Manufacturing & Prototyping

Thermal Mechanical Preparation of Glass Spheres

The forming process allows a very wide variety of material to be processed into spheres. Samples of lunar regolith have included small glass spheres. Most literature has suggested the small spheres were formed by meteorite impacts. The resulting transformation of kinetic energy to thermal energy caused the lunar surface to melt. The process yielded glass spheres. Recreating a meteorite impact that yields glass spheres is very challenging. Furthermore, the melting temperature of certain minerals on the Moon precludes the use of standard thermal techniques.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs

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The Significance of Critical Cleaning for Solar Module Fabrication

With increased governmental commitments to support renewable energy initiatives, winners and losers in solar module fabrication will be determined more quickly and by a variety of factors. One factor will be the elimination of defects to increase yields in the manufacturing process. Critical cleaning of substrates and superstrates is an essential component in achieving an optimal solar module fabrication process which reduces the cost per watt. Depending on the material being cleaned and the cleaning process employed, various Alconox products, including ALCONOX, DETOJET, LIQUINOX, CITRANOX and CITRAJET, have already been selected by major manufacturers as the critical cleaners of choice to reduce or eliminate manufacturing defects in solar module fabrication and are being employed in additional emerging processes.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, White Papers

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Key Procedures and Aqueous Cleaning Agents for Metal and Electronic Component Cleaning

Effective use of aqueous cleaners for electronics and metals hinges on the orchestration of basic variables of cleaning agents and procedures. The terms precision or critical cleaning apply whenever residue can cause a failure in the performance or function of the surface being cleaned. In general industry this includes electronic component cleaning, and surface preparation of metals prior to coating or bonding. Current practice for critical cleaning includes the use of volatile solvents, corrosive chemicals, and aqueous detergents. In today’ hazard-sensitive workplace, however, many companies are re-examining their use of volatile-solvent and corrosive-chemical cleaners. By using the right aqueous cleaning technologies now, it’ possible to minimize hazards without sacrificing critical cleaning performance. Many aqueous cleaners now offer cleaning performance comparable to - or better than solvent cleaning systems.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, White Papers

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Additive Manufacturing of Ti-6Al-4V Alloy Components for Spacecraft Applications

Additive manufacturing is a viable and affordable process to manufacture complex parts for aerospace, medical, and automotive applications. In the past two decades, there have been significant advancements in the field of additive manufacturing (AM) of titanium alloy (Ti-6Al-4V) and other metallic components for aerospace applications.

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Hermetic Seal Designs for Sample Return Sample Tubes

Prototype sample tube seals prevent material loss and maintain sample integrity. Prototypes have been developed of potential hermetic sample sealing techniques for encapsulating samples in a ≈1-cm-diameter thin-walled sample tube that are compatible with IMSAH (Integrated Mars Sample Acquisition and Handling) architecture. Techniques include a heat-activated, finned, shape memory alloy plug; a contracting shape memory alloy activated cap; an expanding shape memory alloy plug; and an expanding torque plug.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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Thermo-Mechanical Methodology for Stabilizing Shape Memory Alloy Response

This innovation is directly applicable to actuator applications employing shape memory alloys. This innovation is capable of significantly reducing the amount of time required to stabilize the strain-temperature response of a shape memory alloy (SMA). Unlike traditional stabilization processes that take days to weeks to achieve stabilized response, this innovation accomplishes stabilization in a matter of minutes, thus making it highly useful for the successful and practical implementation of SMA-based technologies in real-world applications. The innovation can also be applied to complex geometry components, not just simple geometries like wires or rods.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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Silicon Alignment Pins: An Easy Way To Realize a Wafer-to-Wafer Alignment

Etched pockets and silicon pins are used to align two wafers together. Submillimeter heterodyne instruments play a critical role in addressing fundamental questions regarding the evolution of galaxies as well as being a crucial tool in planetary science. To make these instruments compatible with small platforms, especially for the study of the outer planets, or to enable the development of multi-pixel arrays, it is essential to reduce the mass, power, and volume of the existing single-pixel heterodyne receivers.

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