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Engineering department tests hydration system and bite valve for patent. (Photo sourced by: Kelly Harward)

Two Weber State University professors were issued a patent for their invention of a water valve for the camel back, a hydration system often used by hikers, skiers and bikers.

Mountain bikers, soldiers, hikers and skiers know this device as a bite valve. The bite valve is attached to a tube that is then connected to a reservoir water bag.

The bite valve invented by Kirk Hagen, department of engineering chair, and Kelly Harward, professor of manufacturing engineering technology, is set apart because it gives users the ability to simply bite down to release the water, without having to stop their recreational activity .

Toby Hazelbaker, owner of Ogwa Pressure Products, approached Weber State almost four years ago with the idea of the bite valve.

The bite valves that are in circulation require users to both suck and bite the valve in order to receive water. With this in mind, Hazelbaker looked to produce a valve with higher pressure. Both Hagen and Harward were concerned that with such high pressure the valve would leak.

Hagen said the project was funded through USTAR (Utah Science Technology and Research) and took close to $60,000 to fund.

Inside of the bite valve, there is an internal compression band that holds everything closed, preventing it from leaking, unlike competitors valves.

Assuming the bite valve hits the market shortly, consumers can purchase this valve at sporting goods stores and online. Once on the market, the cost of the bite valve will be around $8.

The idea for the bite valve was spawned from Ogwa Pressure Products patented pressurized hydration system.

“We plan to have anyone who has a hydration pack be able to buy this new innovation to use on their hydration system,” said Hazelbaker. “It was actually designed to be used with our pressurized hydration system.”

Whether consumers use a regular hydration pack or Ogwa Pressure Products pressurized hydration pack, the valve is compatible with both.

Because consumers only have to bite down on the valve in order to receive water, it makes it much easier for the consumers to receive more water than what they would with a regular bite valve.

The patent was received in December of 2014. Ogwa Pressure Products plan to produce hundreds of thousands of these bite valves to market to consumers.

These bite valves are going to be marketed strongly to the military, humanitarian projects and disaster relief groups.

The pressurized hydration systems also have a very convenient feature that allows consumers to filter dirty water, producing drinkable water.

Ogwa Pressure Products approached Weber State because of how friendly and approachable the university was. Hazelbaker said that the costs were also lower than at other schools.

In order to patent this product the idea had to be submitted to the United States patent office. The patent was submitted March, 10 2011.

“In our college we recognize the rewarding of patents at a scholarly level comparable to other publications publicizing research in research journals,” said Harward.

 

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