Winchester inventor strives to make better connections with new patented nuts and bolts
WINCHESTER — Winchester native and inventor Dale E. Van Cor's newly patented nuts and bolts can now be manufactured right in town at Innovative Machine.
Van Cor created the software that enables the CNC machine to make wave thread nuts and bolts, which he believes will one day revolutionize the making of trains, planes and automobiles, hopefully in his lifetime, he said.
About eight years ago, Van Cor set out to revolutionize the world of nuts and bolts with a new fastener technology. The technology, he says, results in fasterners that are stronger and more durable than standard nuts, bolts, pipes or any threaded connection.
“Discovering an additional new way to make physical connections with additional properties is something that will be used for the next thousand years,” Van Cor said. “The wheel and threaded fastener were the first building blocks in our technological tower. Being able to add a brick to that is an accomplishment. So would making money.”
Retired Keene State College mathematician and computer science professor Ron Tourgee said he taught Van Cor in the 1970s and later assisted him when he began his new thread technology.
“He got this idea of making this automobile transmission. The transmission was on a cone. He figured out a way to slide it on a cone. It subsequently led to what he is doing now,” Tourgee said.
Van Cor said he has gone into personal debt over the past eight years working on his invention, but he is determined that his wave thread fasteners are stronger and more durable, so he soldiers on.
“Most people who invent things, they don't live long enough to reap the rewards and he has been doing this for so many years,” Tourgee said. “He's so enthusiastic. He works full time and his wife supports him.”
Van Cor's wife tells him that he makes up for it by being an interesting person to live with, Van Cor said. He is determined to develop his invention to eventual commercialization, he said.
Testing is required, though, and that's expensive. Being able to manufacture at the local machinist shop is the first step in being able to create prototypes to test, said Innovative Machine owner Terry Haskins.
The road to commercialization is off in the distance, Van Cor said. So far, patent attorney Mike Persson of Laconia has helped him secure patents on three different designs for his wave thread technology.
Van Cor said there are many advantages to the wave thread design. With his designs, there is total surface contact, which transmits vibration instead of absorbing it, and efficient heat conduction, he said. They are also less prone to erosion because of the complete seal.
“That's a pretty exciting concept,” Tourgee said. “When they thread, they form a seal ... enough so that you wouldn't need a gasket. So that's an exciting application.”
Unfortunately for Van Cor, threaded connections are viewed as a “problem solved more than 50 years ago, and new kinds of threaded connections are considered highly unlikely.”
“Assistance for independent computer-simulated destruction, such as Finite Element Analysis sought from businesses, industrial organizations and engineering schools, has not been well received,” he said. “The most documented stress failure is fatigue in planes, automobiles, bridges, windmills and more. The most documented static failure is corrosion in pipes and ships. For the most part these are regarded as a cost of doing business.”
Van Cor said his invention is so innovative he hasn't garnered much integrity from engineers.
“When you come in with something new, it typically takes 20 years; 3D printing was developed in the early '90s at MIT, and it's only in the past few years it's taken hold,” he said. “Good, bad or indifferent, I'm moving forward with this. I may not make it in my lifetime. But the cat's out of the bag. I'm getting inquiries from China and Europe.”
You can read more about the invention at www.vancorthreads.com.