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Pneumatically Actuated Miniature Peristaltic Vacuum Pumps

Small, rugged, low-power pumps could be fabricated inexpensively. Pneumatically actuated miniature peristaltic vacuum pumps have been proposed for incorporation into advanced miniature versions of scientific instruments that depend on vacuum for proper operation. These pumps are expected to be capable of reaching vacuum-side pressures in the torr to millitorr range (from ≈133 down to ≈0.13 Pa). Vacuum pumps that operate in this range are often denoted roughing pumps. In comparison with previously available roughing pumps, these pumps are expected to be an order of magnitude less massive and less power-hungry. In addition, they would be extremely robust, and would operate with little or no maintenance and without need for oil or other lubricants. Portable mass spectrometers are typical examples of instruments that could incorporate the proposed pumps. In addition, the proposed pumps could be used as roughing pumps in general laboratory applications in which low pumping rates could be tolerated.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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Miniature Gas-Turbine Power Generator

Energy density would greatly exceed that of a typical battery system. A proposed microelectromechanical system (MEMS) containing a closed- Brayton-cycle turbine would serve as a prototype of electric- power generators for special applications in which high energy densities are required and in which, heretofore, batteries have been used. The system would have a volume of about 6 cm3 and would operate with a thermal efficiency >30 percent, generating up to 50 W of electrical power. The energy density of the proposed system would be about 10 times that of the best battery-based systems now available, and, as such, would be comparable to that of a fuel cell.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

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The Problems With CAD Tools: Vendors Address User Pain Points

CAD systems can be a design engineer’s best friend or their worst enemy. They help engineers create better products faster, but can prove daunting and frustrating in the process.We spoke to executives at several CAD companies to find out how they are helping their customers get past issues of ease of use, collaboration, and functionality, as well as other pain points users are still facing with their CAD tools.

Posted in: Articles

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Event Alert

Fastening Technology & Bolted Joint Design Seminar February 27-28, 2007 Detroit, Michigan USA This two-day seminar gives engineers and technical personnel current specifications for, and a better understanding of, the complexities of mechanical joining with fasteners. Featured topics include bolted/screwed joints, elastic interactions and preload stress, loosening causalities, tightening methods, calculating safety factors and limitations, selecting optimal fasteners for your design, evaluating dissimilar materials for thermal expansion and galvanic properties, and insights into materials, threads, and product standards.

Posted in: Blog

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Who's Who at NASA



Posted in: Blog

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Technologies of the Week

“Micro-needles” have been disclosed that are characterized by their sharpness and side holes that prevent the coring phenomenon seen in standard needles. The needles can be several hundreds of microns in length and avoid most pain receptors in the skin. The sharpness ensures minimal damage to the skin. Click here to view this technology.

Posted in: Blog

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Genetically Engineered Cows



Posted in: Blog

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