Mechanical & Fluid Systems


Optimal Engineering Systems (Van Nuys, CA) released low-profile XYθ (theta) stages that move in an XY-plane and rotate around the center of the XY-plane. Available in 12 models in two precision grades, the stages have linear travels from ±2 by ±2 mm, up to ±30 by ±30 mm. The stages can rotate around the center of the XY plane up to ±6°. Four models have solid tables sized from 100 x 100 mm to 200 x 200 mm, and eight stages from 250 x 250 mm to 1500 x 1500 mm are hollow core (open frame) stages. Available in normal and precision grades, they have preloaded cross roller bearings, and typical normal repeated positioning accuracy is from ±1.75 μm to ±2.5 μm; typical precision repeated positioning accuracy is from ±0.7 μm to ±1.0 μm. Parallelism of the stages is as low as 30 μm, and the larger stages can handle dynamic loads to 600 kg. The stages can be ordered with linear encoders for closed loop operation, customized to meet specific requirements, and complete ready-to-run alignment systems. For Free Info Visit

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Mechanical Components, Motion Control



C-Flex Bearing Co. (Frankfort, NY) offers a Super Plastic torsional damping coupling that stabilizes high-precision systems by dampening transient torque variations. The patented design offers high-torque loads with zero backlash for positioning in industries such as medical, packaging, and semiconductor. The standard flexible coupling is made up of two high-strength aluminum ends with glass-impregnated polyamide flexures. They are available with both set screws and “No Mark” steel clamp bushings. English and metric versions are available. Bore sizes range from 0.125" to 1.25", and 4 mm to 32 mm. Lattice and servo styles are available in both the Super Plastic and all stainless steel versions. For Free Info Visit

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Joining & Assembly, Medical, Motion Control, Packaging, Semiconductors & ICs


Magnetic Fluids Deliver Better Speaker Sound Quality

NASA’s liquid magnetization technology helps Sony increase sound amplitude while reducing distortion. In the early 1960s, NASA scientists were trying to move fuel into an engine without the benefit of gravity. A scientist at Lewis Research Center (now Glenn Research Center) came up with the idea to magnetize the liquid with extremely fine particles of iron oxide. That way, fuel could be drawn into the engine using magnetic force.

Posted in: Articles, Spinoff, Electronics, Joining & Assembly


ACS Anchor Guide Stud and Caddy

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland An alignment guide and a mounting interface for two of the repair tools on orbit during the Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 4 (see were developed. This design can be installed in a timely manner, and was specifically developed for a worksite with minimal access and minimal visual line-of-sight to the worksite. In addition, this technology was specifically designed for on-orbit work by astronauts, and can be used for any space-related work where an alignment aid or mounting interface is required.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Aerospace, Fastening, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components


Next-Generation, Lightweight Hard Upper Torso/Hatch Assembly

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas The current MK-III carbon-graphite/epoxy Hard Upper Torso (HUT)/hatch assembly represented an 8.3 psi (≈57 kPa) technology demonstrator model of a zero pre-breathe suit. In this configuration, the MK-III suit weighed about 120 lb (≈54 kg). Since future lunar/planetary suits will need to operate under the influence of gravity, as well as operate at 4.3 psi (≈30 kPa), the weight of the suit had to be reduced to a minimum of 79 lb (≈36 kg) with the incorporation of lightweight structural materials and slight HUT/hatch assembly geometric redesign.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Aerospace, Mechanical Components


Elastic Deployable Composite Tubular Roll-Out Boom

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland The objective of this work was to develop an innovative deployable boom/structure technology that is ultra-lightweight (<30-grams/meter potential), and has extremely compact stowage volume (>100:1 compaction ratio), broad scalability (no size limits envisioned), high deployed frequency, high deployed strength, good thermal/dimensional stability, reliable/immediate and repeatable controlled deployment, high stiffness maintained during the entire deployment sequence, affordability (simple, easily produced tubular structure, very low parts count, and proven tube manufacture provides low cost and rapid assembly), space environmental survivability, and broad mission applicability.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Aerospace, Mechanical Components


Reduced-Speed Duplex-Ring Seal

This configuration seals fluid flow and pressure at a significant increase in machine shaft speed. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio Ring seals are used in rotating union applications where a fluid flow or hydraulic pressure signal is transferred from a static reference frame to a rotating component, such as a shaft, for the purpose of providing lubrication and/or a hydraulic signal to a component(s) in a rotating frame of reference. Ring seals are used in physically compact configurations.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Mechanical Components


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