The AquaFlex Story:

AquaFlex Holdings LLC (AF) was incorporated in August of 2016 by Scott C. Smith, an inventor and technology leader in Open-Cell and closed-cell cross-linked polyolefin (XLPO) foams. Smith founded AF as a holding company for the portfolio of technologies and intellectual property (IP) he owns and controls.

In 2014, Smith filed a patent application for Open-Cell foams, based on the real world experience he gained from more than 60 industrial oil and chemical spills. His invention is based on Open-Cell foam technology for the simultaneous detection and removal of oil and related chemicals from water & air relating to industrial oil and chemical spills.

This new technology provides a significant improvement over the original Open-Cell foam technology, which was solely based on the polymer ethylene methyl acrylate or “EMA”. Smith’s enhanced technology utilizes elastomeric polymers, which have significant performance improvements over EMA-based Open-Cell foam. For more information on this revolutionary technology, please see the published patent applications:

Based on Smith’s patent pending technology, AquaFlex is marketing innovative Open-Cell foam products in the following vertical industries:

  • Biotechnology & Medical/Drug Delivery – antidotes for chemical exposures and other medical treatments;
  • Oil/Chemical Spill Markets – simultaneous detection/removal of oil/related chemicals from water;
  • Automotive/Transportation – Open-Cell foam technology for acoustic and other applications.

Building on a long history of rapidly developing new technology, with commercial successes for both Open-Cell and closed-cell foams (foam packaging for Dell Computer, foam insoles for Nike, molded foam automotive gaskets, etc.), Smith launched a new kind of sorbent product that was based on Open-Cell foam. In 2010, BP America purchased and used this product to reclaim spilled oil from the Deepwater Horizon Platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Given the sorbent’s unique properties to absorb and release oil (upon wringing or centrifuging), BP reused the AquaFlex foam 25 times. Reclaiming oil dramatically reduced the cost of cleanup. BP and the American Petroleum Institute endorsed Scott Smith’s technology.

After demonstrating the effectiveness of open-cell foam in the Gulf of Mexico, Smith and his partners deployed the technology at more than 60 oil spills and chemical disasters. Working closely with customers, Smith discovered that his foams can simultaneously detect, absorb and remove from water a wide range of toxicants – such as metals, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), oil, industrial chemicals and biological contaminants.

Neither Smith nor AquaFlex own, or participate in any way with water filtration systems that deliver potable or drinkable water.

An Open-Cell foam-based “time weighted average exposures” (TWAE) water-sampling tool has been developed by Smith to compliment traditional instantaneous grab samples. It provides the ability to document the presence of water contaminants that may otherwise remain undetected. This tool also averages out the episodic changes in water contaminant concentrations inherent in many bodies of water, such as:

  • Lakes
  • Rivers
  • Streams
  • Oceans
  • Municipal water supplies
  • Irrigation systems
  • Premise plumbing fixtures

In summary, the Open-Cell foam TWAE enables continuous testing over time, rather than instantaneous grab sampling.

Water and contamination are never in a steady state or equilibrium – but the TWAE yields far more accurate results (for the presence/absence of contaminants) than instantaneous water grab samples. The TWAE measures what’s in the entire water column – whereas grab samples only reflect what’s in the small volume of the container (which can lead to “false-negative” readings, because they’re only sampling a tiny volume of water).

AquaFlex continues its research to improve the efficacy of the Open-Cell foam technology, in order to simultaneously remove & detect contaminants from industrial oil and chemical spills.

Operations at AquaFlex are led by Glenn Wattley, President and COO.

More On Scott Smith

Smith is the founder and CEO of AF and the inventor of the Open-Cell foam technology that has been proven in more than 60 water contamination disasters since 2010.

Mr. Smith is a named inventor on six issued patents and fourteen patent-pending applications relating to specialty polyolefin foams used for both water testing and remediation of waterways contaminated from industrial oil and chemical spills.

In 2008, Smith received the Small Business Administration Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery, after his manufacturing business was hit by devastating flood waters – which became the impetus for his inventions using Open-Cell polyolefin foams for testing/remediating contaminated water.

Smith has been to every major oil spill site (including Bakken oil train explosions) since 2010 – more than 60 different locations in the US and abroad. The locations of these real world disasters have been Scott’s laboratory. Scott is a graduate of Baylor University and Harvard Business School.

More on Glenn Wattley

Glenn G. Wattley is the President and COO of AquaFlex.

Wattley brings more than 40 years of industrial experience, business operations strategy, and a track record of commercializing “hard-science” technologies to AquaFlex. In 2010 he began partnering with Scott Smith to manufacture and sell open-cell, polyolefin foam products, which are used to detect and remediate a range of water pollutants.

As part of his Chief Operating Officer (COO) activities, Wattley work has worked with Smith to deploy AquaFlex products and services at major oil and chemical spills (including the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and the Dalian China Oil Spill, which was “larger than the Exxon Valdez spill”). Recently, he has conducted in-premise water testing programs with UA Plumbers teams in New York City and Boston; he has supported Smith’s water testing work in St. Louis, East St. Louis and East Chicago.

Wattley graduated from Columbia University’s School of Engineering with a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in mechanical engineering, and he earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Wattley began his career at CONSOL Energy in Pittsburgh, PA. He has previously served as a Vice President at Arthur D. Little, Inc., in charge of the metals, miming and utilities practices; and he was also a Senior Partner with Accenture in Strategic Services.