Manufacturing & Prototyping

Lightweight Metal Matrix Composite Segmented for Manufacturing High-Precision Mirrors

New approach is examined to reduce production costs. High-precision mirrors for space applications are traditionally manufactured from one piece of material, such as lightweight glass “sandwich” or beryllium. The purpose of this project was to develop and test the feasibility of a manufacturing process capable of producing mirrors out of welded segments of AlBeMet® (AM162H). AlBeMet® is a HIP’d (hot isostatic pressed) material containing approximately 62% beryllium and 38% aluminum. As a result, AlBeMet® shares many of the benefits of both of those materials for use in high performance mirrors, while minimizing many of their weaknesses.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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Plasma Treatment To Remove Carbon From Indium UV Filters

Hydrogen plasma cleaning is used in sterilization applications in healthcare as an alternative to autoclaving. The sounding rocket experiment FIRE (Far-ultraviolet Imaging Rocket Experi ment) will improve the science community’s ability to image a spectral region hitherto unexplored astronomically. The imaging band of FIRE (≈900 to 1,100 Å) will help fill the current wavelength imaging observation hole existing from ≈620 Å to the GALEX band near 1,350 Å. FIRE is a single-optic prime focus telescope with a 1.75-m focal length. The bandpass of 900 to 1100 Å is set by a combination of the mirror coating, the indium filter in front of the detector, and the salt coating on the front of the detector’s microchannel plates. Critical to this is the indium filter that must reduce the flux from Lyman-alpha at 1,216 Å by a minimum factor of 10–4. The cost of this Lyman-alpha removal is that the filter is not fully transparent at the desired wavelengths of 900 to 1,100 Å.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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Pre-Validated Medical Packaging Solution

This approach helps OEMs improve the process of getting a product into a validated sterile barrier system. Due to the complex requirements of the medical device industry, the internal resources of device OEMs are drawn primarily to the device R&D and regulatory arenas. However, once the device R&D is complete, there is still a major hurdle left to tackle: how to get a product into a validated sterile barrier system.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Packaging, FDA Compliance/Regulatory Affairs, Medical, Briefs, MDB

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Joining and Assembly of Bulk Metallic Glass Composites Through Capacitive Discharge

Commercial uses include spacecraft debris shielding, energy-absorbing panels on military vehicles, and sporting goods. Bulk metallic glasses (BMGs), a class of amorphous metals defined as having a thickness greater than 1 mm, are being broadly investigated by NASA for use in spacecraft hardware. Their unique properties, attained from their non-crystalline structure, motivate several game-changing aerospace applications. BMGs have low melting temperatures so they can be cheaply and repeatedly cast into complex net shapes, such as mirrors or electronic casings. They are extremely strong and wear-resistant, which motivates their use in gears and bearings. Amorphous metal coatings are hard, corrosion-resistant, and have high reflectivity. BMG composites, reinforced with soft second phases, can be fabricated into energy-absorbing cellular panels for orbital debris shielding.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs

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Leak-Free Connection for Blood Pressure Monitoring Applications

Using proprietary molding techniques, the inner fitting features three sharp barbs designed specifically to securely hold the stiffer hoses common to blood pressure monitors. For precise blood pressure monitoring in hospitals and surgeries, the accurate handling of medical devices is paramount. Human error or device failure can result in inaccurate readings, which compromise the safety of patients, and it is critical, therefore, that device components, such as connectors, not only ensure a leak-free connection but are also simple and easy to use.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Briefs, MDB

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Employing a Grinding Technology to Assess the Microbial Density for Encapsulated Organisms

Applications include medical device manufacturing and the commercial paint industry. Projects that utilize large volumes of nonmetallic materials of planetary protection concern pose a challenge to their bioburden budget, as the most conservative value of 30 spores/cm3 is typically used. The standard laboratory procedures do not provide any direction into the methodologies to understand the embedded bioburden within such nonmetallic components such as adhesives, insulation, or paint. A project can elect to conduct a destructive hardware study to experimentally derive a sourcespecific encapsulated microbial density, and the experimental value can be utilized for a project.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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Demonstration of Minimally Machined Honeycomb Silicon Carbide Mirrors

This manufacturing process eliminates machining and steps for mirrors and optomechanical structures. Honeycomb silicon carbide composite mirrors are made from a carbon fiber preform that is molded into a honeycomb shape using a rigid mold. The carbon fiber honeycomb is densified by using polymer infiltration pyrolysis, or through a reaction with liquid silicon. A chemical vapor deposit, or chemical vapor composite (CVC), process is used to deposit a polishable silicon or silicon carbide cladding on the honeycomb structure. Alternatively, the cladding may be replaced by a freestanding, replicated CVC SiC facesheet that is bonded to the honeycomb. The resulting carbon fiber-reinforced silicon carbide honeycomb structure is a ceramic matrix composite material with high stiffness and mechanical strength, high thermal conductivity, and low CTE (coefficient of thermal expansion). This innovation enables rapid, inexpensive manufacturing.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs

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