Special Coverage

Lightweight, Flexible Thermal Protection System for Fire Protection
High-Precision Electric Gate for Time-of-Flight Ion Mass Spectrometers
Polyimide Wire Insulation Repair System
Distributed Propulsion Concepts and Superparamagnetic Energy Harvesting Hummingbird Engine
Aerofoam
Wet Active Chevron Nozzle for Controllable Jet Noise Reduction
Magnetic Relief Valve
Active Aircraft Pylon Noise Control System
Unmanned Aerial Systems Traffic Management
Home

High-Temperature SMAs for Actuator Applications

Work output is comparable to conventional SMA alloys but with transition temperatures significantly exceeding those of conventional materials. Compositions and production processes have been developed for making NiTi-based shape-memory alloys (SMAs) that can be tailored for use as actuator materials at temperatures exceeding those of conventional alloys. Whereas conventional shape-memory alloys are limited to use at temperatures well below 100 °C due to low transformation temperatures, these high-temperature shape-memory alloys (HTSMAs) have transformation temperatures exceeding 300 °C while maintaining many of the other attributes associated with NiTi alloys, most importantly high work output (see Figure 1). Other attractive properties of this family of NiTiPt HTSMAs include usefully high values of tensile ductility, relatively narrow hysteresis, good oxidation resistance up to 600 °C, and excellent thermal and dimensional stability. Just as important, these alloys can be readily processed into various structural forms such as thin rod and fine-diameter wire by conventional processes (see Figure 2). These materials hold promise for expanding the variety of applications in which SMAbased actuators could be used.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Materials

Read More >>

Integrated Force Method for Indeterminate Structures

Indeterminate structural-mechanics problems can now be solved systematically. Two methods of solving indeterminate structural-mechanics problems have been developed as products of research on the theory of strain compatibility. In these methods, stresses are considered to be the primary unknowns (in contrast to strains and displacements being considered as the primary unknowns in some prior methods). One of these methods, denoted the integrated force method (IFM), makes it possible to compute stresses, strains, and displacements with high fidelity by use of modest finite-element models that entail relatively small amounts of computation. The other method, denoted the completed Beltrami Mitchell formulation (CBMF), enables direct determination of stresses in an elastic continuum with general boundary conditions, without the need to first calculate displacements as in traditional methods.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Mechanical Components, Mechanics

Read More >>

Conical Bearingless Motor/Generators

Advantages include high-speed, long-life operation in a compact form factor. Motor/generators based on conical magnetic bearings have been invented as an improved alternative to prior such machines based, variously, on radial and/or axial magnetic bearings. Both the present and prior machines are members of the class of so-called “bearingless” or “self bearing” (in the sense of not containing mechanical bearings) rotary machines. Each motor/generator provides both a torque and force allowing it to either function as a motor and magnetic bearing or a generator and magnetic bearing concurrently. Because they are not subject to mechanical bearing wear, these machines have potentially long operational lives and can function without lubrication and over wide ranges of speed and temperature that include conditions under which lubricants would become depleted, degraded, or ineffective and mechanical bearings would fail.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Mechanical Components, Mechanics

Read More >>

Carbon-Nanotube-Based Electrodes for Biomedical Applications

Stimuli and responses could be localized to within nanometers. A nanotube array based on vertically aligned nanotubes or carbon nanofibers has been invented for use in localized electrical stimulation and recording of electrical responses in selected regions of an animal body, especially including the brain. There are numerous established, emerging, and potential applications for localized electrical stimulation and/or recording, including treatment of Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, and chronic pain, and research on electrochemical effects involved in neurotransmission.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical

Read More >>

Using Hyperspectral Imagery To Identify Turfgrass Stresses

Stress maps could enable more-efficient management of large turfgrass fields. The use of a form of remote sensing to aid in the management of large turfgrass fields (e.g. golf courses) has been proposed. A turfgrass field of interest would be surveyed in sunlight by use of an airborne hyperspectral imaging system, then the raw observational data would be preprocessed into hyperspectral reflectance image data. These data would be further processed to identify turfgrass stresses, to determine the spatial distributions of those stresses, and to generate maps showing the spatial distributions.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical

Read More >>

Compact Directional Microwave Antenna for Localized Heating

Heating is concentrated on one side. A directional, catheter-sized cylindrical antenna has been developed for localized delivery of microwave radiation for heating (and thus killing) diseased tissue without excessively heating nearby healthy tissue. By “localized” is meant that the antenna radiates much more in a selected azimuthal direction than in the opposite radial direction, so that it heats tissue much more on one side than it does on the opposite side. This antenna can be inserted using either a catheter or a syringe. A 2.4-mm prototype was tested, although smaller antennas are possible.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical

Read More >>

Shaping Diffraction-Grating Grooves To Optimize Efficiency

Spectral response of a grating could be tailored to complement responses of other components. A method of shaping diffraction-grating grooves to optimize the spectral efficiency, spectral range, and image quality of a spectral imaging instrument is under development. The method is based on the use of an advanced design algorithm to determine the possibly complex shape of grooves needed to obtain a desired efficiency- versus- wavelength response (see figure). Then electron- beam fabrication techniques are used to realize the required groove shape. The method could be used, for example, to make the spectral efficiency of the grating in a given wavelength range proportional to the inverse of the spectral efficiency of a photodetector array so that the overall spectral efficiency of the combination of the grating and the photodetector array would be flat. The method has thus far been applied to one-dimensional gratings only, but in principle, it is also applicable to two-dimensional gratings.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Physical Sciences

Read More >>

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.