Manufacturing & Prototyping

Cryogenic-Compatible Winchester Connector Mount and Retaining System for Composite Tubes

A connector retainer and mounting system has been designed to replace screw-mounting of Winchester connectors. Countersunk screws are normally used to secure connectors to structures, and to keep them from coming apart. These screws are normally put into threaded or through-holes in metallic structures. This unique retainer is designed such that integral posts keep the connector halves retained, and a groove permits a cable tie to be fastenedaround the retainer and composite tube, thus securing the connector to the structure.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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Utilizing Machine Vision Engines for Advanced Quality Control and Object Detection

Advanced object and feature recognition eliminates the need for physical probing or fixed sensors.Incorporating machine vision engines into an OEM system with automated handling provides a wide range of benefits to the manufacturer. Machine vision engines are self-contained vision systems that include the optics, lighting, image sensor, electronics, and software to enable standalone “intelligent” decision-making using vision software. Machine vision engines are also much more compact than traditional industrial machine vision systems, which makes them more appropriate for integration into OEM systems with limited space.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Photonics

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Maintaining Sterility Assurance Level in Medical Device Design

To avoid costly interruptions later on, sterility assurance should be placed at the forefront of the design process.A medical device undergoing design and classified as sterile will be confronted with various obstacles, not the least of which is how to determine and maintain its proposed Sterility Assurance Level (SAL) as it approaches its ultimate goal: delivery to market.

Posted in: FDA Compliance/Regulatory Affairs, Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs

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Graphite Composite Panel Polishing Fixture

Composite fixture eliminates problems that may be caused by those made from aluminum.The use of high-strength, lightweight composites for the fixture is the novel feature of this innovation. The main advantage is the light weight and high stiffness-to-mass ratio relative to aluminum.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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Modifying Matrix Materials to Increase Wetting and Adhesion

Improvements are achieved at lower cost and without degradation of fibers.In an alternative approach to increasing the degrees of wetting and adhesion between the fiber and matrix components of organic-fiber/polymer matrix composite materials, the matrix resins are modified. Heretofore, it has been common practice to modify the fibers rather than the matrices: The fibers are modified by chemical and/or physical surface treatments prior to combining the fibers with matrix resins — an approach that entails considerable expense and usually results in degradation (typically, weakening) of fibers.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs

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Ridge Waveguide Structures in Magnesium-Doped Lithium Niobate

This work proposes to establish the feasibility of fabricating isolated ridge waveguides in 5% MgO:LN. Ridge waveguides in MgO:LN will significantly improve power handling and conversion efficiency, increase photonic component integration, and be well suited to space-based applications. The key innovation in this effort is to combine recently available large, high-photorefractive-damage-threshold, z-cut 5% MgO:LN with novel ridge fabrication techniques to achieve high-optical power, low-cost, high-volume manufacturing of frequency conversion structures. The proposed ridge waveguide structure should maintain the characteristics of the periodically poled bulk substrate, allowing for the efficient frequency conversion typical of waveguides and the high optical damage threshold and long lifetimes typical of the 5% doped bulk substrate. The low cost and large area of 5% MgO:LN wafers, and the improved performance of the proposed ridge waveguide structure, will enhance existing measurement capabilities as well as reduce the resources required to achieve high-performance specifications.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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Material Gradients in Oxygen System Components Improve Safety

Oxygen system components fabricated by Laser Engineered Net Shaping™ (LENS™) could result in improved safety and performance. LENS™ is a near-net shape manufacturing process fusing powdered materials injected into a laser beam. Parts can be fabricated with a variety of elemental metals, alloys, and nonmetallic materials without the use of a mold. The LENS™ process allows the injected materials to be varied throughout a single workpiece. Hence, surfaces exposed to oxygen could be constructed of an oxygen-compatible material while the remainder of the part could be one chosen for strength or reduced weight. Unlike conventional coating applications, a compositional gradient would exist between the two materials, so no abrupt material boundary exists. Without an interface between dissimilar materials, there is less tendency for chipping or cracking associated with thermal-expansion mismatches.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs

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