Title:
HARDENING AGENT DEPLOYMENT DEVICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hardening agent deployment device comprising: a main malleable pouch having at least two layers of water permeable material having a planar configuration and a pore size capable of retaining a hardening agent, the main malleable pouch formed by a first outer layer of water permeable material having the planar configuration and the pore size capable of retaining the hardening agent, and a second outer layer of water permeable material having the planar configuration and having the pore size capable of retaining the hardening agent, wherein the first outer layer of water permeable material and the second outer layer of water permeable material are affixed to each other forming the main malleable pouch; a structural support component enclosed within the main malleable pouch; and the hardening agent enclosed within the main malleable pouch, wherein the hardening agent hardens when coming in contact with water.



Inventors:
Rose, Steven Lee (Escondido, CA, US)
Application Number:
13/488451
Publication Date:
12/06/2012
Filing Date:
06/05/2012
Assignee:
ROSE STEVEN LEE
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E02D17/20
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LUTZ, JESSICA H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
James J. Wong (Morgan Hill, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A hardening agent deployment device comprising: a main malleable pouch having at least two layers of water permeable material having a planar configuration and a pore size capable of retaining a hardening agent, said main malleable pouch formed by a first outer layer of water permeable material having said planar configuration and said pore size capable of retaining said hardening agent, and a second outer layer of water permeable material having said planar configuration and having said pore size capable of retaining said hardening agent, wherein said first outer layer of water permeable material and said second outer layer of water permeable material are affixed to each other along the corresponding edges of their said planar configurations forming said main malleable pouch; a structural support component enclosed within said main malleable pouch; and said hardening agent enclosed within said main malleable pouch, wherein said hardening agent hardens when coming in contact with water.

2. The hardening agent deployment device of claim 1, wherein said structural support component is a lattice layer.

3. The hardening agent deployment device of claim 1, wherein said planar configuration is a polygon.

4. The hardening agent deployment device of claim 1, wherein said planar configuration is a polygon having three, four, five or six sides.

5. The hardening agent deployment device of claim 4, wherein said planar configuration is a polygon having four sides.

6. The hardening agent deployment device of claim 5, wherein said polygon having four sides, include a first side and a second side that are substantially parallel to each other.

7. The hardening agent deployment device of claim 5, wherein said polygon having four sides, include a first side and second side that are substantially parallel to each other, and a third side and a fourth side that are substantially parallel to each other.

8. The hardening agent deployment device of claim 6, wherein said first side is longer than said second side.

9. The hardening agent deployment device of claim 8, wherein a third side and a fourth side are substantially equal in length.

10. The hardening agent deployment device of claim 4, wherein said planar configuration is an ellipse.

11. The hardening agent deployment device of claim 1, said main malleable pouch having a first inner layer of water permeable material having said planar configuration and said pore size capable of retaining said hardening agent; and a second inner layer of water permeable material having said planar configuration and said pore size capable of retaining said hardening agent.

12. The hardening agent deployment device of claim 11 wherein said first inner layer of water permeable material is affixed to said first outer layer of water permeable material to form a first combined layer of water permeable material, and said second inner layer of water permeable material is affixed to said second outer layer of water permeable material to form a second combined layer of water permeable material, wherein said first combined layer of water permeable material and said second combined layer of water permeable material are affixed along the corresponding edges of their said planar configurations forming said main malleable pouch.

13. The hardening agent deployment device of claim 11 wherein said first inner layer of water permeable material and said second inner layer of water permeable material are affixed along the corresponding edges of their said planar configurations forming an inner malleable pouch enclosed with said main malleable pouch; at least one lattice layer enclosed within said main malleable pouch; a first portion of said hardening agent enclosed within said inner malleable pouch; and a second portion of said hardening agent enclosed within said main malleable pouch.

14. The hardening agent deployment device of claim 13, wherein a first lattice layer of said at least one lattice layer is enclosed within said inner malleable pouch.

15. A hardening agent deployment device capable of providing the hardening agent in situ used for erosion control comprising: a main malleable pouch having at least two layers of water permeable material having a planar configuration and a pore size capable of retaining a hardening agent, said main malleable pouch formed by a first outer layer of water permeable material having said planar configuration and said pore size capable of retaining said hardening agent, and a second outer layer of water permeable material having said planar configuration and having said pore size capable of retaining said hardening agent, wherein said first outer layer of water permeable material and said second outer layer of water permeable material are affixed to each other along the corresponding edges of their said planar configurations forming said main malleable pouch; a structural support component enclosed within said main malleable pouch; and said hardening agent enclosed within said main malleable pouch, wherein said hardening agent hardens when coming in contact with water.

16. The hardening agent deployment device of claim 15, wherein said structural support component is at least one lattice layer.

17. A form in place erosion control device comprising: a main malleable pouch having at least two layers of water permeable material having a planar configuration and a pore size capable of retaining the hardening agent, said main malleable pouch formed by a first outer layer of water permeable material having said planar configuration and said pore size capable of retaining said hardening agent, and a second outer layer of water permeable material having said planar configuration and having said pore size capable of retaining said hardening agent, wherein said first outer layer of water permeable material and said second outer layer of water permeable material are affixed to each other along the corresponding edges of their said planar configurations forming said main malleable pouch; a structural support component enclosed within said main malleable pouch; and said hardening agent enclosed within said main malleable pouch, wherein said hardening agent hardens when coming in contact with water.

18. The hardening agent deployment device of claim 17, wherein said structural support component is at least one lattice layer.

19. The erosion control device of claim 17 wherein said planar configuration is a trapezoid.

20. The erosion control device of claim 17 wherein said planar configuration is a rectangle.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This utility application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/520,132 entitled “Formed In Place Erosion Control Device” filed on Jun. 6, 2011, hereby incorporated by reference.

STATEMENTS AS TO THE RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO A “SEQUENCE LISTING,” A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING APPENDIX SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISK.

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to the technical field of agriculture. More particularly, the present invention is in the technical field of erosion control. This invention relates to a device useful for control erosion on sloped terrain or relatively flat terrain that has developed undesired drainage channels, called rills, which can evolve into much more serious erosion problems over time.

It is widely known that water applied to a sloped terrain will tend by the force of gravity to seek its lowest point and then stop. In the process of moving from a higher to a lower elevation on a slope, water can carry away particles of soil in the flow and deposit them in the lower elevation. This process is called soil erosion or weathering. Depending on a number of factors including the quantity of water, the duration of the water flow, the speed of the water flow, the type and compactness of soil, and the angle of the slope; the mass of soil removed and transported over time can be substantial and the aggregate economic impact can be significant. Erosion occurs as a natural process on exposed surfaces everywhere on the earth. However, in an agricultural setting, the process of erosion can be extremely costly and damaging in terms of loss of topsoil, the labor required for restoration of the preferred grade or slope, and a loss and waste of added water and added nutrients for maintaining plant growth and health.

When trees or other agricultural products are planted on slopes to make optimal use of productive acreage, it is standard agricultural practice to dig and pull the topsoil away from the plant in all directions to form a crater or bowl in order to retain water and nutrients in proximity to the root structure of the plant. Particularly on the downhill side of the crater or bowl, the soil is much more aggressively mounded because the water weight will naturally cause pressure and erosion toward the downhill side. Over time, the mounded downhill dirt erodes and allows crevices, or rills, through which water, soil and beneficial nutrients escape downhill and away from the plant. For example, an orchard situated on sloped terrain can sustain significant cumulative soil erosion, water loss, fertilizer loss and nutrient loss. This would require the expenditure of time, effort and expense to perform remedial maintenance.

Water is a valuable natural resource, for agriculture it is arguably the most important. In the dry, but fertile, western United States, water has become an extremely expensive commodity. Due to oversubscription by human activity the cost of water has skyrocketed, for example where agricultural water was sold at $100 per acre foot in 1990, today the price is over $1,200 per acre foot. Clearly the availability of water and its efficient use is a defining driver of agriculture, particularly the commercial agriculture industry. There is a need to utilize water resources in the most efficient manner, particularly in an agricultural setting.

Several methods have been devised for slowing, stopping and managing the flow of water, soil and nutrients away from the desired proximity of the plant. These methods include stone rip rap, plastic silt fencing, hay bales, wattles, or natural fiber coil logs and matting of natural or synthetic materials. However, each of these methods suffers from at least one or a combination of limitations and inadequacies. For example, rip rap is expensive, heavy and difficult to transport. Plastic silt fences are expensive to procure and deploy, are unsightly, are susceptible to wind damage and require frequent maintenance. Natural coil logs and mats are expensive, unsightly, provide habitation for rodents and insect pests and are only temporary because of continual decomposition. As such, there is a continuing need to mitigate the damaging effects of erosion and to find more efficient ways of using water in an agricultural setting.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A hardening agent deployment device comprising: a main malleable pouch having at least two layers of water permeable material having a planar configuration and a pore size capable of retaining a hardening agent, the main malleable pouch formed by a first outer layer of water permeable material having the planar configuration and the pore size capable of retaining the hardening agent, and a second outer layer of water permeable material having the planar configuration and having the pore size capable of retaining the hardening agent, wherein the first outer layer of water permeable material and the second outer layer of water permeable material are affixed to each other along the corresponding edges of their planar configurations forming the main malleable pouch; a structural support component enclosed within the main malleable pouch; and the hardening agent enclosed within the main malleable pouch, wherein the hardening agent hardens when coming in contact with water.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1A provides a plan view of an embodiment of the present disclosure having a trapezoidal planar configuration;

FIG. 1B provides a plan view of an embodiment of the present disclosure having an elliptical planar configuration;

FIG. 1C provides a plan view of an embodiment of the present disclosure having a rectangular planar configuration;

FIG. 2 provides an exploded perspective view of an embodiment of the present disclosure having a rectangular planar configuration;

FIG. 3 provides an exploded perspective view of an embodiment of the present disclosure having a rectangular planar configuration;

FIG. 4 provides an exploded perspective view of an embodiment of the present disclosure having a rectangular planar device;

FIG. 5 provides a sectional view of an embodiment of the present disclosure used in an agricultural setting;

FIG. 6 provides a plan view of several embodiments of the present disclosure used in the agricultural setting;

FIG. 7 provides a plan view of several embodiments of the present disclosure deployed used for erosion control;

FIG. 8 provides a plan view of several embodiments of the present disclosure deployed for erosion control;

FIG. 9 provides a plan view of several embodiments of the present disclosure deployed for erosion control;

FIG. 10 provides a plan view of an embodiment of the present disclosure; and

FIG. 11 provides a sectional view of an embodiment of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

An embodiment of the present disclosure provides a hardening agent deployment device comprising: a main malleable pouch having at least two layers of water permeable material having a planar configuration and a pore size capable of retaining a hardening agent, the main malleable pouch formed by a first outer layer of water permeable material having the planar configuration and the pore size capable of retaining the hardening agent, and a second outer layer of water permeable material having the planar configuration and having the pore size capable of retaining the hardening agent, wherein the first outer layer of water permeable material and the second outer layer of water permeable material are affixed to each other along the corresponding edges of their planar configurations forming the main malleable pouch; and the hardening agent enclosed within the main malleable pouch, wherein the hardening agent hardens when coming in contact with water.

An embodiment of the present disclosure provides a hardening agent deployment device comprising: a main malleable pouch having at least two layers of water permeable material having a planar configuration and a pore size capable of retaining a hardening agent, the main malleable pouch formed by a first outer layer of water permeable material having the planar configuration and the pore size capable of retaining the hardening agent, and a second outer layer of water permeable material having the planar configuration and having the pore size capable of retaining the hardening agent, wherein the first outer layer of water permeable material and the second outer layer of water permeable material are affixed to each other along the corresponding edges of their planar configurations forming the main malleable pouch; a structural support component enclosed within the main malleable pouch; and the hardening agent enclosed within the main malleable pouch, wherein the hardening agent hardens when coming in contact with water.

An aspect of the present embodiment provides a hardening agent deployment device capable of in-situ or form in place deployment. The hardening agent deployment device can be placed where the hardening agent is desired. The water permeable layers of the malleable pouch allow water to enter the main malleable pouch, and to come in contact with the hardening agent. The hardening agent interacts with the water and hardens retaining the planar configuration of the hardening agent deployment device and the contour of the surface upon which the hardening agent device is deployed. The hardening agent deployment device provides deployment of a hardening agent, such as fast setting or quick setting concrete, where desired without having to construct a hardening agent form into which the hardening agent normally would have to be poured. This result in a savings in materials and time needed for completion of such tasks. The present embodiment provides additional benefits in instances where the hardening agent is to be deployed on uneven or undeveloped surfaces, such as on a sloped surface, contoured ground or in an agricultural setting.

The embodiments of the present disclosure have a first dimension, generally extending in a first direction, for example D1; a second dimension, generally extending in a second direction D2; and a third dimension, generally extending in an orthogonal direction D3 relative to a plane defined by D1 and D2. As used herein the term “planar configuration” refers to the D1 and D2 dimensions of a hardening agent deployment device. For example, FIG. 1A shows an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure having a trapezoidal planar configuration, where the two parallel sides extend in the D2 direction, and the two non-parallel sides extend in the D1 direction. The D3 direction is not shown, however it is understood that it extends orthogonally from the plane defined by D1 and D2.

An aspect of the present embodiment where the structural support component is at least one lattice layer. As used herein, the term “structural support component” refers to materials enclosed within a main malleable pouch and/or inner malleable pouch. The structural support component can be intermixed with a hardening agent also enclosed within the main malleable pouch and/or the inner malleable pouch. Alternatively, the structural support component can be placed within the main malleable pouch and/or the inner malleable pouch as a discrete layer, such as at least one lattice layer. The structural support component provides structural support for maintaining the dimensions of the hardening agent deployment device along the D1 and D2 directions while conforming in the D3 direction according to the topography of the surface of the ground upon which the hardening agent deployment device is to be deployed. The structural support component can be made from metal or plastic materials, such as common window screen, felt, soft wire, or natural materials, such as wood wool, natural fibers, natural mat materials, such as woven plant materials, for example, hemp, burlap, leaves from plants, trees or the like.

An embodiment of the present disclosure provides a hardening agent deployment device where the planar configuration is a polygon. As used herein the term “polygon” or “polygonal” refers to a plane shape having a number of coplanar line segments, each connected end to end to form the plane shape.

An aspect of the present embodiment provides a hardening agent deployment device where the planar configuration is a polygon having three, four, five, six, seven or eight sides.

Another aspect of the present embodiment provides a hardening agent deployment device where the planar configuration is a polygon having three sides, also known as a triangle or a trigon.

Another aspect of the present embodiment provides a hardening agent deployment device where the planar configuration is a polygon having four sides, also known as a quadrilateral or tetragon.

Another aspect of the present embodiment provides a hardening agent deployment device where the planar configuration is a polygon having four sides where a first side and a second side are substantially parallel to each other.

Another aspect of the present embodiment provides a hardening agent deployment device where the planar configuration is a polygon having four sides where a first side and a second side are substantially parallel to each other, and a third side and a fourth side are substantially parallel to each other.

Another aspect of the present embodiment provides a hardening agent deployment device where the planar configuration is a polygon having four sides, where a first side and a second side are substantially parallel to each other and the first side is longer than the second side.

Another aspect of the present embodiment provides a hardening agent deployment device where the planar configuration is a polygon having four sides, where a first side and a second side are substantially parallel to each other and a third side and a fourth side are not parallel to each other and are substantially equal in length.

Another embodiment of the present disclosure provides a hardening agent deployment device where the planar configuration is an ellipse. As used herein the term “ellipse” or “elliptical” refers to a smooth closed curve which is symmetrical about its horizontal and vertical axes. The major and minor axes of an ellipse are diameters (lines through the center) of the ellipse. The major axis is the longest diameter and the minor axis the shortest. When the major and minor axes are equal in length then the ellipse is a circle.

An aspect of the present embodiment provides a hardening agent deployment device where the planar configuration is an ellipse having a major axis to minor axis ratio of about 1.

An aspect of the present embodiment provides a hardening agent deployment device where the planar configuration is an ellipse having a major axis to a minor axis ratio of about 1.5.

An aspect of the present embodiment provides a hardening agent deployment device where the planar configuration is an ellipse having a major axis to minor axis ratio of about 2.

An aspect of the present embodiment provides a hardening agent deployment device where the planar configuration is an ellipse having a major axis to a minor axis ratio of about 3.

The present embodiment can be deployed either as a single hardening agent deployment device, or as a plurality of hardening agent deployment devices. The individual devices of the plurality of devices can each have same planar configuration. Alternatively the individual devices of the plurality of devices can have different planar configurations.

An embodiment of the present disclosure provides an aggregate hardening agent deployment device comprised of a plurality of hardening agent deployment devices interconnected so as to be deployable as a single entity.

As used herein the term “water permeable material” refers to a paper or fiber composite material having a high CD wet tensile strength of about 240 g/25 cc; having a high MD dry tensile strength of about 2100 g/25 cc; and a high CD dry tensile strength of about 640 g/25 cc. As used herein the term “CD” refers to polymer orientation in the cross direction; and the term “MD” refers the polymer orientation in the machine direction. The water permeable material is permeable to water and has a pore size sufficient to restrict the passage of the particulate matter typically used in hardening agents. The water permeable material can be affixed to itself or other similar materials. The water permeable material can be affixed using techniques such as, heat sealing, sonic welding, or by other suitable techniques for affixing such materials known to those in the art.

As used herein the term “hardening agent” refers to a type of concrete or cement that can be used without mixing. Such hardening agents are generically referred to as “fast setting”, “quick setting” or “rapid setting” concrete or cement. These materials are commercially available and are known to those in the art.

FIG. 1A depicts a plan view of an exemplary embodiment 100 according to the present disclosure having a trapezoidal planar configuration, where the two parallel sides extend in the D2 direction, and the two non-parallel sides extend in the D1 direction. A first layer of water permeable material 102 is shown having a trapezoidal planar configuration. The first layer of water permeable material 102 is place on top of a second layer of water permeable material (not shown) having substantially the same planar configuration as the first layer of water permeable material. A main malleable pouch is formed when the four edges 104 of the first layer of water permeable material 102 are affixed to the corresponding edges of the second layer of water permeable material using methodology, such as heat sealing, sonic welding or the like.

FIG. 1B depicts a plan view of an exemplary embodiment 120 according to the present disclosure having an elliptical planar configuration, where the major axis extends in the D2 direction and the minor axis extends in the D1 direction. A first layer of water permeable material 122 is shown having an elliptical planar configuration. The first layer of water permeable material 122 is placed on top of a second layer of water permeable material (not shown) having substantially the same planar configuration as the first layer of water permeable material. A main malleable pouch is formed when the edge 124 of the first layer of water permeable material 122 is affixed to the corresponding edge of the second layer of water permeable material using methodology, such as heat sealing or sonic welding or the like.

FIG. 1C is a plan view of an exemplary embodiment 130 according to the present disclosure having a rectangular planar configuration, where the two parallel long sides extend in the D2 direction and the two parallel short sides extend in the D1 direction. A first layer of water permeable material 132 is shown having a rectangular planar configuration. The first layer of water permeable material 132 is placed on top of a second layer of water permeable material (not shown) having substantially the same planar configuration as the first layer of water permeable material. A main malleable pouch is formed when the four edges 134 of the first layer of water permeable material 132 are affixed to the corresponding edges of the second layer of water permeable material using methodology, such as heat sealing or sonic welding or the like.

FIG. 2 shows an exploded perspective view of an exemplary embodiment 200 of the present disclosure having a rectangular planar configuration. A first layer of water permeable material 202 and a second layer of water permeable material 204 form the main malleable pouch. The first and second layer of water permeable material can be made from any fibrous material that is water permeable having sufficient tensile strength and pore size to retain a hardening agent that is enclosed within the malleable pouch. The first and second layer of water permeable material can be made from the same material or from a different material. For example the first layer 202 or second layer 204, or both layers of water permeable material can be made from commercially available lightweight, two-phase heat sealable tissue comprised of a blend of thermoplastic fibers, abaca and selected cellulosic fibers with a dry machine direction (MD) tensile strength of about 2100 grams/25 mm, a dry cross direction (CD) tensile strength of about 640 g/25 mm, a wet cross direction (CD) tensile strength of about 240 g/25 mm and a thickness of about 82 microns. A hardening agent 206 is enclosed within the main malleable pouch. The hardening agent can be any type of material that hardens when contacted with water. A lattice layer 208 is enclosed within the main malleable pouch. The lattice layer 208 can be made from metal or plastic materials, such as common window screen, felt, soft wire, or natural materials, such as wood wool, natural fibers, natural mat materials, such as woven plant materials, for example, hemp, burlap, leaves from plants, trees or the like. The lattice layer 208 maintains the dimensions of the hardening agent deployment device along the D1 and D2 directions shown in FIG. 1. The lattice layer 208 also conforms in the D3 direction as discussed in FIG. 1 to the topography of the surface the contour of the ground when the hardening agent is contacted with water so that when the hardening agent hardens, the hardening agent deployment device retains the desired contour of the surface where the device is deployed. The first layer of water permeable material 202 and the second layer of water permeable material 204 can be sealed on any three edges of the four edges 210 by heat sealing or sonic welding or the like, to create the main malleable pouch with the fourth unsealed edge as an accessible opening. The hardening agent 206 and lattice layer 208 are placed within the malleable pouch and the fourth edges is sealed, such as by heat sealing or sonic welding or the like.

Another embodiment of the present disclosure provides a hardening agent deployment device comprising a main malleable pouch having a first inner layer of water permeable material affixed to a first outer layer of water permeable material to form a first combined layer of water permeable material; and a second inner layer of water permeable material affixed to a second outer layer of water permeable material to form a second combined layer of water permeable material. The first combined layer of water permeable material and the second combined layer of water permeable material are affixed along the corresponding edges of their planar configurations to form the main malleable pouch. Enclosed within the main malleable pouch are at least one lattice layer and hardening agent.

FIG. 3 provides an exploded perspective view of this embodiment 300 having a rectangular planar configuration. A first inner layer of water permeable material 304 is affixed to a first outer layer of water permeable material 302 to form a first combined layer of water permeable material (302 and 304 together). The edges 310 of the first inner layer 304 are affixed to the corresponding edges of the first outer layer 302 using methodology, such as by heat sealing or sonic welding or the like. A second inner layer of water permeable material 306 is affixed to a second outer layer of water permeable material 308 to form a second combined layer of water permeable material (306 and 308 together). The edges (not labeled) of the first inner layer 306 are affixed to the corresponding edges of the first outer layer 308 in the same manner as described for layers 302 and 304. The first combined layer of water permeable material, 302 and 304 together, and the second combined layer of water permeable material, 306 and 308 together, can be affixed or sealed along any three edges of the four edges 310 by heat sealing or sonic welding or the like, to create the main malleable pouch with the fourth unsealed edge as an accessible opening. The hardening agent 312 and lattice layer 314 are placed within the malleable pouch and the fourth edge is sealed, such as by heat sealing or sonic welding or the like.

Yet another embodiment of the present disclosure provides a hardening agent deployment device comprising a main malleable pouch having a first inner layer of water permeable material and a second inner layer of water permeable material affixed along the corresponding edges of their planar configurations forming an inner malleable pouch enclosed within the main malleable pouch. The inner malleable pouch encloses at least one lattice layer, and a first portion of a hardening agent. A second portion of the hardening agent is enclosed within the main malleable pouch outside of the inner malleable pouch.

FIG. 4 provides an exploded perspective view of this embodiment 400 having a rectangular planar configuration. A first outer layer of water permeable material 402 and a second outer layer of water permeable material 404 form the main malleable pouch. The first outer layer of water permeable material 402 and the second outer layer of water permeable material 404 can be affixed or sealed on any three edges of the four edges 410 by heat sealing, sonic welding or the like, to create the main malleable pouch with the fourth unsealed edge as an accessible opening. A first inner layer of water permeable material 406 and a second inner layer of water permeable material 408 are affixed along the corresponding edges of their planar configurations forming an inner malleable pouch enclosed with said main malleable pouch. The edges of the first inner layer 406 are affixed to the corresponding edges of the second inner layer 408 in the same manner as described for the first and second outer layers 402 and 404, respectively. The inner malleable pouch encloses a lattice layer 412 and a first portion of a hardening agent 414. A second portion of the hardening agent 416 is enclosed within the main malleable pouch outside of the inner malleable pouch.

An aspect of the present embodiment provides a first lattice layer of the at least one lattice layer enclosed within the inner malleable pouch.

An aspect of the present embodiment provides a first lattice layer of the at least one lattice layer enclosed within the inner malleable pouch, and one or more second lattice layers of the at least one lattice layer enclosed within the outer malleable pouch but outside of the inner malleable pouch.

An embodiment of the present disclosure is a hardening agent deployment device used to control erosion. The erosion control device can be formed where it is to be deployed for controlling erosion on a sloped terrain or relatively flat terrain that has developed or could develop undesired drainage channels, such as rills. The present embodiment can be deployed in anticipation of erosion problems, providing the user the ability to prevent or mitigate potential erosion damage. The present embodiment provides erosion control in agricultural settings by preventing or mitigating erosion around trees or plants located on sloped terrain.

Another embodiment of the present disclosure provides the efficient use of water, fertilizer and nutrients for agricultural products, such as trees, vines, and other types of plants, by slowing the diffusion of water, fertilizer and nutrients from the area immediately proximate to the aforementioned agricultural products. The benefit is two-fold. It maximizes the effect of water, fertilizer and nutrients to the desired agricultural product while minimizing water, fertilizer and nutrients to other less desirable plants, such as weeds.

As used herein the term “swale” refers to a ditch or a depression excavated in the ground uphill or at a higher elevation relative to a plant or tree. As used herein the term “berm” refers to a mound or bank of dirt formed generally in the ground downhill or at a lower elevation relative to the plant or tree, and used especially as a barrier.

FIG. 5 shows a sectional view of a deployed erosion control device 502 deployed on a sloped surface having an uphill or higher elevation side 504 and downhill or lower elevation side 505. D4 indicates the direction of the flow of water as the water travels down the slope along the ground surface from the higher elevation to the lower elevation. The erosion control device 502 is deployed on top of a berm 506. The erosion control device 502 when deployed conforms to the topographical shape of the berm 506. The berm 506 is situated to the downhill side or lower elevation side of the position 508 of a plant or tree. A swale 510 is commonly made uphill to the plant or tree 508 so that water running in a downhill direction D4 is slowed by the swale 510 and then further slowed and retained by the berm 506. As can be readily appreciated, berm 506 is subject to erosion by running water, and will eventually be washed away by the running water. The deployed erosion control device 502 mitigates or eliminates the effect of running water by acting as a barrier for the berm 506. The erosion control device 502 provides a barrier of a hardened hardening agent, thereby preventing the water from eroding or washing away the berm 506.

FIG. 6 shows a plan representation of a plurality of the erosion control devices 602 arranged to provide erosion control in an agricultural setting. The D4 direction indicates the change in elevation of a sloped terrain from a higher elevation to a lower elevation. FIG. 6 shows eight devices 602 arranged over berm 604 created to retain water, fertilizer and nutrients near the roots of a plant 606. The berm 604 has an outer border 603 and an inner border 605. The size of the berm 604, that is the length, width and height of the berm, may be larger or smaller depending on the specific agricultural application. The eight devices 602 are arranged over berm 604 on the downhill side of the plant in the direction of the flow of water D4 as the water travels down the slope from a higher elevation to a lower elevation. The erosion control devices 602 are shown positioned such that an adjacent edge of a first erosion control device overlaps 608 with the adjacent edge of a second device to eliminate or minimize any gap between adjacent erosion control devices. Alternatively, the erosion control devices can be positioned so that the edge of a first erosion control device is in contact with the edge of a second control device without overlap (not shown in FIG. 6), again to minimize or eliminate any gap through which water, fertilizer and nutrients might flow through. It should be apparent that erosion control devices of varying sizes and planar configurations can be made to accommodate berms having varying sizes and shapes. For example, as shown in FIG. 6 the erosion control devices 602 have a trapezoidal planar configuration, which facilitate the positioning of the erosion control devices 602 in an approximate semi-circular arrangement where the plurality of erosion control devices can be positioned to minimize or eliminate any gaps between adjacent erosion control devices.

FIG. 7 show a plan view of a plurality of hardening agent deployment devices 702 arranged to provide erosion control on a sloped surface. The devices 702 are deployed directly in the path of a sheet of water 704 that is moving in a downhill direction D4. The devices 702 are shown positioned such that an adjacent edge of a first device overlaps 706 with the adjacent edge of a second device to eliminate or minimize any gap between adjacent devices. As discussed previously, the overlap minimizes or eliminates gaps between adjacent devices where water could flow through. Further the overlap provides added reinforcement to the deployed phalanx of devices. Another embodiment of the invention provides that several successive phalanxes of the devices may be deployed depending on the degree of water flow and erosion control that is desired (not shown).

FIG. 8 shows a plurality of devices 802 deployed in a rill 804. In fluvial geomorphology, a rill is a narrow and shallow incision into topsoil layers, resulting from erosion by overland flow or surface runoff. As such, rills are channels that direct water flow in a downhill direction D4. Rills are most common on slopes of un-vegetated ground and agricultural land. However, rills can occur on a variety of surfaces. Rills may even be found on the surface of certain soluble rocks like limestone. Rills are often seen as the first signs of major soil erosion. If left to unchecked, rills may evolve into larger fluvial features like gullies, streams, or rivers. The trapezoidal planar configurations of the devices 802 facilitate an edged side-by-side arrangement with overlapping 806 between adjacent devices to add reinforcement to the row of devices. The number of devices 802 may be increased thereby extending the length of the row according to the degree of water flow in the rill 804 and the degree of erosion control that is desired. The water flow will not cease, but the velocity of the water traveling downhill will be slowed having to travel around the devices 802. In this way, the effects of soil erosion may be mitigated and the flow of water at the downhill side of the devices can be modulated as desired.

FIG. 9 shows a plurality of devices 902 deployed in a rill 904 in an arrangement with overlaps 906 between adjacent devices 902. As discussed in FIG. 8, the trapezoidal planar configuration of the devices 902 facilitates an edged side-by-side arrangement with overlapping 906 between adjacent devices to add reinforcement to the row of devices. The water flow will not cease, but the velocity of the water traveling downhill will be slowed having to travel around the row of devices 902. In this way, the effects of soil erosion may be mitigated and the flow of water at the downhill side of the devices can be modulated as desired.

FIG. 10 shows a plan view of an embodiment of the present disclosure. The present embodiment provides a plurality of the previously described hardening agent deployment devices configured as a continuous roll 1000. The individual component pouches 1002 are each constructed as the previously described hardening agent deployment devices, where each pouch 1002 is sealed along the edges 1004. A portion of the continuous roll 1006 is shown rolled over and partially obscuring a portion of the continuous roll 1000. The continuous roll of hardening agent deployment devices 1000 may be placed in the path of a water flow or an anticipated water flow as desired for erosion control. For example, the continuous roll 1000 may be deployed on the downhill side of a bank of a rill at a curve to protect the bank from erosion. In this case, the device may be deployed as a means of diverting water flow as desired.

FIG. 11 provides a sectional view of the continuous roll 1000 described in FIG. 10. As described in FIG. 10, the individual pouches 1002 of the continuous roll 1000 are shown. A portion of the continuous roll 1006 is shown rolled over a portion of the continuous roll 1000.

Another embodiment of the present disclosure provides where about one-half pound of a hardening agent is used per about one square foot of sealed malleable pouch. Yet another embodiment of the present disclosure provides where about two to three pounds of a hardening agent is used per about one square foot of sealed malleable pouch. The ratio of hardening agent per area of sealed malleable pouch may be varied depending on the application and the use of the hardening agent deployment device.

An embodiment of the present disclosure provides a hardening agent deployment device capable of providing the hardening agent in situ, that is form in place, useful for erosion control comprising: a main malleable pouch having at least two layers of water permeable material having a planar configuration and a pore size capable of retaining a hardening agent, the main malleable pouch formed by a first outer layer of water permeable material having the planar configuration and the pore size capable of retaining the hardening agent, and a second outer layer of water permeable material having the planar configuration and having the pore size capable of retaining the hardening agent, where the first outer layer of water permeable material and the second outer layer of water permeable material are affixed to each other along the corresponding edges of their planar configurations forming the main malleable pouch; a structural support component enclosed within the main malleable pouch; and the hardening agent enclosed within the main malleable pouch, wherein the hardening agent hardens when coming in contact with water.

An aspect of the present embodiment where the structural support component is at least one lattice layer.

An embodiment of the present disclosure provides a form in place erosion control device comprising: a main malleable pouch having at least two layers of water permeable material having a planar configuration and a pore size capable of retaining the hardening agent, the main malleable pouch formed by a first outer layer of water permeable material having the planar configuration and the pore size capable of retaining the hardening agent, and a second outer layer of water permeable material having the planar configuration and having the pore size capable of retaining the hardening agent, where the first outer layer of water permeable material and the second outer layer of water permeable material are affixed to each other along the corresponding edges of their planar configurations forming the main malleable pouch; a structural support component enclosed within the main malleable pouch; and the hardening agent enclosed within the main malleable pouch, where the hardening agent hardens when coming in contact with water.

An aspect of the present embodiment where the structural support component is at least one lattice layer.

An aspect of the present embodiment provides an erosion control device having a trapezoidal planar configuration.

An aspect of the present embodiment provides an erosion control device having a rectangular planar configuration.

While the present invention has been illustrated and described herein in terms of an embodiment and several alternatives, it is to be understood that the techniques described herein can have a multitude of additional uses and applications. Accordingly, the invention should not be limited to just the particular description and various drawing figures contained in this specification that merely illustrate a preferred embodiment and application of the principles of the invention.