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Fifty Years of Small Diameter High Quality Precision Tube Technology

Technology, applications, and materials evolve from analog meters to cutting edge medical devices. Over the past fifty years, thin wall small diameter precision metal tubing has undergone quite a transformation. From its use in the mid-1960s as pointers for analog meters, tubes have become essential components in the most cutting edge medical devices. To make that transition, precision tube companies have had to adapt to changing technology, applications, and materials.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Materials / Adhesives / Coatings, Materials, Metals, Medical, Briefs, MDB

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Manufacturing of Nanocomposite Carbon Fibers and Composite Cylinders

Pitch-based nanocomposite carbon fibers were prepared with various percentages of carbon nanofibers (CNFs), and the fibers were used for manufacturing composite structures. Experimental results show that these nanocomposite carbon fibers exhibit improved structural and electrical conductivity properties as compared to unreinforced carbon fibers. Composite panels fabricated from these nanocomposite carbon fibers and an epoxy system also show the same properties transformed from the fibers.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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Multi-scale CNT-Based Reinforcing Polymer Matrix Composites for Lightweight Structures

Applications include commercial aircraft, sports equipment, and automobiles. Reinforcing critical areas in carbon polymer matrix composites (PMCs), also known as fiber reinforced composites (FRCs), is advantageous for structural durability. Since carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have extremely high tensile strength, they can be used as a functional additive to enhance the mechanical properties of FRCs. However, CNTs are not readily dispersible in the polymer matrix, which leads to lower than theoretically predicted improvement in mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties of CNT composites. The inability to align CNTs in a polymer matrix is also a known issue. The feasibility of incorporating aligned CNTs into an FRC was demonstrated using a novel, yet commercially viable nanofiber approach, termed NRMs (nanofiberreinforcing mats). The NRM concept of reinforcement allows for a convenient and safe means of incorporating CNTs into FRC structural components specifically where they are needed during the fabrication process.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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Pt-Ni and Pt-Co Catalyst Synthesis Route for Fuel Cell Applications

The main objective is to increase the overall efficiencies of fuel cell systems to support power for manned lunar bases. Oxygen reduction reactions (ORRs) at the cathode are the rate-limiting step in fuel cell performance. The ORR is 100 times slower than the corresponding hydrogen oxidation at the anode. Speeding up the reaction at the cathode will improve fuel cell efficiency.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs, TSP

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Aerogel-Based Multilayer Insulation With Micrometeoroid Protection

The aerogel’s hydrophobic nature ensures thermal performance when exposed to the environment. Ultra-low-density, highly hydrophobic, fiber-reinforced aerogel material integrated with MLI (aluminized Mylar reflectors and B4A Dacron separators) offers a highly effective insulation package by providing unsurpassed thermal performance and significant robustness, delivering substantial MMOD protection via the addition of a novel, durable, external aerogel layer. The hydrophobic nature of the aerogel is an important property for maintaining thermal performance if the material is exposed to the environment (i.e. rain, snow, etc.) during ground installations.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs, TSP

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New Material Enables Improved Ultrasound

Ultrasound technology could soon be improved to produce high-quality, high-resolution images, thanks to the development of a new key material by a team of researchers in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University, College Station.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Imaging & Diagnostics, Optics/Photonics, Imaging, Optics, Materials, Metals, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Diagnostics, Nanotechnology, Briefs, MDB

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Self-Healing Nanocomposites for Reusable Composite Cryotanks

Applications for COPVs include storage of natural gas and liquid hydrogen fuel in vehicles, and marine transport of propane via tanker ships. Composite cryotanks, or composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs), offer advantages over currently used aluminum- lithium cryotanks, particularly with respect to weight savings. Future NASA missions are expected to use COPVs in spaceflight propellant tanks to store fuels, oxidizers, and other liquids for launch and space exploration vehicles. However, reliability, reparability, and reusability of the COPVs are still being addressed, especially in cryogenic temperature applications; this has limited the adoption of COPVs in reusable vehicle designs.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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