Overcoming Automotive Sensor Challenges Using Breakthrough Technology

In Conjunction with SAETraditional wired sensors need to be connected to control panels and must be connected to electrical power. This situation is not improved with a traditional wireless sensor where, over the life of the sensor, battery change costs are equally painful. Innovative battery-free, micro controller-free wireless Smart Passive Sensors operate in places where you would never consider deploying a traditional sensor.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars


Researchers Make Full-Color Holograms from Nanomaterials

Imagine cell phones with 3D floating displays, or credit cards with three-dimensional security markings.By using just one layer of nanoscale metallic film, researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have reconstructed 3D full-color holographic images. The technique supports biomedical, security, and big-data storage applications.

Posted in: News


Planning for Implementation of the European Union Medical Devices Regulations – Are You Prepared?

The Medical Device and In Vitro Medical Device Regulations represent the most significant change to the European legislation for medical devices for nearly 20 years. Understanding the requirements is key to your ability to develop an implementation plan to ensure continuing regulatory compliance and provide the EU market with safe medical devices.A new white paper, “Planning for Implementation of the European Union Medical Devices Regulations: Are You Prepared?” focuses on the practical aspects of implementation. It discusses decisions that need to be made and includes questions to ask about your organization’s preparedness to comply with the new requirements.Download this new white paper to learn how to address: Activities and requirements for manufacturers, authorized representatives, importers, and distributors Existing products and their technical documentation, including clinical evidence Products in the development pipeline Responsibilities of the person handling regulatory compliance, ISO 13485:2016 certification, and lifecycle management Content and maintenance of technical documentation Unique device identification, implant cards, and labelling changes PMS plans, periodic safety update reports (PSURs) or post-market surveillance reports, and post-market clinical follow-up (PMCF)

Posted in: White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Bio-Medical, FDA Compliance/Regulatory Affairs, Medical


Edward Chow, AUDREY Program Manager, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Edward Chow, AUDREY Program Manager, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CAEdward Chow leads the development of AUDREY, the Assistant for Understanding Data through Reasoning, Extraction, and sYnthesis. The artificial-intelligence system captures a variety of sensor data, including gases, temperature, and location signals. By sending alerts through a mobile device or head-mounted display, AUDREY could soon be used to guide first responders through dangerous conditions.

Posted in: Who's Who, Data Acquisition, Detectors, Sensors


4D Printing: New dimension for additive manufacturing

A team of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have demonstrated the 3D printing of shape-shifting structures that can fold or unfold to reshape themselves when exposed to heat or electricity. The micro-architected structures are fabricated from a conductive, environmentally responsive polymer ink developed at the lab.Scientists and engineers revealed their strategy for creating boxes, spirals, and spheres from shape memory polymers (SMPs), bio-based "smart" materials that exhibit shape changes when resistively heated or when exposed to the appropriate temperature. While the approach of using responsive materials in 3D printing, often known as 4D printing, is not new, LLNL researchers are the first to combine the process of 3D printing and subsequent folding (via origami methods) with conductive smart materials to build complex structures.The researchers create primary shapes from an ink made from soybean oil, additional co-polymers, and carbon nanofibers and "program" them into a temporary shape at an engineered temperature determined by chemical composition. Then the shape-morphing effect is induced by ambient heat or by heating the material with an electrical current, which reverts the part's temporary shape back to its original shape."It's like baking a cake," said Jennifer Rodriguez, a postdoc in LLNL's Materials Engineering Division. "You take the part out of the oven before it's done and set the permanent structure of the part by folding or twisting after an initial gelling of the polymer."Ultimately, Rodriguez said, researchers can use the materials to create extremely complex parts. "If we printed a part out of multiple versions of these formulations, with different transition temperatures, and run it through a heating ramp, they would expand in a segmented fashion and unpack into something much more complex."Through a direct-ink writing 3D printing process, the team produced several types of structures: a bent conductive device that morphed to a straight device when exposed to an electric current or heat, a collapsed stent that expanded after being exposed to heat, and boxes that either opened or closed when heated.The technology, the researchers said, could have applications in the medical field, in aerospace (in solar arrays or antennae that can unfold), as well as flexible circuits and robotic devices.

Posted in: News, Manufacturing & Prototyping


Epoxy-based Hermetic Feedthroughs Boost Switchgear Reliability

With medium-voltage switchgear, progress is being made with regard to finding alternatives to SF6 as an insulation gas. Designs that incorporate dry air or a mixture of fluoroketone, nitrogen and oxygen as the insulating gas are being explored to minimize environmental impact.

Posted in: White Papers, Aerospace, Defense, Mechanical Components, Mechanics


Lattice structure absorbs vibrations

Strong vibrations from a bus engine can be felt uncomfortably through the seats. Similarly, vibrations from the propellers or rotors in propeller aircraft and helicopters can make the flight bumpy and loud. They also lead to increased fatigue damage of the aircraft and its components. Engineers have therefore sought to prevent such vibrations in machines, vehicles, and aircraft. A new three-dimensional lattice structure developed by ETH scientists could now expand the possibilities of vibration absorption. Led by Chiara Daraio, Professor of Mechanics and Materials, the researchers made the structure with a lattice spacing of around 3.5 mm out of plastic using a 3D printer. Inside the lattice they embedded steel cubes that are somewhat smaller than dice and act as resonators. "Instead of the vibrations traveling through the whole structure, they are trapped by the steel cubes and the inner plastic grid rods, so the other end of the structure does not move," explains Kathryn Matlack, a postdoc in Daraio's group.The vibration-absorbing structure is rigid and thus can be used as a load-bearing component in rotors and propellers. It also offers another advantage. Compared to existing soft absorption materials, it can absorb a much wider range of vibrations, both fast and slow, and is particularly good at absorbing relatively slow vibrations. "The structure can be designed to absorb vibrations with oscillations of a few hundred to a few tens of thousand times per second (Hertz)," says Daraio. "This includes vibrations in the audible range. In engineering practice, these are the most undesirable, as they cause environmental noise pollution and reduce the energy efficiency of machines and vehicles."In theory, it would be possible to build such a construction out of aluminum and other lightweight metals instead of plastic, says Matlack. In principle, it would just require a combination of lightweight material, structured in a lattice geometry, and embedded resonators with a larger mass density. The geometry of the lattice structure and the resonators would need to be optimally aligned to the anticipated vibrations.The vibration absorbers are essentially ready for technical applications, says Matlack, but they are limited insofar as 3D printing technology is mostly geared toward small-scale production, and material properties, such as the load-bearing capacity, cannot yet match those of components manufactured with traditional methods. Once this technology is ready for industrial use, there is nothing standing in the way of a broader application. A further application could be in wind turbine rotors, where minimizing vibrations would increase efficiency. The technology could also conceivably be used in vehicle and aircraft construction as well as rockets.

Posted in: News, Aerospace


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