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Computational Modeling Develops Ultra-Hard Steel

Glenn Research Center’s Mechanical Components Branch routinely conducts research on transmissions and gearing for advanced gas turbines, promoting their safety, weight reduction, and reliability. The Mechanical Components Branch is staffed by both NASA and U.S. Army Research Laboratory employees, and the research program is designed and executed to meet the needs of both organizations. The researchers have developed a world-class set of instruments and test devices, including a spiral bevel or face gear test rig for testing thermal behavior, surface fatigue, strain, vibration, and noise; a full-scale, 500-horsepower helicopter mainrotor transmission testing stand; a gear rig that allows fundamental studies of the dynamic behavior of gear systems and gear noise; and a high-speed helical gear test for analyzing thermal behavior for rotorcraft. These are just a few examples of the highly specialized equipment the researchers at the Mechanical Components Branch have at their disposal.

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

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Thin, Light, Flexible Heaters Save Time and Energy

Ice accumulation is a serious safety hazard for aircraft. The presence of ice on airplane surfaces prevents the even flow of air, which increases drag and reduces lift. Ice on wings is especially dangerous during takeoff, when a sheet of ice the thickness of a compact disc can reduce lift by 25 percent or more. Ice accumulated on the tail of an aircraft (a spot often out of the pilot’s sight) can throw off a plane’s balance and force the craft to pitch downward, a phenomenon known as a tail stall.

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

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Novel Nanotube Manufacturing Streamlines Production

Nanotubes are sheets of graphite, one atom thick, rolled into seamless cylinders, with an exterior diameter in the range of nanometers. For a sense of perspective, if you were to split a human hair into 50,000 independent strands, a nanotube would be about the size of one of those strands.

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

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‘NASA Invention of the Year’ Controls Noise and Vibration

Developed at NASA’s Langley Research Center, the Macro-Fiber Composite (MFC) is an innovative, low-cost piezoelectric device designed for controlling vibration, noise, and deflections in composite structural beams and panels. It was created for use on helicopter blades and airplane wings as well as for the shaping of aerospace structures at NASA.

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

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Thermoelectric Devices Advance Thermal Management

When NASA programs need the ultimate reliability to power deep space probes, they repeatedly select thermoelectric (TE) devices as a system component. TE devices heat, cool, and generate electricity when a temperature differential is provided between the two module faces. Using radioactive isotope Plutonium 238 and TE devices to convert waste heat into electricity, NASA has depended on radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) in 25 U.S. missions since 1961.

Posted in: NTB, Spinoff

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Extraction of Betulin and Betulinic Acid from Birch Bark

NaturNorth has created bioactive compounds with potential applications in pharmaceutical, agricultural, and biocidal applications. The compounds have potential applications against HIV, MRSA, herpes, in anticancer treatments, and in anti-inflammatory, liver protection, and skin protection applications. The compounds are derived from betulin and betulinic acid, naturally occurring substances found in the bark of the birch tree. To obtain betulin and betulinic acid, NaturNorth developed cost-effective ways of extracting the substances from the bark (a low-cost renewable resource). There are three primary assets of value: An existing library of 1,000 proprietary, protected, and confidential compounds; the capability to export a “mine” of new potential compounds; and the source of low-cost production through extraction of betulin from birch bark and proprietary synthesis methods for derivatives. Get the complete report on this technology at Email: nasatech@yet2.com Phone: 781-972-0600

Posted in: Techs for License

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Connex500™

Objet Geometries, Billerica, MA, has introduced the Connex500™ multimaterial 3D printer based on the company’s PolyJet Matrix™ technology, which provides simultaneous jetting of multiple model materials. The system enables the printing of parts and assemblies made of multiple materials in a single build, and fabricates Digital Materials™ on the fly, enabling the creation of composite materials that have preset combinations of mechanical properties. The printer prints parts with specific Shore A values, a scale used to indicate material hardness in soft, flexible materials. It produces prototypes of products that use over-molding in the manufacturing process, and fabricates translucent models that aid in medical applications by showing nerves, tumors, and other areas of interest. Three printing modes are available: DM mode operates at 12 mm per hour in 30-micron layers; HQ mode builds parts at 12 mm per hour in 16-micron layers; and the HS mode runs at 20 mm per hour in 30-micron layers. Build volume is 500 × 400 × 200 mm.

Posted in: Products

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