Season 6

Low & High XP

XP: 5000 & XP: 50
For all players !


PvP &




Events !

HumansFate-Mu Home



Are stinky inflatable pool toys putting your kids at risk?
Are stinky inflatable pool toys putting your kids at risk?

    Are stinky inflatable pool toys putting your kids at risk? 

    The researchers expressed concern that some of the products contain potentially hazardous chemicals that could pose a risk to children’s health, depending on the degree of exposure and concentration levels in the products.


    The researchers conducted tests using an inflatable beach ball, a pair of swimming armbands and two bathing rings they bought off the shelf from local stores and online suppliers in Germany.(Shutterstock)


    Are stinky inflatable kids' toys putting your kids at risk? Here’s what a study found

    The researchers expressed concern that some of the products contain potentially hazardous chemicals that could pose a risk to children’s health, depending on the degree of exposure and concentration levels in the products.

    Washington D.C. | By ANI

    UPDATED ON APR 13, 2017 08:46 PM IST

    Turns out, there are many dangerous chemicals lurking in your swimming pool that can risk your children’s health.


    Inflatable sprinkler and swimming aids, like bathing rings and arm bands, often have a distinctive smell which could indicate that they contain a range of potentially hazardous substances.


    Some of these compounds, which include carbonyl compounds, cyclohexanone, phenol and isophorone, might be critical when present in higher concentrations in children’s toys, said authors Christoph Wiedmer and Andrea Buettner.


    Lead author Wiedmer from Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Germany and his team conducted tests using an inflatable pool, a pair of swimming armbands and two bathing rings they bought off the shelf from local stores and online suppliers in Germany.


    A small piece of material from each sample was analysed using a variety of material analysis techniques, including one that takes infrared measurements, and it was concluded that the inflatable objects were all made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC).


    The researchers then investigated the molecular make-up of the distinctive smells arising from the pool toys. They extracted detectable odours from each sample using solvent extraction and high vacuum distillation methods, and then identified the main odorants using a combination of sensory and common analytical approaches.


    Between 32 and 46 odours were detected in each sample, of which up to thirteen were quite intense. The majority of these odorants were identified and among these were several fatty smelling mono- or di-unsaturated carbonyl compounds and their epoxidised derivatives, but also odouractive organic solvents such as cyclohexanone, isophorone, and phenol.


    As part of the study, a panel of trained volunteers sniffed each product, and ascribed common odour attributes to these. They also rated the intensity of each odour, and had to guess whether these could be hazardous. Three of the products reminded the panellists of almonds, plastic and rubber, while the fourth more pungent one reminded them of glue and nail polish.


    Wiedmer expressed his concern that some of the products contain potentially hazardous chemicals that could pose a risk to children’s health, depending on the degree of exposure and concentration levels in the products. Cyclohexanone can be harmful if inhaled, phenol is known to be acutely toxic and to presumably have mutagenic potential and isophorone is a category 2 carcinogen, which means that this is a suspect substance in the development of cancer in humans.


    “A range of these substances are not yet resolved in their chemical structures. Likewise, potential negative effects on humans, such as irritation, smell nuisance, or other physiological or psychosomatic effects still need to be resolved,” said Wiedmer.


    “Modern products such as toys and children’s products are sourced from a wide variety of chemical and physical manufacturing processes, and this complexity often makes it difficult for us to identify those containing contaminants and unwanted substances, and to determine their causes,” noted Wiedmer. “However, we found that in a number of cases our noses can guide us to ‘sniff out’ problematic products.”


    The study appears in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (ABC).

    Backyards and patios have been working hard all year because of the pandemic, and this summer they can provide new ways to cool off and have fun in the water.


    Whether you have a lot of space or a little, there’s gear ranging from water tables and tubs for kids to floating loungers with drink holders for adults.


    One company, Minnidip, makes inflatable “adult kiddie pools” that aim to transport you to some exotic travel destination. Patterns on the Marrakesh pool reference Moroccan architectural details, while the Amalfi is a nod to the blue, yellow and white tile of the Italian coast.


    “Because for me, having a pool on our urban Chicago rooftop felt like being transported to another place,” says company founder Emily Vaca. “I wanted to capture that feeling through design and pattern. “


    Minnidip also offers inflatable drinks coolers and glam pool balls filled with gold confetti, among other offerings.


    The only water table that lets you make waves, Little Tikes’ Island Wavemaker has a water wheel, plus cute sea creatures and a wee pirate to send paddling around the waterway or down the waterfall. Toddlers can practice their fine motor skills with Little Tikes’ Spinning Seas Water Table; small balls, a cup, a funnel and a water wheel set up the fun.


    Step2’s two-sided Waterfall Discovery Wall has adjustable toggles, spinners and chutes to send the water tumbling in lots of different ways. And Lakeshore Learning’s Watch It Flow water table features three plastic logs that can be configured however you wish. Fill the logs using a hose or bucket; gates control the flow and can close up to make long tubs.


    Foamo, also from the folks at Little Tikes, creates mountains of easy-to-clean-up foam when you add the nontoxic, biodegradable foam solution to water.




    Turn on the hose and attach it to West Elm's inflatable car bed or giant shark mouth sprinklers. Fat Brain Toy’s Hydro Twist Pipeline Sprinkler has a couple of fountains, plus a bunch of wiggly worm hoses. Or hook up to BigMouth’s giant 6-foot-high unicorn, who shoots water out of her horn. There’s a ginormous ape, giraffe, dinosaur and giraffe here as well.




    Giant inflatable water wheels let you find your inner hamster. You can find ones online for toddlers, while Wow Watersports has a grownup version they call the Aqua Treadmill.


    Don’t forget the family pets; a nonporous, puncture-resistant floating dog bed at Frontgate comes in a bunch of colors and three sizes.


    Chewy has ZippyPaws Floaterz sturdy turtle-shaped water toys for dogs, as well as rope-handled bumpers and a variety of floating balls.


    A hard-sided kiddie pool can be a good non-inflatable option for cooling off; just hose it out and stow away. Other pluses: The doggos will also have fun splashing around in it, and it makes a great sand or snow play zone in colder weather. The Sun Squad Wading Kiddie Pool is inexpensive and has an embossed bottom, so it’s less slippery.




    A basic heavy-duty plastic water slide or “slip and slide” can be set up in most backyards; if yours doesn’t come with an attached barrier at the bottom, make sure to put something soft there.


    Studio 21 Graphix’s slide has a crash pad at the finish line, plus two lanes for racing and a sprinkler curtain to pass thru on the way down. Wow Watersports’ Strike Zone Water Slide is 25-by-6 feet of slipperiness; zigzag sprinkler patterns assure a wet ride, fat pontoons on either side keep riders inside, and two sleds are included. Got a really long yard? Get two; they can be interconnected.


    If you’ve got lots of space, consider Costway’s inflatable Bounce House and Water Slide, with a bounce area, water gun, two slides, a basketball hoop and several balls. It comes with a storage bag for easy transport.




    Marisa Issa of Los Angeles says her family’s favorite pool games are corn hole and a floating basketball hoop, but her favorite is a floating mat from Frontgate “that only mom can use,” she says. The sleek, minimalist white float has a headrest, and is made of marine-grade dense foam, suitable for chlorine or saltwater pools.


    If you prefer sitting up a little, Frontgate’s got a floating armchair with attached ottoman. Choose from aqua, blue or flamingo pink. Or splash out on a full-size pool chaise kitted out with drink holders.


    Want to hang out with a handful of friends in a backyard pool? Funboy has a 9-foot-wide floating metallic crown with drink holders. Or lounge luxuriously in the company’s Bali Cabana Lounger, with a curved integrated shade, a tropical leaf print, cup holders and handy grab ropes.


    BigMouth has some food-related inflatables like a giant ice pop, pizza slice, donut, watermelon slice, cheeseburger and taco.

    At first, glance, laying on an inflatable toy in shallow water seems pretty safe. After all, the water isn't deep, and there is a floating toy right there. Recently, a family's trip to the beach in Nova Scotia proved to be a harrowing reminder of why this is not the case. In August, two 5-year-olds played in shallow water – one in an inflatable ring, the other on an inflatable roller. Because the girls were in shallow water, their caregiver assumed the inflatable toys were enough. It wasn't until the girls began to drift away from that the complete danger of the situation became clear.


    Inflatable toys can be dangerous

    Because they are so light and buoyant, they tend to drift in the water or deflate when they get wet. That's when it's a problem. Kids don't know when their toys are deflated and cannot compensate when they're in the water. They can get trapped in the holes or strangle. When the girls got stuck, their caregiver did the right thing by calling for help. First responders rescued the girls and took them to the hospital to be treated for their injuries. While it's infrequent that inflatable toys are the source of injury to kids, it's good to know that they can pose a hazard. The numbers aren't obvious, but it seems that they're responsible for 1 in every 100 boating-related deaths in the U.S. and are one of the leading causes of drowning for children aged 4-6.


    Why Inflatable Toys Can Be Dangerous

    The giant inflatable was much bigger than the girls and began to drag the mattress toward shore, according to the parent of one of the girls who spoke with CTVNews. However, the inflatable ring wasn't nearly as big or heavy and was drifting with the current. The girls eventually lost hold of both and drifted a considerable distance. The girls' parents rushed to the scene and tried to retrieve their children, but the current was too firm, and the military eventually rescued them. The girls were found to be unharmed. Since this incident, many parents have expressed concerns about the safety of inflatable toys.
Posted23 / 09 / 2021
Wire Rope Slings
Wire Rope Slings

    Wire Rope Slings

    Wire rope is constructed of multiple strands of wire that are twisted and braided together to form a spiral design or helix. Once the separate wires are shaped into a solid form, they become a single wire with greater strength because the individual wires equalize pressure and have greater flexibility than the individual strands.


    To further enhance the strength of wire ropes, they are grouped and wound together to produce cables, which adds to their usefulness as a means of support, ability to lift, and give structural stability.


    A key factor in wire rope is the lay of the strands, which can be regular or lang. With regular lay, or right and ordinary lay, the strands are wound from left to right with the wires laid in the opposite direction of the lay of the strands. With lang lay, the wires are wound in the same direction.


    The structure and design of wire rope produces a final product that has superior strength, excellent strength flexibility, and the ability to handle constant bending stress as well as being weather resistant.


    Wire rope is one of those products that has found a place in a wide variety of industries since it can be adapted and shaped to fit several applications. It can be found as a tow cable for boats and airplanes or in the movie industry as a harness for stunt artists. The varied uses of wire rope have made it an essential part of operations that require a rope with strength, endurance, and flexibility.


    Uses for Wire Rope

    Aeronautics –

    In the aerospace industry, wire ropes, or Bowden cables, connect pedals and levers in airplane cockpit to send power to aircraft systems to control the airplane. The things that are controlled by wire ropes are propeller pitch, cowl flaps, and throttle. Wire ropes on aircraft are insulated to avoid vibrations.


    Wire rope is extensively used in the auto industry for a wide variety of applications due to its versatility and strength. It is used for raising windows and opening and closing sunroofs. Other uses include steering wheels, cables, exhausts, springs, sunroofs, doors, and seat components. In the manufacturing process, wire rope is used to hoist vehicles, move large body parts, and on hoists and cranes.


    Construction –

    The construction industry has a greatest reliance on wire rope because of the need to lift and lower heavy loads. Wire rope used in construction must have extremely high strength and exceptional performance for safety reasons and efficiency. Larger versions of wire rope are used for suspension bridges and supporting concrete columns.


    Food Processing –

    The main use of wire rope in food processing is for lifting, moving loads, and other heavy tasks. Finished products or raw materials require being moved in storage units and processing centers. The strength and endurance of wire rope makes it possible to move these materials. Wire rope for food processing must be able to withstand regular chemical cleaning.


    Oil and Gas Industry –

    As with other industries, the oil and gas industry needs strong and reliable equipment for moving heavy equipment. In ocean drilling, machinery is dropped into the ocean using wire rope to securely hold devices to be dropped to extreme depths. Wire ropes are designed to withstand the extreme pressure and stress required. A further use of wire ropes for drilling operations is to maintain stability in the drilling lines. One of the unique features of oil rig wire rope is its length, which can exceed 10,000 feet.


    Marine Industry –

    A very common use for wire rope is mooring and towing of sea and freshwater boats and vessels. In the shipbuilding industry, wire rope is used to secure lifeboats as well as lower them into the water. On sailboats, wire rope is used to lift and lower sails. The benefit of using wire rope is its resistance to corrosion and rust caused by salt water and ocean mist.

    Skiing –

    The skiing industry, much like heavy equipment industries, uses wire rope to hold cars, lifts, or chairs to transport skiers up the mountain. This type of wire rope comes in several varieties depending on the size of the mountain. The benefits of wire rope for skiing is its dependability, guaranteed safety, and reliability. The main challenge of wire rope for use in sports is the weather conditions it must endure.


    Amusement Parks –

    Since the beginnings of amusement parks, wire rope has been an essential part of attraction construction. It is used to bring roller coaster cars to the top of the ride, hold swings, and pull various vehicles through attractions. One of the main concerns of public amusement parks is safety since rides are filled with powerful machinery designed to operate continuously.


    Stunt Work –

    Making the dangerous and exciting shots in movies requires well planned safety precautions. One of the aspects of that planning is wire rope that is designed to protect performers when they are engaged in dangerous and life threatening shots. Dependable wire ropes are ideal since they have the flexibility, strength, endurance, and versatility to be adapted to any conditions.


    The types of wire rope are determined by the number of wires in each strand and how many are in the rope, which is defined by a two number system with the first number being the number of wires and the second being the number of wires in each strand. For example, a 6x19 wire rope has 6 wires in 19 strands.


    The wire below is a 7x7 stainless steel wire rope of grade 302 stainless steel. As can be seen in the diagram, it has seven wires and seven strands.


    Types of Wire Rope Products

    There are a wide variety of products that are produced using wire rope. The demand for wire rope products is due to its strength, durability, and reliability. Since the basic purpose of wire rope is to lift and move heavy materials and items, the most common type of wire rope product is the wire rope sling.


    Wire Rope Slings –

    Though the construction of soft eye wire rope sling is very similar for all types, there are certain variations applied to slings to adjust them to fit different applications. Slings are configured in various ways to fit different types of loads. These changes are referred to as hitches.


    Hitches –

    Vertical Hitch: A vertical hitch is where one eye of the wire rope is attached to the hook and the other eye is attached to the load.

    Thimble hand spliced wire rope sling: To add to the strength of wire rope slings and lessen the stress on a small area of the eye, a thimble, a U shaped piece into which the wire rope fits, is placed in the eye, which helps the sling to retain its natural shape. The thimble is positioned to prevent the hook or load from coming in contact with the wire rope.

    Coiled Wire Rope –

    Coiled wire rope is made from bundles of small metal wires that are twisted into a coil. It comes in many varieties and is easy to store since it does not require a spool. Coiled wire rope is produced in coils. When it is not in use, it springs back into a coil, which makes it easy to handle.


    Cable Wire Rope –

    Cable wire rope is a type of high strength rope, made of several individual filaments. These filaments are twisted into strands and helically wrapped around a core. One of the most common types of wire rope cable is steel cable.


    Push Pull Wire Rope –

    Push pull wire rope assemblies are used to send force and are used in the aircraft, exercise, medical, automotive, and office equipment industries. Unlike using a single heavy wire, push pull assemblies made with wire rope are stiffer and have a larger bend radii for smoother motion of the wire.


    Wire rope lanyards are a standard wire rope product that have a multitude of uses. They are produced using the same process that is used to produce wire rope with the same numbering categorizing system. Lanyards are used to hold fasteners, hardware, or components to prevent loss of an item or prevent injury.


    As can be seen in the image below, lanyards come with a variety of connectors to specifically fit an application. Custom designed lanyards are designed for unusual and unique functions where a standard lanyard will not fit. The variety of connectors allows the lanyard to be easily connected.

    Chapter Four – How Wire Rope Products are Made

    In many ways, wire rope is a form of machine with multiple moving parts. Normally, when we think of a machine, we imagine a device with a motor, drives, and gears. Wire rope does not have any of those components but does fit the definition of being a complex mechanism. It has moving parts that work together to move heavy materials and loads.


    The main function of wire rope is to do heavy lifting, which is very dependent on endless wire rope sling. The type of sling is determined by the quality of the wire rope used to form them and whether several ropes have been braided or wound together.


    The Parts of Wire Rope

    The parts of wire rope are wire, a core, strands, and lubricant.


    Wire –

    Wire is the smallest part of wire rope but makes up the various strands. The composition of the wire can be steel, iron, stainless steel, copper, or other types of metal wires and are produced in different grades. The individual wires can be coated or bright, meaning uncoated.


    Strands –

    Strands are sets of wires that are twisted together and are placed in a helical pattern around the core. The size of the wire determines its abrasive qualities with larger wires being more abrasive and less flexible than smaller ones.


    Core –

    The core is the center of the wire rope and serves as a support for the strands and helps the wire rope keep its position when it is under stress or bearing a load.


    Lubrication –

    Lubrication is applied during the manufacturing process to reduce friction between the wires and strands as well as protection from corrosion and rust. The tight winding of the wires enhances the ability of the wire rope to retain the lubrication which is essential to its longevity.


    Manufacture of Wire Rope Slings

    Of all of the products that are made from wire rope, slings are the most common and widely used. These looped wire ropes come in different varieties and grades depending on the type of wire used. Also, to enhance wire sling performance, several wire ropes may be wound together to form a sturdier and more reliable sling.


    Unspooling –

    For delivery for processing, wire rope is spooled. The production of grommet wire rope sling begins with unspooling the wire rope.

    Installing the Compression Sleeve –

    The tails and stray wires of the wire rope have to be straightened and properly formed before applying the compression sleeve. Once the sleeve has been placed, it is carefully checked to be sure that it is accurately engaged.


    Swaging –

    Prior to placing the wire rope sling in the swaging die, the die has to be thoroughly lubricated. Once the die is set, the wire rope’s compression sleeve and the wire rope are compressed using several hundred thousand pounds of force. The swaging process alters the dimensions of the wire rope and compression sleeve to form a tight connection for the correct diameter for the sling connection. As force is applied, the compression sleeve is turned so that pressure is evenly applied.
Posted23 / 09 / 2021
Practical Uses of Botanicals in Skin Care
Practical Uses of Botanicals in Skin Care

    Practical Uses of Botanicals in Skin Care

    Cosmeceuticals are the fastest growing sector of the cosmetic industry, and the future of antiaging cosmeceuticals in particular is very promising. Botanical pesticide that support the health, texture, and integrity of the skin, hair, and nails are widely used in cosmetic formulations. They form the largest category of cosmeceutical additives found in the marketplace today due to the rising consumer interest and demand for natural products. Various plant extracts that formed the basis of medical treatments in ancient civilizations and many traditional cultures are still used today in cleansers, moisturizers, astringents, and many other skin care products. New botanical skin care treatments are emerging, presenting dermatologists and their patients the challenge of understanding the science behind these cosmeceuticals. Thus, dermatologists must have a working knowledge of these botanicals and keep up with how they evolve to provide optimal medical care and answer patient questions. The most popular botanicals commonly incorporated into skin care protocols are discussed.


    The cosmeceutical market is one of constant fluctuation depending upon consumer demand. Skin care companies are continuously pressured to release new, innovative products that promise to transform the appearance of aging skin overnight. Over the past decade, there has been fervent interest in products found in nature because of their perceived safety. Skin care products are often developed from plants. Many believe that if a product can be safely ingested, it will also be safe for topical application. In general, plant-derived, botanical feed additives, cosmeceutical products tend to be antioxidant in action since these organisms must thrive in constant direct ultraviolet (UV) light, the Earth's most prolific manufacturer of free radicals. In this article, the authors review the most popular ingredients in this class and comment on their possible usefulness in skin care protocols.


    Soy extract has positive research support for its antioxidant, antiproliferative, and anticarcinogenic activities. Topical application of soy has been used to reduce hyperpigmentation, enhance skin elasticity, control oil production, moisturize the skin, and delay hair regrowth.1 Soy also has the potential to decrease photoaging of the skin and prevent skin cancers through the estrogen-type and antioxidant effects of its metabolites.1


    The major components of soy are phospholipids, such as phosphatidylcholine and essential fatty acids. The minor components of soy include the most active compounds, such as isoflavones, saponins, essential amino acids, phytosterols, calcium, potassium, iron, and proteases soybean trypsin inhibitor (STI) and Bowman-Birk inhibitor (BBI). The various components of soy have a variety of beneficial effects making them useful additions to skin care products. The most potent isoflavones are the phytoestrogens known as genistein and daidzein. Genistein is a potent antioxidant that inhibits lipid peroxidation and chemical and ultraviolet light B (UVB)-induced carcinogenesis. Genistein was shown to significantly inhibit chemical, carcinogen-induced, reactive oxygen species; oxidative DNA damage; and proto-oncogene expression, as well as the initiation and promotion of skin carcinogenesis in mouse skin.2 Topical estrogens have been shown to promote collagen synthesis and increase skin thickness, which may be beneficial for postmenopausal women who develop a thinner dermis and decreased collagen.3 The small proteases STI and BBI appear to promote skin lightening and reduce unwanted facial and body hair in human clinical trials.3,4 Beyond the depigmenting activity, STI, BBI, and soy milk were also found to prevent UV-induced pigmentation both in vitro and in vivo.5 In addition, soy lipids, lecithins, and phytosterols are believed to restore barrier function and replenish moisture.


    Beyond its moisturizing ability, soy appears to be a safe and effective treatment for postmenopausal women and for hyperpigmentation disorders (other than melasma, which is somewhat estrogen mediated). Although further research is necessary, the antioxidant and anticarcinogenic activities of soy and its isoflavones show a promising role for this botanical fertilizer additives in the cosmeceutical industry. Soy has therefore become a popular addition to a wide variety of skin care products (see Table 1).


    Green tea extracts are among the fastest-growing herbal products. While there has been enormous growth in green tea consumption as a dietary supplement, the use of tea extracts in cosmeceutical formulations is also on the rise. The complex polyphenolic compounds in tea provide the same protective effect for the skin as for internal organs. They have been shown to modulate biochemical pathways that are important in cell proliferation, inflammatory responses, and responses of tumor promoters.6 Green tea has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in both human and animal skin.


    Since inflammation and oxidative stress appear to play a significant role in the aging process, green tea may also have antiaging effects by decreasing inflammation and scavenging free radicals. Researchers have found that the main active ingredient in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), works well as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and sunscreen. Topical green tea applied to human skin has been shown to provide a photoprotective effect, reduce the number of sunburn cells, protect epidermal Langerhans cells from UV damage, and reduce the DNA damage that formed after UV radiation.7 Green tea polyphenols, when combined with traditional sunscreens, may have an additive or synergistic photoprotective effect. Green tea has also been found to decrease melanoma cells in tissue culture and squamous cell carcinoma cell formation in mice with topical and oral administration. Additionally, it improves wound healing by increasing keratinocyte cell differentiation and has been shown to inhibit Streptococcus species and Escherichia coli.8


    Natural flavonoids, such as green or black tea polyphenols have been show to reduce UVB-induced erythema, tumorigenesis, and immunosuppression in mice.9,10 White tea appears to be a more potent antioxidant than green tea. Black tea has a much lower content of catechins than green tea, but a higher content of other flavonoids, such as quercetin, theaflavin, and kaempferol. Black tea extracts applied before and after UV light challenge have been shown to decrease signs of cutaneous photodamage, carcinogenesis, and inflammation in human and mouse skin.3


    Most cosmeceutical products containing tea extracts or phenols have not been tested in controlled clinical trials, but these substances have shown compelling evidence for antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic activities. There are currently several products that contain green tea extract on the market (see Table 2). Unfortunately, the concentration of phenols is not standardized in these products; therefore, some products may have little-to-no therapeutic effect, making purchasing them a challenge for consumers. It is generally accepted that five-percent green tea extract or polyphenols in the 90-percent range is an effective concentration.


    German chamomile, or Matricaria recutita, has been used throughout history as an herbal treatment for various skin conditions. It functions as an antimicrobial, antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic and was approved by the German Commission E for inflammatory mucocutaneous diseases and wound and burn therapy.3 The active constituents of chamomile include the terpenoids (bisoprolol, matricine, levomenol, chamazulene), flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin, rutin, quercetin), hydroxycoumarins, mono- and oligosaccharides, and mucilages. Chamazulene exhibits anti-inflammatory activity and promotes wound healing. Levomenol is an anti-inflammatory and natural moisturizing agent that has been found to diminish the signs of photodamage, reduce pruritus, and ameliorate skin texture and elasticity. In addition to reports of anti-inflammatory effects, chamomile is also purported to have some antioxidant properties, which have been identified through chemical assays.11,12


    While chamomile is generally considered a safe product, there have been reports of contact dermatitis and conjunctivitis following topical application of chamomile products, and there is a potential risk of angioedema and anaphylaxis. Chamomile can also interact with warfarin, promoting an additive anticoagulant effect.


    Clinical studies appear to support the traditional uses and therapeutic benefit of topical chamomile. This herb has been included in a wide variety of cosmetic products including soothing moisturizers and cleansers as well as color-enhancing hair products (see Table 3).


    Caffeine, the chemical pesticide in coffee, tea, and some soft drinks, has demonstrated both anticarcinogenic and antioxidant properties. Initially, caffeine's potential inhibitory role in cancer development was found through studying oral administration of black and green tea.13 This study illustrated that the oral administration of caffeine alone and the addition of caffeine to decaffeinated teas showed inhibitory effects of UVB-induced carcinogenesis. Oral administration of caffeine has also been associated with in-vivo upregulation of tumor suppressor genes.14


    Continued research revealed that topical application of caffeine inhibits carcinogenesis and promotes apoptosis in sunburn cells of hairless SKH-1, UVB-pretreated mice.15 Researchers found that topical application of the tea constituents caffeine and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) decreased the number of nonmalignant and malignant skin tumors in SKH-1 hairless mice pretreated with UVB. While caffeine performed better than EGCG, both treatments resulted in elevated apoptosis in nonmalignant skin tumors and squamous cell carcinomas. The results suggest a need for further studies to determine whether topical applications of caffeine or EGCG can inhibit sunlight-induced skin cancer in humans. Further studies by the same authors found that topical application of caffeine sodium benzoate and caffeine have both a sunscreen effect and enhance UVB-induced apoptosis and may be good agents for inhibiting the formation of sunlight-induced skin cancer.16


    These studies present a potential use for caffeine in formulations used to decrease the risk of skin cancer formation after cutaneous damage from UV exposure. More studies need to be done to further examine caffeine's antioxidant potential. The above findings have prompted many manufacturers to add this popular agent to various cosmeceutical products on the market today (see Table 4).


    Coffeeberry, harvested from the fruit of the coffee plant Coffea arabica, is considered to be one of the richest sources of antioxidants and is well known for its skin-rejuvenation properties. Coffeeberry contains potent polyphenols including chlorogenic acid, ferrulic acid, quinic acid, and condensed proanthocyanidins. The dermatologic application of CoffeeBerry? (J&J Technologies LC) extract was first recognized at the American Academy of Dermatology's Annual Meeting in February 2007. The first product to enter the market with CoffeeBerry as the basic ingredient is RevaléSkin (Stiefel Laboratories, Inc., Coral Gables, Florida) (see Table 5).


    According to Stiefel Laboratories, Inc., CoffeeBerry has demonstrated high antioxidant properties, outperforming green tea extract and vitamins C and E. Proprietary research from the manufacturer has also shown that the use of the RevaléSkin CoffeeBerry skin care system consisting of 0.1% CoffeeBerry cleanser and 1% day and night creams showed statistically significant improvement in fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, and overall appearance when compared to vehicle. In addition to the evidence of safety and efficacy provided by the randomized, double-blind trials, further support comes from positive pathologic and in-vitro studies showing enhanced collagen production by fibroblasts. Studies are currently in progress to evaluate the use of the CoffeeBerry skin care system in conjunction with retinoids and intense pulsed-light treatments.17 More clinical studies need to be performed to fully assess the topical preparations containing CoffeeBerry extract, but polyphenols have already demonstrated efficacy in photoaging and skin cancer prevention.


    The inclusion of botanical animal remedy additives in skin care products is becoming ever more popular. Potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits may prove beneficial for a number of conditions that dermatologists routinely treat, such as rosacea, photoaging, and skin cancer. The published effectiveness of prescription retinoids is well known, but equally well known is the irritation and redness often caused by the initiation of therapy. Botanicals may hold the promise of utility to reduce such inflammation. This is one of the best and most practical reasons to include botanicals in skin care protocols. Dermatologists should be aware of these products and be able to discuss their uses and potential benefits with their patients.

Posted23 / 09 / 2021
Pipe Fittings
Pipe Fittings

    Pipe Fittings

    This chapter presents various types of pipe fittings. Of all the fittings, the elbow is the one most often used. Simply put, the elbow, or ell, is used when a pipe changes direction. Elbows can turn up, down, left, right, or any angle in between. When one finds it necessary to draw a 90° elbow or calculate how much space it will occupy in a routing configuration, knowing its length becomes essential. An elbow's length is commonly referred to as the center-to-end dimension and is measured from the centerpoint of its radius to the end of either opening. Dimensional sizes of fittings are typically provided by the manufacturer of the fitting. Manufacturers issue dimensioning charts containing lengths for a particular fitting. Another elbow that may be used under certain circumstances and with permission from the customer is the 90° short-radius elbow. The 90° short-radius ell makes a much sharper turn than does the long-radius ell.


    Emissions from Pipe Fittings and Gaskets

    Threaded pipe fittings in the seal flush line can be significant leak sources, with readings above 1,000 ppm.4,17 Similar emission levels may be measured near the gasket region on the seal chamber face. Any leakage from these areas may drift into the emission measurement area for the mechanical seal. The mechanical seal may then be erroneously implicated as a leaker. It should be standard practice to sniff nearby hydraulic fittings and the flange gasket area if excessive VOC concentrations are detected adjacent to the mechanical seal.


    Leak-tight threaded pipe fittings can be more easily attained using anaerobic paste-type sealants rather than PTFE tape. The seal chamber face must be smooth to be emission tight. Gaskets and O-rings must be free of nicks and scratches.


    32.16.2 Thermoplastic Fittings Manufacturing

    Thermoplastic pipe fittings may be injection-molded, fabricated, rotomolded, or thermoformed. Injection-molded fittings are generally made in sizes through 12-in. nominal diameter. Typical molded fittings are tees, 45-degree and 90-degree elbows, reducers, couplings, caps, flange adapters, stub ends, branch saddles, service saddles, and self-tapping saddle tees. Electrofusion couplings and fittings are either made by injection molding or machined from pipe stock. Electrofusion fittings and couplings are made with a coil-like integral heating element incorporated into the fitting. Joining with other fittings uses an electrical fusion device that provides electricity into the heating element, which melts the adjacent thermoplastic material and creates a fusion-welded joint.


    Larger-diameter fittings exceed the capabilities of injection molding and are typically fabricated. Rotomolding is used for the manufacture of polyethylene large-diameter (up to 60 in.) and custom fittings for polyethylene corrugated drainage piping applications.


    Thermoformed fittings are made by heating a section of pipe and then using a forming tool to reshape the heated area. Examples of thermoformed fittings are sweep elbows, swaged reducers, and forged stub ends. Some polyethylene corrugated pipe fittings and appurtenances are also thermoformed.


    All proprietary joints shall be made in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Care shall be taken to establish satisfactory jointing techniques for all water service pipework. When making joints by welding, brazing, or soldering, precautions shall be taken to avoid the risk of fire. All burrs shall be removed from the ends of pipes and any jointing materials used shall be prevented from entering the waterways. All piping and fittings shall be cleaned internally and free from particles of sand, soil, metal filings, and chips, etc.


    8.19.3 Cast iron pipes

    Flexible mechanical joints shall be made in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.


    For molten lead joints, the spigot and socket shall be centered with rings of dry yarn caulked tightly into the bottom of the spigot to prevent the entry of lead into the bore of the pipe and to prevent contact of lead with the water.


    Synthetic yarns that do not promote the growth of bacteria shall be used to prevent contamination of the water. The remainder of the joint space shall be filled with molten lead (taking care that no dross enters the joint), cold wire, strip, or spun lead (lead wool). The joint shall be caulked to a smooth finish with pneumatic tools or a hand hammer of mass not less than 1.5 kg. When working with spun lead, caulking tools shall be of a thickness to fill the joint space, ensuring thorough consolidation of the material to the full depth of the socket.


    Lead joints shall be finished about 3 mm inside the face of the socket.


    Flange joints shall be made with screwed or cast on flanges.


    8.19.4 Steel pipes

    Welded joints shall not be used where a protective lining would be damaged by heat, or where the pipework is employed as a primary circulation to an indirect hot water heating system.


    Screwed joints in steel piping shall be made with screwed socket joints using wrought iron, steel, or malleable double crimping fitting. A thread filler shall be used. Exposed threads left after jointing shall be painted or, where installed underground, thickly coated with bituminous or other suitable corrosion preventative agent.


    Flange joints shall be made with screwed or welded flanges of steel or cast iron using jointing rings and, if necessary, a suitable jointing paste. The nuts shall be carefully tightened, in opposite pairs, until the jointing ring is sufficiently compressed between the flanges for a watertight joint.


    8.19.5 Unplasticized PVC pipes Mechanical joints

    Mechanical joints in unplasticized PVC piping of sizes 2 and upwards shall be made in accordance with BS4346: Part 2, by the use of push-fit integral elastomeric sealing rings which are compressed when the plain ended pipes are inserted into the adjoining sockets. The plain pipe ends shall be chamfered and the surfaces cleaned and lubricated.


    The chamfered pipe end shall be inserted fully into the adjoining socket (except where provision is to be made for expansion), or as far as any locating mark put on the spigot end by the manufacturer. The sealing rings shall comply with BS2494.

  Compression joints

    Compression joints shall only be used with unplasticized PVC piping of size 2 and smaller. The joints shall be of the nonmanipulative type. Care shall be taken to avoid overtightening.

  Solvent cement welded joints

    Solvent cement welded joints in unplasticized PVC piping shall be made using solvent cement complying with BS4346: Part 3 recommended by the manufacturer of the pipe. The dimensions of the spigots and sockets shall comply with BSEN1452: Part 1–5.


    Joints may also be made using integral sockets formed in the pipes and solvent cemented.

  Flanged joints

    Flanged joints used for connections to valves and fittings shall use full-face flanges or stub flanges, both with corrosion resistant or immune backing rings and bolting.

  Polyethylene pipes

    Mechanical joints shall be either plastics or metal proprietary compression fittings, for example, brass, gunmetal, or malleable iron. These shall include insert liners to support the bore of the pipe except where the manufacturer of the fitting instructs otherwise.


    To ensure satisfactory jointing of the materials from which the pipe and transition elbow are made compatibility shall be established. The manufacturer’s instructions shall be carefully followed.


    No attempt shall be made to joint polyethylene piping by solvent cement welding.

    Large pipe fittings and valve components must be press forged and will require extensive machining. Whereas small parts such as the flange previously described can be quickly heated and cooled, and given optimum process conditions, should exhibit microstructure and properties similar to pipe and tube, the properties of large forgings will be location and thickness dependent. While no large forged part has yet been made from 740H, the properties of a solution-annealed, water-quenched and aged 343-mm-diameter bar shown in Table 14.2 are informative. Yield strength near the surface is comparable to that of thin wall tube, but yield strength at the bar center, while meeting ASME minimum, is significantly lower. Ductility and toughness were good. A hardness traverse taken on the as quenched bar showed VHN 170 at the surface and VHN 290 at the center. This is indicative of strong auto-aging in the bar center. Because the γ′ that forms on slow cooling is relatively coarse, after the final aging treatment, the bar center will have lower strength than the surface. The microstructure and creep strength at the center of the bar has not been evaluated.


    A calculated continuous cooling transformation diagram for alloy 740H is shown in Fig. 14.26. This diagram supports the notion that significant γ′ hardening will occur even during water quenching of a large forging. A cooling simulation was conducted for the bar heat treatment using DEFORM software [49]. The cooling rate at a depth of 25 mm was 315°C/min and at the bar center was 30°C/min. Based on the calculated CCT diagram, there should be about 10% γ′ in the center and no γ′ at the surface. That is consistent with the experimental results.


    Filament-wound pipe fittings, such as elbows and tees have been used in the chemical, and oil industry since the 1980s.9 Traditionally, composite pipe fittings were produced manually or semi-manually, but the development of CNC winders with six or more axes has allowed automated production of pipe fittings since the 1990s. The efficiency of these advanced machines depends on methods and software to determine winding patterns and perform fabrication of the complex shape within manufacturing specifications. Winding pattern generation is particularly challenging since a substantial amount of data storage/processing is required to meet manufacturing requirements (e.g., fiber tension and full-coverage) of non-axisymmetric patterns, which are required for filament-wound elbows or tees.72 On the other hand, it is worth noting that CAM software capability, rather than hardware, is considered the limiting factor for improving the performance of automated winders of non-axisymmetric parts. Consequently, general-purpose filament winding systems for pipe fittings are currently deemed impractical due to the lack of universal mathematical models and design software for CAM.9,73 Although some progress has been made to determine closed-form solutions for efficient winding patterns on specific shapes, such as elbows,74,75 most CAM systems still implement approximate methods to design and produce specific pipe fitting geometries.73 An illustration of a software-generated winding pattern, and the resulting wound elbow, is included in Fig. 11.75


    Leaking valves and pipe fittings are the next concern when pressure is dropping during a test. Test sections should be isolated at pipeline block valves by using slip blinds to insure no leakage. If the test section cannot be blinded but the valves are double blocked instead, the operator must measure pressure increase in the adjacent section between the double-blocked valves to insure a tight seal exists. You need to be careful when using a thin “fire blind” at an isolation valve because under pressure the thin blind will deform and the blind cannot be removed without removing the entire valve. This often requires calling in vacuum trucks to remove product on the opposite side of the test valve being removed.


    So, leakage through valves and fittings jeopardizes the chances for a successful test and may lead to data that cannot be correlated, and in that situation, the pipeline must be retested.


    Tree piping is defined as all pipe, fittings, or pressure conduits, excluding valves and chokes, from the vertical bores of the tree to the flowline connections. The piping may be used for production, pigging, monitoring, injection, servicing, or testing of the subsea tree. Inboard tree piping is upstream of the first tree wing valves. Outboard tree piping is downstream of the first tree wing valve and upstream of the flowline connector.


    Tree piping is normally designed in accordance with ASME B31.3. The guidelines in the API specifications are general and, in many cases, open to interpretation. It is up to the manufacturer to apply his engineering judgment.
Posted23 / 09 / 2021
Best smart bulbs for your connected home
Best smart bulbs for your connected home

    Best smart bulbs for your connected home

    Smart LED bulbs that can be controlled by a hub or smartphone app are no longer a new idea. What is new is how far this technology has come since its advent just a few years ago. Also new: Products like the Nanoleaf Light Panels—a system of interlocking LED panels that let you decorate with light—fundamentally change the light-bulb concept.

    Smart LED bulbs aren’t quite a commodity, but they are getting close to maturity as far as the market goes. Today’s bulbs are more compact, much brighter, have better color representation, and, for the most part, feature control apps that do more than ever and are easier to set up. Prices have also come down, with some no-name color-tunable bulbs now available for less than $10 each. (Buyer beware: You get what you pay for.)


    With their rainbow of hues and myriad party tricks, color LEDs get all the press in the world of smart lighting. It’s fun stuff, but the reality is that most of us will rarely find much of a need to turn all the lights in the house blue or red—unless it’s time to celebrate our team winning the World Series. Even then, you’ll probably want to turn them all back to white after the celebration.



    White light is also important in its own right, as today there is plenty of science to show how various shades of white—with variations in color temperature—impact our psychological state. Cool light that’s closer to blue has an energizing effect, and is best in the morning. Warm light is relaxing, and is best after the sun goes down. Note, however, that not every white smart LED light is color-temperature-tunable. Check out the specs before you buy.


    White smart bulbs downplay the party features that are a staple of color-tunable bulbs. On the other hand, white smart bulbs are less expensive than color bulbs, making it more affordable to roll them out in multiple rooms.


    We’ve tested just about every color and white smart LED bulb on the market. You’ll find links to all our reviews at the bottom of the page, and we’ll update this story as new models are introduced.


    Philips was one of the first players in this market, and the company’s experience shows. Physically, its Hue Color and Ambiance bulbs haven’t changed much since their introduction in late 2012, but the latest generation lasts a lot longer and the company has added a Bluetooth radio that obviates the need for the Philips Hue Bridge (but most smart home denizens will want the Bridge anyway). The Philips Hue ecosystem is the industry’s deepest and broadest, including not only bulbs of every shape and size imaginable, but also indoor and outdoor fixtures as well, including the Philips Hue Calla pathway light and the Philips Hue Lily outdoor spotlight, both of which we like very much.


    LIFX is a very strong competitor in the smart lighting space and comes a very close second place in our roundup. LIFX no longer has just A19 and BR30 form factors to offer, and we really like its unique  LIFX+ (which has an array of infrared LEDs that will help your home security camera see in the dark), but Philips still delivers much more diversity in its ecosystem and universe of third-party support.


    Our choice won’t surprise anyone who’s been following this market. Philips dominates this space and is also our top pick for best color LED smart bulb. The latest Hue bulbs can be controlled via Bluetooth or Zigbee (the latter requires the Philips Hue Bridge), they deliver high-quality light, and are backed by a strong warranty. We received the BR30 form factor for our review, but the bulb is also available in A19, candelabra, and even with vintage-style LED filaments.


    The new Cree Connected Max line of smart bulbs is agressively priced and available in all the most popular form factors: A19, A21, BR30, and PAR38. The A19 Tunable White + Color Changing bulb we reviewed costs just $10, and it supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, so you don’t need to factor in the added cost of a hub to integrate it into your smart home. It’s a very good product.


    Most home security cameras are equipped with infrared LEDs to deliver a semblance of night vision. the LIFX+ is equipped with infrared LEDs of its own, which are active even when the bulb is turned off via software. Infrared light is invisible to the naked eye, but the LIFX+ can bathe a room in it so that your security camera can see more of the room and in more detail than it can with its own infrared LEDs. 

    The 2020 version of the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus LED is the only strip light to support both Bluetooth and the more robust Zigbee protocol (if you’re willing to pay for the required bridge to connect it to your Wi-Fi network, that is). The very nature of LED light strips renders them delicate devices, and the first review product we received broke after a short amount of time (the second one is holding up just fine). But we haven’t encountered a competing device that’s as versatile as this one. 


    Smart light bulb protocols and features

    Three control technologies continue to vie for leadership in the smart downlight market (Z-Wave is a major contender in smart lighting, but you won’t encounter it in bulbs—just in switches, plug-in modules, control panels, and smart-home hubs).


    Zigbee: Bulbs that use the popular smart-home networking protocol require a bridge to communicate with your home Wi-Fi network. This is the technology Philips has adopted for its Hue lineup, but it’s not the only one.

    Wi-Fi: This class of bulb talks directly to your Wi-Fi router, no hub or bridge required. LIFX and TP-Link both manufacture excellent Wi-Fi smart bulbs, but neither company comes close to Signify’s Philips Hue lineup in terms of the depth and breadth of the Hue ecosystem.

    Bluetooth: These bulbs skip your home network altogether and pair directly with your smartphone or tablet. As such, they can’t be controlled from outside your home. GE and a number of other manufacturers make Bluetooth bulbs, some of better quality than others. Signify has recently added Bluetooth radios to its Philips Hue line of smart GU10 spotlight, which eliminates the need to deploy the Philips Hue Bridge. Taking the bridge out of the equation reduces the overall cost of deployment, but adds some limitations. You can read more in our review of the new Philips Hue bulbs.

    Each of these technologies has pros and cons, so before you attempt to settle on a specific bulb, first try to determine which tech is right for you. If you want to hook your bulbs into a broader smart-home system—such as SmartThings or Nest—Bluetooth bulbs are out. You can control more than one bulb with your phone, but you can’t connect it to sensors or other systems inside your home. Don’t like the idea of pairing a bulb to your phone? A Wi-Fi bulb will work best for you, though you won’t have quite as many options as you’ll find with a Zigbee product.


    Smart bulb, or smart switch?

    There’s a significant argument about the best way to install smart lighting, and two approaches present themselves. You can either go with expensive smart bulbs and control them all individually, or you can use cheap dumb bulbs and install smart switches to control all the lights on that circuit. Both approaches make sense: With smart bulbs, the biggest issue is cost, but there’s also complexity to deal with. While bulbs can usually be grouped based on location, this is only as intuitive to manage as the bulb control app.


    Smart switches, on the other hand, are far more complicated to install—to the point where some users might be uncomfortable dealing with exposed wiring and would prefer to hire an electrician. Smart switches, however, provide more flexibility in many installations.


    Habituated from years of flipping hard-wired switches, many users (or their children) will instinctively use the wall switch to turn the lights out when they leave a room. Once that happens, all the apps in the world won’t be able to turn the light back on until the switch is returned to the on position. While this won’t be an issue if you install smart switches, they can’t change a bulb’s color or color temperature.


    That said, smart bulbs, no matter what the technology, still won’t be right for everyone. Notably, most of these bulbs cannot be dimmed via a hardwired wall switch (it messes with the power going to the radio, rendering them useless). Some will fail even if a dimmer is present on the circuit and dialed up to full power. The quality of light from an LED bulb is likely to be much, much better.


    The good news is that bulb prices are going down, so it’s easier to get started with 2.4G/IR LED bulb and less punishing should you find that a product doesn’t work for you. That said, we want to get you started on the right foot. So without further ado, here are deep dives into the most worthwhile color and white LED smart bulbs on the market. 
Posted23 / 09 / 2021