Available Technology

Safety drain system for fluid reservoir

A safety drain system includes a plurality of drain sections, each of which defines distinct fluid flow paths. At least a portion of the fluid flow paths commence at a side of the drain section that is in fluid communication with a reservoir's fluid. Each fluid flow path at the side communicating with the reservoir's fluid defines an opening having a smallest dimension not to exceed approximately one centimeter. The drain sections are distributed over at least one surface of the reservoir. A manifold is coupled to the drain sections.
Patent Abstract: 
Researchers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a system that reduces the entrapment risks associated with a pool or spa's recirculation drain. The technology prevents hazards caused by suction forces on the body, hair, clothing, or other articles. Employing a novel configuration of drainage openings along with parallel paths for water flow, the system redistributes force over a much larger area, minimizing suction force at any localized area. With more efficient drainage and recirculation, the device improves performance, increases safety, and decreases operating costs.The technology can also provide thorough chemical mixing, which improves processes in systems and allows continued operation in the event of localized debris clogging a portion of the recirculation area. All of these benefits come without a protrusive drain cover, leaving the area safe and aesthetically pleasing.

Improved effectiveness: System reduces risk of both suction entrapment and hair/clothing entanglement more efficiently than currently available devices.


Pools and spas: as a drainage recirculation system

Chemical/food processing: for increased efficiency and safety in mixing

Aerospace: to stabilize oscillations and vibrations in fuel tanks

Aquariums and habitats

Training facilities: as underwater tanks or pools used for training divers or astronauts (weightless operations in space)


Raymond J. Cronise

John Dwight England

Anthony R. Kelley

Patent Number: 
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
Patent Status: 
Patent Issue Date: 
December 27, 2012
Lab Representatives
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