling and less suspected to
lungs during processing and use. Automotive applications represent the best

CA 02407880 2003-06-10
for natural fibers thermoplastics due to some of distinctive advantages over
glass fibers,
like, low weight (35-40% less as compared to glass fiber), low price, better
absorbance and sound insulation properties.
In literature, there are many comparisons available regarding the mechanical
properties of natural and glass fiber composites. It is shown by B. van Voorn
et al.,
Composites: Part A, Vol 32, 2001, 1271-1279, that stiffness of flax fiber
thermoplastic is
comparable or even better that of glass fiber counterparts whereas, flexural
and tensile
strength properties are more or less compatible. Similar comparisons have been
by S.K.Garkhail et al., Applied Composite Materials, Vol. 7, 2000, 351-372 and
Oksman, Applied Composite Materials, Vol. 7, 2000, 403-414.
However, the main challenge in the development of natural fiber composites is
improve the impact strength which is only 1 /4"' of glass fiber thermoplastics
in most of
cases as reported in earlier references. The extremely low values of impact
strength has
hindered so far the mass scale growth of this otherwise feasible product from
high end markets , like auto sector, etc.
The other important issue in the use of natural fibers is the cost of raw
In current and prior art , the natural fibers are mostly used in the form of
needle punched
woven or non-woven mats which approximately doubles the cost of raw loose
Moreover, mats manufacturing effects the orientation of individual fibers to
great extent
and fibers tend to align in one direction, thereby, limiting the ultimate
strength of
This invention deals specifically with design aspects of fiber orientation
maximum and uniform stress transfer from matrix to fibers in all directions
and at the
same time incorporates optimum stacking mechanism to facilitate a thorough
flow of
thermoplastic matrix into entire fiber body during heating and pressing cycle
Description of Invention
This invention is based on use of natural fibers in specifically loose and
orientation in the form of layers in combination with thermoplastic matrix to

CA 02407880 2003-06-10
composite with improved mechanical properties , especially impact strength.
this invention demonstrates the better use of natural fibers in its more basic
raw form
rather to use unidirectional mats or lay-ups which give optimum properties in
only one
direction and also have appreciable higher costs.
Further, the present invention relates to use of optimum fiber content for
improved mechanical properties, thereby, availing maximum environmental
advantage by
reducing the amount of thermoplastic resin in final product. The alternate
mechanism is another aspect discussed and explained in this invention. Both
these issues
have critical importance as in a polymer composite the ultimate strength of
depends on optimum quantity of reinforcing fibers and effective stress
transfer from
matrix to fibers.
Influence of fiber treatment on the significant improvement of strength
of composite is also mentioned in this invention.
More specifically, this invention describes manufacturing process for natural
thermoplastic composite with significant improved impact strength, whereas the
product consists layers of loose natural fibers covered on each side by at
least one
thermoplastic matrix film in a lay-up stacking method. The alternate stack of
long natural
fibers and matrix films is subjected to elevated temperature and pressure for
predetermined time period followed by a cooling cycle, all done in one step.
pre-drying of fibers is essential to promote effective bonding with
hydrophobic matrix.
The natural fibers used in this invention for reinforcement of thermoplastic
composite are:
- Renewable, long bast fibers of hemp and flax.
- Recycled urban wood fibers.
- Old Newprint (ONP) fibers.
However, other plant fibers, e.g jute, kenaf, sisal, and agri-residues may
also be used.
The thermoplastic matrix employed in said inventive procedure is commercial
polypropylene which has lowest cost, density and water absorption among
used thermoplastics. Its low process temperature is also advantageous to avoid
fiber degradation.

CA 02407880 2003-06-10
Fiber treatment was achieved with silane coupling agent to achieve additional
improvement in mechanical properties, especially impact strength.
The process of this invention is characterized in that the natural bast fibers
used without any extra processing of needle punching, weaving or mat making.
the said inventive process introduces alternate stacking of fibers and matrix
as compared
to prior art mentioned in WO X2/064670, where fiber layers are grouped in the
middle of
stack. The authors of this patent have observed in particular that matrix does
not flow
evenly into whole body of fibers when more than two matrix films/foils are
especially at the top or bottom ends of stack. Moreover, there is also risk of
matrix being
melting away from edges during process.
This invention demonstrates various advantages over the prior art;
- Significantly improved shock absorbing properties, surpassing all existing
fiber composites
- Fiber raw material requires minimum processing, thereby significant
savings in terms of material cost and energy consumption compared to using
natural fiber mats or glass fibers.
- One step process to make products.
- Value added utilization of lingo-cellulose fibers from agro, wood and other
recycling industry.
- Improved mechanical performance with additional step of fiber treatment.
- Specific strength properties of said composite material approaches to glass
- Utilization of optimum natural fiber quantity in composites, thereby
reducing the
use of thermoplastic content which gives an added environmental advantage.
Description of drawings
Figure 1: Process schematic of lay-uplstacking and compression molding.
Figure 2: Process schematic of thermoforming.

CA 02407880 2003-06-10
Figure 3: Effect of fiber orientation, type and frber treatment on impact
properties of
natural fiber thermoplastics.
Figure 4: Diagram illustrates influence of fiber content of loose,~ber on
properties of composite.
Figure 5: Fiber content versus ,flexural and tensile strength of loose hemp
Influence of fiber orientation, content, and percentage of coupling agent on
mechanical properties of composite in said stacking /lay-up method was
through practical experiments. Different types of fibers were used to
illustrate the
versatility and flexibility of the process as well. Representative samples
were tested for
tensile, flexural and impact values
Lav-Un Cofiguration
The typical film stacking method used in this invention is known per se. This
process is characterized by even distribution of fiber and matrix in the said
lay-up as
shown in Figure 1 as compared to prior art in which reinforcement fibers are
placed in
one central location of stack. The use of long and random loose plant fibers
is another
highlight of this invention. Each layer of fibers in the stack is essentially
bound on each
side by at least one film of thermoplastic matrix. The stack is subjected
directly to high
temperature and pressure without any extra step of vacuum heating. The
stack is cooled under pressure to ensure dimensional stability of product.
It is shown through various experiments that a very significant increase of
90% in impact strength is achieved by using long loose fibers instead of pre-

CA 02407880 2003-06-10
non-woven mats. It is further demonstrated that by treating fibers with silane
agent, an extra 15% increase in impact strength can be achieved.
Other experiment details are mentioned as follows.
Fiber Tyues
Loose Fibers:
The loose virgin fibers used in the experiments were hemp and flax. Both these
kinds of
fibers were used separately to make representative samples. The composite
grade hemp
fibers, 75mm average length, were arranged from Hempline Inc. Canada while the
fibres were extracted from Fall-1999 crop having fiber length between 45 and
Fiber Mats:
For comparative study, the non-woven needle punched mats (Bastmat 108) of hemp
fibers were also used which were supplied from same source. The hemp fiber
content in
non-woven mats by weight was 80% while the rest was polypropylene. The average
weight of these mats was 265 g/m2 + 8.
Recycle fibers:
Two different kinds of recycled fibers were also used to demonstrate the
effectiveness of
this inventive process. Recycled wood fibers from recovered urban timber were
from CanFibre of Lackawanna LLC, New York, NY. The fibers had length from 1 to
mm. The second type of recycled fibers were obtained by shredding ordinary
(ONP) in Wiley Mill through 2mm sieve . Newspaper strips of 1-1.5 inch wide
were fed
into top of Mill and flake type fibers obtained through sieve were transformed
several layers to be used in combination with matrix films. The tensile
strength of
original newsprint was determined according to Tappi Test Method and was found
to be
27.5 MPa in machine direction(MD) and 8.3 MPa in cross direction(CD).
Thermoplastic Polymer

CA 02407880 2003-06-10
Homopolymer grade polypropylene(PP) was supplied by Copol International Ltd.
with a trade name of H 101 in form of films having thickness of 100 micron. As
supplier's data, the ultimate tensile of this general purpose polypropylene
along TD is 37
MPa whereas secant modulus is 0.8GPa.
Matrix and Fiber Modification
Both matrix and reinforcement fibers were treated with coupling agents to
compatibility and observe the effect on mechanical properties.
- Matrix treatment: 5% by weight of MA-PP (Epolene E-43, arranged from
Eastman Chemical Inc) was blended with pure PP in twin screw mixer (C. W.
Brabender) at 185°C for 5 minutes. The extruded material was
transformed into
thin sheets to be used as matrix in lay-up process.
- Fiber treatment: Hemp loose fibers were treated with
3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (0.5% by weight of fibers) in quick aqous method
and subsequently dried to be used in said inventive process in combination
un-treated matrix.
Film stacking
Fiber mats and loose fibers were first dried at 105 °C for two hours
before arranging into
In case of hemp mats, the mats and polypropylene films were cut into size of
200X200mm. The stacking of mats and polypropylene films was arranged in such a
that each mat had at least one matrix film on each side. Typically, nine mats
were used in
each lay-up with ten to eleven polypropylene films. The fiber content in final
product was
maintained at 60% by weight, which corresponds to 47.8% volume fraction.

CA 02407880 2003-06-10
All types of loose fibres were transformed separately into shape of layer/mat
manually before film stacking step. In case of hemp and flax fibres, it was
convenient to get stable and uniform layers (200X200 mm) like a non-woven mat
due to
longer fibre length and physical entanglement among fibres. However the ONP
and wood
fibres were difficult to handle because of fluffiness and shorter length.
Therefore a
wooden frame was used to facilitate layer making process. Again, 60% fiber
content by
weight was maintained in
Manufacturing of Composite
Compression Molding
Representative samples of composites based on hemp fiber mats and each type of
cellulose loose fibers, both virgin and recycled, were manufactured by one-
step film-
stacking method which is also reported by S.K.Garkhail et al., Applied
Materials, Vol. 7, 2000, 351-372. As already mentioned, pre-dried fibers and
films (200X200mm) were stacked alternately in a lay-up shape. Compression
was achieved in a hydraulic press, V~abash, having 50-ton capacity with
air/water cooling
arrangement. The heating time was 8-10 minutes at temperature range of 190-
200°C and
compression of I 5-25 bar. The press was cooled at the end of
heating/impregnation cycle
to 50°C in about 4 minutes before completing the compression molding
Three dimensional prototypes were also manufactured by using thermoforming
as shown in Figure 2. Dupont Mylar (polyester) films were used as releasing
between mold plates and combination of cellulose fibers and matrix.
temperature was maintained at 205 °C for about ten minutes to complete
the molding

CA 02407880 2003-06-10
Izod "notched" impact testing was carried out on Tinius Olsen (92T Impact T.M)
machine according to ASTM D 256. The specimens had depth of 12.7mm and length
about 64 mm. The testing machine had inbuilt processor to calculate absorbed
energy in
J/m. Ten samples of each type of molded composite were tested to get average
standard deviation values.
Flexural test (3-point bending) was conducted on Zwick-z100 tester according
standard test procedure D-790 with machine speed of Smm/min and span width of
Specimens were l2.Smm wide and 150 mm long. The tensile testing was done on
machine and specimens were prepared according to test method D-638 while the
crosshead speed was maintained at 2mm/min. Five samples of each type of
composites were tested for flexural and tensile testing.
Average specific gravity of some composite samples was determined by using an
X-ray density profiler, QMS (QDP-01X) .Specimens had dimensions of SOXSOmm
varying thickness from 2 to 3 mm. The scanning was done through five pre-
zones across the thickness of specimen.
Effect of fiber orientation
A comparison among mat/PP and random long fiber/PP composite is shown in Table
while keeping the same fiber content in product. The non-woven needle punched
have usually unidirectional fibers which give anisotropic properties. The use
of random
loose fibers as reinforcement in polypropylene give exceptional high impact
almost 90% increase compare to mat/PP combination, as shown in Figure 3. The
of loose flax fiber/PP composite with same amount of fiber content is also
shown in same
Effect of coupling agents

CA 02407880 2003-06-10
As already mentioned , two different types of coupling agents were used
separately to
enhance the mechanical performance of thermoplastic.
The use of 5% Malefic-anhydride polypropylene (MA-PP) in polypropylene
matrix improved the flexural strength by 15% while the tensile strength was
improved by
17% as shown in Table 2.However the impact energy remained almost same.
The second compatiblizer, 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane, was used to treat
hemp fibers at the ratio of 0.5% of fiber weight. It improved the flexural and
properties by 5 and 15% respectively, whereas the impact energy is also
improved by
15% compared to non-treated loose fibers.
Effect o fiber content
Table 3 shows the results of fiber content influence on the mechanical
properties of
composites manufactured in laboratory. In this study, controlled fiber length
of 40mm
was used in random fashion combined with polypropylene films in alternate film
As anticipated and discussed in literature, fiber content has profound effect
mechanical strength of composite. The trend in Figure 4 and 5 and results of
Table 1
indicate an optimum fiber quantity of about 60-65% for best results. Beyond
process-ability becomes difficult. This optimum amount of fiber is about 20%
compare to prior art and current conventional applications of natural fiber
where fiber content is usually maintained around 50%. The high proportion of
fiber ultimately reduces the consumption of thermoplastic which is a high
consuming product in itself.
Random recycled fibers
The value added utilization of recycled fibers, urban timber and old
newspaper, in
thermoplastics was achieved in similar way as with virgin fibers. Fiber
content was
maintained at 64% and results of testing are shown in Table 4. This study
shows the

CA 02407880 2003-06-10
technical feasibility to use these fibers in alternate stacking lay-up method.
The lower
strength properties of these products may be attributed to inherent low
strength of wood
fibers and multiple recycling effect, especially in case of newsprint.
However, these type
of products may find use in decorative paneling or other non-structural
- The impact properties of random loose natural fibers and PP composites in
alternating stacking inventive technique are far superior than matlPP
- Fiber treatment with silane can further enhance the strength properties of
product in same way of manufacturing.
- MA-PP treatment does not improve impact energy, however tensile and flexural
properties are appreciably improved.
- Overall mechanical performance of natural fiber composites manufactured
through this inventive procedure largely depends on fiber content. The optimum
fiber content for best results is about 60-65%.
- Recycled fibers can be incorporated as reinforcement media in thermoplastics
the said inventive procedure.
Potential Applications
This inventive process will eliminate or significantly replace non-woven mats
of natural
fibers and glass fiber mat-based composites in automotive, household and
products. The auto industry seems to benefit more from this new technology as
improved specific mechanical properties and low density of natural fiber
can play a dominant role in replacing conventional glass fiber products in
most of
European auto industry already uses significant amounts of plant fibers in
end brand names of car models and by end of 2005, new environmental

CA 02407880 2003-06-10
requires to produce 95% recyclable automobiles. According to latest report by
Consulting, Global Hemp Newsletter, March 2003,the current consumption of all
kinds of
natural fibers in North America and Western Europe combined is about
metric tons. However, auto industry is Western Europe consumes about half of
its total
natural fiber composites and this consumption is expected to g row steadily
due to
obvious advantages in using these fibers and meeting new legislation. In North
only 8-10% of its total natural fiber composite demand goes to auto sector
while rest is
used up in decking and building industry. The technology adopted in this
invention to
produce high performance molded composites can play a pivotal role in
utilizing the true
potential of ligno-cellulose fibers in household furniture, upholstery and
especially auto
1. A manufacturing process to produce thermoplastic composite in which
reinforcement fibers in the form of loose bundle layers are stacked
with thermoplastic matrix, whereby each layer of loose fiber is covered by at
one film or foil of matrix material on each side, thereafter hot pressing the
alternate film stack/lay-up at high temperature followed by cooling under same
consolidation pressure to manufacture desired composite material,
in that the loose, random, and un-processed fibers are used and distributed
in the said film stacking arrangement where each layer of fiber and matrix
material has equal pre-defined quantity by weight.
2. A process according to claim 1, characterized in that fiber mats can be
used in
similar lay-up method.
3. A process according to claim 1, characterized in that interfacial bonding
cellulose fibers and matrix is introduced by using pre-treated matrix films
malefic-anhydride polymers of polypropylene (MA-PP) or polyethylene (MA-PE).

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2011-02-01
(22) Filed 2002-10-26
Examination Requested 2003-06-10
(41) Open to Public Inspection 2004-04-26
(45) Issued 2011-02-01
Lapsed 2015-10-26

Abandonment History

There is no abandonment history.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Application Fee $150.00 2002-10-26
Request for Examination $200.00 2003-06-10
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2004-10-26 $50.00 2004-08-04
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2005-10-26 $50.00 2005-08-22
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2006-10-26 $50.00 2006-09-29
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2007-10-26 $100.00 2007-08-14
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2008-10-27 $100.00 2008-09-05
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 7 2009-10-26 $100.00 2009-09-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 8 2010-10-26 $100.00 2010-09-03
Final Fee $150.00 2010-11-22
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 9 2011-10-26 $100.00 2011-08-17
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 10 2012-10-26 $125.00 2012-09-25
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 11 2013-10-28 $125.00 2013-08-12
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Number of pages Size of Image (KB)
Claims 2009-04-20 2 56
Abstract 2002-10-26 1 38
Description 2002-10-26 3 114
Claims 2002-10-26 3 112
Claims 2003-06-10 3 104
Description 2003-06-10 12 549
Representative Drawing 2004-03-31 1 17
Cover Page 2004-03-31 2 61
Abstract 2007-12-04 1 37
Description 2007-12-04 12 527
Claims 2007-12-04 2 59
Abstract 2008-11-14 1 36
Description 2008-11-14 12 519
Claims 2008-11-14 2 56
Abstract 2009-09-29 1 35
Drawings 2010-03-25 3 190
Claims 2010-03-25 2 57
Description 2010-03-25 14 919
Abstract 2010-03-25 1 36
Representative Drawing 2011-01-11 1 16
Cover Page 2011-01-11 1 61
Fees 2006-09-29 1 19
Prosecution-Amendment 2009-01-30 1 33
Fees 2006-08-21 2 95
Fees 2004-08-04 1 60
Correspondence 2002-12-03 1 14
Assignment 2002-10-26 6 200
Prosecution-Amendment 2003-06-10 22 825
Correspondence 2006-01-03 1 18
Fees 2005-08-22 4 571
Correspondence 2006-01-03 1 13
Correspondence 2005-10-17 1 21
Fees 2009-09-01 1 74
Prosecution-Amendment 2006-09-06 6 245
Correspondence 2006-09-06 1 22
Fees 2006-08-21 3 141
Correspondence 2006-11-02 1 16
Correspondence 2006-09-29 1 20
Fees 2006-08-21 4 134
Correspondence 2007-01-04 1 14
Prosecution-Amendment 2007-06-01 2 118
Prosecution-Amendment 2007-06-11 6 245
Fees 2007-08-14 1 62
Prosecution-Amendment 2007-12-04 25 1,318
Prosecution-Amendment 2008-04-16 2 90
Fees 2008-09-05 1 60
Prosecution-Amendment 2008-11-14 25 1,375
Prosecution-Amendment 2009-04-20 24 1,448
Prosecution-Amendment 2009-08-11 1 38
Prosecution-Amendment 2009-09-29 2 62
Prosecution-Amendment 2010-03-25 21 1,232
Prosecution-Amendment 2009-12-10 2 48
Fees 2010-09-03 1 61
Correspondence 2010-11-22 2 109
Correspondence 2011-10-13 1 19
Fees 2011-08-17 2 89
Correspondence 2011-11-22 1 13
Correspondence 2011-11-21 1 21
Fees 2011-08-17 1 75
Correspondence 2014-12-29 2 53
Correspondence 2015-11-30 2 75
Fees 2012-09-25 2 87
Fees 2013-08-12 1 67
Fees 2014-10-28 1 70
Correspondence 2014-11-07 1 21
Correspondence 2015-12-03 1 25
Correspondence 2015-02-17 1 34
Correspondence 2015-06-12 1 29
Fees 2015-10-09 1 69
Correspondence 2015-10-27 1 31