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Electropolishing Prepares/Pre-Cleans Parts Properly Prior To Penetrant Testing

It is common, especially in the aerospace industry, for parts that are fracture critical to be Liquid Penetrant Inspected (LPI) prior to installation. Also known as Dye Penetrant Inspection (DPI) or simply Penetrant Testing (PT), this method is used to detect micro-cracks or other defects that could serve as an initiation site for failure. In order to properly execute a penetrant test, the surface of a metal part must be thoroughly clean of any debris, smeared metal, or any amorphous layer that may be hiding a hairline crack thus yielding a false reading.

Posted in: White Papers, Aeronautics, Defense, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials

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Scientists Simulate Bacteria-Powered 'Windfarm'

A team of scientists from Oxford University has shown how the natural movement of bacteria could be harnessed to assemble and power microscopic "windfarms."

Posted in: News, Energy Harvesting, Renewable Energy

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Will security concerns prevent widespread adoption of wearables and IoT devices?

This week's Question: In the paper "Friend or Foe?: Your Wearable Devices Reveal Your Personal PIN" scientists from Binghamton University and the Stevens Institute of Technology combined data from embedded sensors in wearable technologies, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, along with a computer algorithm to crack private PINs and passwords. By using data from “accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers inside the wearable technologies regardless of a hand’s pose,” the researchers could record a hand’s fine-grained movements. The researchers then used a “Backward PIN-sequence Inference Algorithm” to crack the codes.

Posted in: Question of the Week

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Researchers Develop Self-Healing, Shape-Changing Smart Material

Washington State University researchers have created a multi-functional smart material that changes shape when subjected to heat or light; the material then assembles and disassembles itself.

Posted in: News, Materials

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Coding and Computers Could Help Detect Explosives

The top image shows a typical reading from a mass spectrometer, where each line indicates the presence of a certain substance. The bottom image shows a reading from the new coded aperture, where researchers rely on computers to collapse the numerous lines into a brighter version of the image above. (Photo: Jeff Glass, Duke University) A modern twist on an old technology could soon help detect rogue methane leaks, hidden explosives and much more. A Duke University team is using software to dramatically improve the performance of chemical-sniffing mass spectrometers.

Posted in: News

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Engineers Use Cyborg Insects as Biorobotic Sensing Machines

Sensors placed on the insect monitor neural activity while they are freely moving, decoding the odorants present in their environment. (Photo: Baranidharan Raman) A team of engineers from Washington University in St. Louis is looking to capitalize on the sense of smell in locusts to create new biorobotic sensing systems that could be used in homeland security applications.

Posted in: News

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Researchers Improve Decontamination Criteria for Combat-Vehicle Coatings

U.S. Army combat vehicle coatings provide chemical warfare agent protection as well as camouflage and corrosion resistance. An ECBC research team provided the Army with a more accurate method for evaluating the protective value of coatings purchased from vendors. (Photo: ECBC Communications) When it comes to protecting warfighters from exposure to chemical agents that have contaminated combat vehicles, determining how much agent gets absorbed into the material matters. That's what researchers at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) discovered and helped the Army fix.

Posted in: News

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