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Products of Tomorrow: April 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some of the examples of NASA-developed technology used in products today. This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. If you are interested in licensing the technologies described here, use the contact information provided. To learn about more available technologies, visit the NASA Technology Transfer Portal at http://technology.nasa.gov.

Posted in: Articles, Products, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Joining & Assembly, Optical Components, Optics

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Magnetic Fluids Deliver Better Speaker Sound Quality

NASA’s liquid magnetization technology helps Sony increase sound amplitude while reducing distortion. In the early 1960s, NASA scientists were trying to move fuel into an engine without the benefit of gravity. A scientist at Lewis Research Center (now Glenn Research Center) came up with the idea to magnetize the liquid with extremely fine particles of iron oxide. That way, fuel could be drawn into the engine using magnetic force.

Posted in: Articles, Electronics, Joining & Assembly

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Magnetic Encoders

POSITAL (Hamilton, NJ) introduced new models of IXARC magnetic encoders that combine incremental and absolute rotation measurement capabilities in a single, compact package. Absolute encoders provide a control system with a report of the rotational angle and rotation count at a specific point in time; incremental encoders provide a signal pulse each time the encoder shaft rotates by a specified angle. The hybrid encoders are based on the company’s magnetic measurement technology, and offer shock, dust, and moisture resistance. The hybrid incremental and absolute rotary encoders have communications interfaces that support both measurement modes: RS-422, HTL, or TTL for incremental readings; and SSI for absolute measurements. Available multi-turn versions can count up to 64,000 revolutions, while incremental measurements have resolutions as high as 16,384 pulses per revolution. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55588-300

Posted in: Products, Measuring Instruments

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Planetary Gearbox

GAM (Mount Prospect, IL) offers the SPH inline planetary gearbox with helical gears for dynamic and cyclic applications, as well highspeed and continuous duty applications. It is available in six frame sizes with nominal torque ratings from 15 to 900 Nm. The face width of the gears provides more tooth contact and greater overall torque density. The gears are case-hardened, which imparts strength deeper into the gear. With several output configurations available, machine integration is simplified. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55588-301

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Clutches

U.S. Tsubaki Power Transmission, LLC (Wheeling, IL) announced Cam Clutch unidirectional/ mechanical clutches that lock the inner and outer races through the locking action of cams, transmitting torque in one direction of rotation while overrunning in the other. The cams are made of alloy steel, and the races are made of alloy steel with high surface hardness and core toughness. They are precision-ground to provide concentricity and surface finish for accurate cam rotation. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55588-308

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Bearings

igus (East Providence, RI) offers xiros® ball bearings with ball races made from high-performance polymer iglide® A500. The bearings are maintenance- and lubrication-free, and are designed for temperatures up to 302 °F. They are corrosion-resistant, non-magnetic, washable, chemical-resistant, FDAcompliant, and accommodate 3-20 mm shaft diameter. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55588-303

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Electric Cylinder

SMAC (Carlsbad, CA) introduced the CBL50 electric cylinder designed to achieve peak force of 50N at 2 Amp current, and acceleration up to 40G. It features carriage-free design and built-in linear bearings. It is available with a vacuum and spring option for pick-and-place applications. With the optional IP65 and IP67 dustproof and waterproof feature, the cylinder is suited for applications such as food and beverage processing, packaging, and pharmaceutical industries. Stroke lengths of 10, 25, 50, and 100 mm will be available. The cylinder is offered with a choice of encoder resolutions, with 5-micron standard, and 1 and 0.1 micron optional. It is fully programmable in position, velocity, and force simultaneously. A patented “Soft-land” function ensures precise contact force. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55588-305

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