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Inside Iowa State
Gold bar
Aug. 15, 2003

Iowa industry's 'Scotland Yard'

by Debra Gibson
They cracked The Case of the Chewed-Up Chimney.

They've also tested traffic signals for wind endurance, verified durability of brass handles for a storm door manufacturer, designed plastic storage containers for super-jumbo eggs and rewired artificial camouflage products for die-hard hunters.

Good for Business "They" are the ISU scientists who have come to the rescue of Iowa companies with materials dilemmas. Those services, now part of IPRT (Institute for Physical Research and Technology) Company Assistance, previously were offered by IPRT's Iowa Companies Assistance Program.

Iowa companies call upon IPRT scientists to solve production problems that may involve analyzing chemical compositions, identifying and classifying manufacturing defects, fabricating advanced materials or finding antidotes to such breakdowns as corrosion (hence the chewed-up chimney).

Helping these businesses redesign or refine their manufacturing processes translates into dollars saved, or perhaps the promise of more dollars earned. For instance, ISU scientists helped one Iowa company salvage a $300,000 business deal (and three or four jobs) with their quick intervention on some faulty fuel lines. Yet another company's construction supplies, once tested and refined by an ISU researcher, are predicted to gross $5 to $10 million in sales annually.

Iowa State University is good for business.

... Becoming the Best
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Published by: University Relations,
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