Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Robust, Highly Efficient Oxygen-Carbon Monoxide Cogeneration System

This system can be used for greenhouse gas reduction, and in the steel, medical, and welding industries.

Oxygen, water, and fuel are of paramount importance to human life. As a leading concept, the solid-oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) is a very powerful technology, especially in aiding NASA's endeavors to pursue extraterrestrial exploration missions. This work focused on developing a robust, long-life SOEC technology that efficiently cogenerates oxygen and CO fuel directly from CO2, and is superior to the state-of-the-art Oxygen-Generation System (OGS) technologies. The principal objective of the project was to develop the system to support Mars exploration missions as part of In-Situ Resource Utilization. The key problem characteristics were the SOEC performance and longevity under various operating conditions. The prior art was built on a thick electrolyte-supported SOEC using precious metals as electrodes. Due to the nature of SOEC operating mechanisms, high pressures may build up at the interfaces of the positive electrode and the electrolyte, resulting in electrode delamination and long-term stability issues. The state-of-the-art SOEC technology also faced the scaling up and stack sealing issues.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Carbon dioxide, Life support systems, Research and development, Oxygen

Low Solidity Vaned Diffuser (LSVD) Design for Improvement of Pressure Recovery

Many pump vaned diffuser designs are based on existing airfoil designs, with little attention given to the vane leading edge. There is a need for a vaned diffuser leading edge that helps resist flow separation and the resultant poor diffuser pressure recovery. Diffusers in pumps are often working with an incompressible fluid that makes potential flow methodologies — which have incompressibility as a boundary condition — attractive. The potential flow-based free-streamline analysis methods have been known to improve the aerodynamics of varied components at high incidence angles, such as diffusers, jet engine nacelles, and liquid rocket engine turbopump inducers.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Airframes, Pumps, Aerodynamics

Tangential Wrap Rib Deployable Reflector

The reflector does not use complicated deployment mechanisms.

There is a need for a large deployable reflector of 2-meter diameter or greater so smaller launch vehicles can be used. Common issues with going from a large solid reflector into deployable structures are the structural stiffness and deployable structure complexity.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Antennas, Product development, Storage, Launch vehicles

Wave Springs Save Your Assembly Space and Weight

No one understands the needs of your applications more than you do. We know how critical it is to specify the right spring for your design. With tens of thousands of wave springs designed, and counting, we have tackled design challenges in nearly every industry.

It details:

Reducing spring heights Reduced Costs Extensive Product Line Design Requirements

Still have questions? Don't hesitate to ask one of our experts.

Posted in: White Papers, Aerospace, Fluid Handling, Mechanical Components, Mechanics, Medical

Multiturn Kit Encoders Without Batteries or Gears: A Cost-Efficient Approach for Rotary Position Measurement in Servomotors and Rotating Equipment

POSITAL is introducing a new set of component-level products that are designed to be built into servomotors or other types of equipment when real-time measurement of rotary position (angular displacement) or rotational speed is required. Based on POSITAL’s well-proven magnetic rotary encoder technology, these new products provide manufacturers with a flexible and cost-effective way of incorporating rugged and precise rotation measurement capabilities directly into their devices.

Posted in: White Papers, Mechanical Components, Mechanics, Motion Control

Magnetic Fields Enable New Soft Robots

Researchers from North Carolina State University have a found a new way to control robots. The team used magnetic fields to remotely manipulate microparticle chains embedded in soft robotic devices.

Posted in: News, Joining & Assembly, Drug Delivery, Automation, Robotics

Fundamentals of Wire, Cable, and Connectivity

Continuous supply of electric power or faultless data transfer, provided mostly through wiring, are primary requirements affecting virtually all systems. This results in stringent requirements for production, installation, and operation of cables.

Posted in: White Papers, Mechanical Components, Motion Control, Automation, Robotics

LAPP PLAYBOOK — Next Generation Cables For Factory Automation

Achieving maximum productivity and minimizing downtime are critical in production line equipment or any automation applications.

Posted in: White Papers, Aerospace, Defense, Mechanical Components, Mechanics, Motion Control

Development of the Orion Crew-Service Module Umbilical Retention and Release Mechanism

The design is highly modular, and can easily be adapted to other vehicles/modules and alternate commodity sets.

The Orion Crew-Service Module (CM/SM) umbilical retention and release mechanism supports, protects, and disconnects all of the cross-module commodities between the spacecraft's crew and service modules. These commodities include explosive transfer lines, wiring for power and data, and flexible hoses for ground purge and life support systems. Initial development testing of the mechanism's separation interface resulted in binding failures due to connector misalignments. Separation of the umbilical lines between the Crew Module (CM) and the Service Module (SM) happens as part of the vehicle separation activities prior to reentry. If the umbilical fails to separate successfully, the crew and spacecraft will likely be lost.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mechanics, Architecture, Fasteners, Entry, descent, and landing, Spacecraft

Micro-Lid for Sealing a Sample Reservoir for Micro-Extraction Systems

Improved micro-extraction systems could be useful for military remote sensing using microfluidics.

Great strides are taken to miniaturize spaceflight instrumentation, particularly analytical systems such as liquid chromatographs, gas chromatographs, and mass spectrometers. With miniaturization of instruments, large amounts of samples are no longer required. Therefore, a lesser quantity of sample from the environment needs to be acquired and extracted. Current practices of sample extraction are large in volume and consume an enormous amount of power, which is inconsistent for microfluidic instruments in development. These consume minute amounts of power and are of low mass. There have been efforts to create micro-sample extraction systems; however, a downfall of those systems is the inability to automatically close sample reservoirs.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mechanics, Containers, Seals and gaskets, Test equipment and instrumentation, Spacecraft

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.