"Zauberwatte" against oil contamination
It was an accident, which may have given the world a new weapon in the fight against oil and chemical contamination. Martin Reichl presented this "Zauberwatte" ("wonder wool") at his own stand at the interlift.
Meanwhile, Zauberwatte is on the "list of tested oil binding agents" and was honoured as "patent of the year 2017." The Dekra Umwelt GmbH certificate confirms that the wool can absorb 6.55 times of its own weight in oil without absorbing water at the same time.
"This makes it an ideal way of eliminating contamination by escaped oil – whether in the machine room or when the shaft pit is flooded with water," Reichl emphasised, who established the Universale Produkt- und Servicegesellschaft mbH (UPSG) for marketing purposes.
Conventional binding agents usually take longer to absorb less of the contaminating substances. Several of these agents leave behind chemical residues and most of the binding agents cannot be reused. According to Reichl, the Zauberwatte was superior in every respect, "It is very absorbent, acts quickly and does not have any undesirable side effects.""
At the beginning, there was a glitch
Discovery of the Zauberwatte was actually a glitch. While attempting to obtain a new kind of micronized wax, an employee of Deurex let a machine run overnight at the wrong temperature and pressure settings.
Next morning, the floor was covered with a fluffy, fibrous substance, which the employee jokingly quickly referred to as "Zauberwatte."
Reichl demonstrated the effectiveness of the Zauberwatte at the interlift in a bowl of water contaminated with oil. Then he took a small quantity of special wool to soak up the oil. "If it were drinking water quality before, it is again now," he explained.
Minimising contamination in work
Zauberwatte was not the only product UPSG presented at the interlift. Apart from a fleece cloth and mat, a hose was also presented, all made of Zauberwatte. The fleece cloth was very suitable for the use of fitters who had to combat oil contamination in installations, according to UPSG managing director Martin Reichl. The fleece immediately soaked up the oil completely down to the core of the cloth and no longer released the oil.
The Zauberwatte hose provided new options for considerably minimising contamination in work on jacks, compression hoses or drill holes (direct hydraulic) in hydraulic systems.
One area of application for the hose was for example replacing a jack seal, "First, you wrap the hose around the hydraulic jack like a sleeve - a fast, sure-fire way of catching the escaping oil," explained Reichl. "Otherwise, the oil will run down the jack and pollute the shaft pit."".
Recycling system developed
In addition, UPSG has developed a recycling system, "In my experience as lift fitter, I’m familiar with the problem of disposing of oil-polluted materials," the managing director emphasised. "That’s why we don’t just sell the Zauberwatte, but also collect it and recycle the materials."
The great advantage of Zauberwatte was that spin-drying the wool separated the oil from the wool and both the Zauberwatte and oil could be recycled.