Manufacturing & Prototyping

Thermal Spraying of Coatings Using Resonant Pulsed Combustion

This is a high-volume, high-velocity surface deposition of protective metallic and other coatings on surfaces. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio Thermal spray coating is not a new process. There are different techniques utilized that depend on the objective function of the coating, the environment to which the coated piece will be subjected, and the coating material used. In any application, quality is ultimately measured by how well the coating material adheres to the sprayed surface. This, in turn, is controlled by the velocity at which the coating material impinges on the substrate, the size of the molten coating particles, and the degree to which the coating material is prevented from chemically reacting while in a molten state.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Plasma Treatments to Assist Fluid Manipulation in Microgravity

Altering the surface energy of container walls permits anchoring of fluids within the container. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas A recent innovation has made manipulation of hazardous laboratory reagents in microgravity easier, thus enabling even more scientific research to be performed on the International Space Station (ISS). Prior to this innovation, moving fluids from container to container was performed only under conditions of redundant and physically separate layers of containment. This design paradigm restricts access to — and direct manipulation of — fluids in microgravity conditions.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Stencil-less Jet Printing for PCB Assembly

Solder paste inkjet is an inline, solder-mask printing technology that enables 3D printing of different thicknesses of solder paste for prototype PCBs. Imagineering Inc., Elk Grove Village, Illinois For many years, stencil printing has been the standard method of depositing solder paste on surface mount assembly printed circuit boards (PCBs). It has provided a durable method of applying solder paste, but there were always difficulties that significantly slowed down a change from one product to another in the assembly operation, and added cost. A significant challenge in newer, smaller electronics assembly is the huge difference in size among components. Therefore, trying to apply the right amount of solder paste for each component with one stencil is difficult. The biggest problem is how to produce quick-turn prototypes without disrupting series production that is already running in the line. Product changeover requires time-consuming tweaks to the stencil printing process, while unnecessarily shutting down an expensive assembly line to change the product. The inability of the stencil’s technology to vary solder paste volume by part, on the run, remains the biggest impact on the soldering quality.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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In-Situ Mixing, Degassing, Decavitation, and Extrusion Modules for Fused Deposition Modeling 3D Printers

A resonant acoustics mixing mechanism equipped with high-vacuum pulling capacity will be employed. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio Additively manufactured 3D articles of certain high-temperature polymer composites such as ULTEM 1000 reinforced with chopped carbon fibers and printed by current state-of-the-art Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printers, suffer significantly with high porosity due to moisture-induced cavitation during the liquefying process under high printing temperatures because the pre-fabricated feedstock filaments contain excessive moisture trapped in polymer matrix or fiber interfaces that is extremely difficult to remove. During compounding (mixing of chopped fibers with resin) and the filament extrusion process, controlling moisture absorption is extremely difficult and very costly. Furthermore, compounding and filament fabrication are two separate processes normally performed at different plants, and thus add extra costs and technical challenge of keeping the material dry. In the case of the high-temperature polymer, it is even more difficult to control the residual moisture content and is more prone to blistering during FDM printing due to higher melting temperature.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Made in Space: 3D Printing in Zero-G

NASA’s In-Space Manufacturing (ISM) project is responsible for developing the manufacturing capabilities that will provide on-demand, sustainable operations during NASA long-duration missions to destinations such as Mars. The very first step in the initial part of ISM was getting the first 3D printer into space. A 3D printer had never flown in space until the 3D Printing in Zero-G experiment was launched on SpaceX-4 on September 21, 2014. This demonstration was the first attempt to test the effects of microgravity on additive manufacturing in space. The printer was designed and built by Made in Space under a NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract. Learn how NASA and Made In Space worked together to design, develop, and deploy the printer, and how they are taking the next steps to create an Additive Manufacturing Facility in space.

Posted in: White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Products of Tomorrow: December 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.

Posted in: Articles, Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Product of the Month: December 2015

Keysight Technologies, Santa Rosa, CA, introduced series E36100 compact DC power supplies that offer LAN and USB interfaces and reliable power for testing and validating designs. Five models feature up to 100 V or 5 A output. Design and validation engineers can use the supplies to power devices under test (DUTs) during manual tests or automated sequences. The devices’ compact form factor (2U, ¼-rack) enables use on a bench or in a rack, and standard LAN (LXI Core) and USB interfaces connect the power supplies to a computer. An intuitive on-screen menu system enables users to perform manual tasks quickly, and overvoltage and overcurrent detection protects DUTs. Each of the five models comes standard with measurement capability for very small currents, a high-contrast OLED display enabling users to view the screen from anywhere, low noise power, overvoltage and overcurrent load protection, front and rear output terminals, and USB control. For Free Info Visit http://info.hotims.com/55596-120

Posted in: Products, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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