Cy-Fair company patents invention that could improve body armor, solar cells
A company based in the Cy-Fair area received a U.S. patent this week for an invention that could improve both body armor and solar cells.
The patent describes a way of incorporating microtubes into the ballistic protection of body armor that makes it easier for its wearer to detect flaws, cracks and gaps. The device is designed to let the wearer of the armor know if a certain level of G-force on a section of the armor has been passed, indicating that the armor needs repair. The patent suggests that similar technology could be applied to detect problems in the surfaces of solar cells and wind towers.
The patent is owned by Hisco, a maker of electrical and industrial materials whose corporate offices are located in the Cy-Fair area at 6650 Concord Park Drive. William R. Steele of Tempe, Arizona, and Paul Mark Merriman of Houston are listed as the inventors. Merriman bought Hisco for $1 in 1970 and served as president for many years; the company is now owned by its employees.
The patent's official number is 7,878,140. It was originally filed on April 28, 2010.