Motion Control

Process for Forming a High-Temperature Single Crystal Preloader

Non-contacting, acoustic pressure seals and preloader superalloys prevent fluid leakage.Friction has long been a thorny problem for sealing-device designers. Traditional sealing devices rely on a contacting relationship between surfaces and sealing elements to prevent fluid leakage, but in the case of moving elements, this contact produces friction that causes wearing and eventual failure of the sealing system. Friction also consumes energy and produces harmful debris. In a new breakthrough, however, researchers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have patented an acoustic seal that generates a pressure barrier to prevent fluid leakage from a high-pressure area. Instead of using contacting components as a seal, the patented seal employs acoustic technology to generate pressure waves that control, mitigate, or prevent fluid leakage. The result is a very low-leakage, non-contact seal that eliminates problems associated with friction. In addition, when traditional seals are needed in extremely high-temperature environments, Glenn innovators have developed new processes to enable the fabrication of single-crystal superalloys that can increase the upper limit of thermal seals to greater than 2000 °F.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mechanics, Fluid Handling

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Fluidic Oscillator Array for Synchronized Oscillating Jet Generation

This technology can be used in aerospace applications, shipbuilding, gas turbines, and commercial spa equipment.NASA’s Langley Research Center develops innovative technologies to control fluid flow in ways that will ultimately result in improved performance and fuel efficiency. Often called fluidic oscillators, sweeping jet actuators, or flip flop oscillators, these flow-control devices work based on the Coanda effect. They can be embedded directly into a control surface (such as a wing or a turbine blade) and generate spatially oscillating bursts (or jets) of fluid to improve flow characteristics by enhancing lift, reducing drag, or enhancing heat transfer. Recent studies show up to a 60% performance enhancement with oscillators. NASA offers two new fluidic oscillator designs that address two key limitations of these oscillators: coupled frequency-amplitude and random oscillations. One oscillator effectively decouples the oscillation frequency from the amplitude. The other design enables synchronization of an entire array. The new oscillators have no moving parts — oscillation, decoupling, and synchronization are achieved entirely via internal flow dynamics.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mechanics, Fluid Handling

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Rotary Valve

RotaVal Ltd. (Wiltshire, UK) introduced a heavy-duty rotary valve for use where solids handled and operating conditions combine to cause abrasive erosion within the valve. It has on-site component replacement. The valves are used in discharging materials such as cement, PFA, granite dust, silica sand, and mineral powders under adverse pressure conditions. Standard valves are manufactured in cast iron, SG iron, Ni-hard, and carbon steel. The replaceable body liner can be hard chromed or ceramic coated. Rotor shaft sealing options include various types of gland packing, mechanical seals, and air or grease purge.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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Voice Coil Actuator

The LAH15-19-000A linear voice coil actuator from BEI Kimco (Vista, CA) provides low hysteresis/ low friction with bi-directional position control. It is suited for applications where low friction and high force accuracy are needed. The low-friction design features a patent-pending symmetrical flex circuit that prevents friction caused by movement. A solid brass ball cage with captured steel balls also reduces friction. The actuator offers a hysteresis of 10 mN. Other features include a peak force of 4.7 N, a total stroke of 7.4 mm, and a compact size of 38 mm in diameter by 48.3 mm in length.

Posted in: Products, Motion Control

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Compact Robot

ABB Robotics (Auburn Hills, MI) introduced the IRB 1660ID compact robot for arc welding and machine tending applications. It features a DressPack design that allows users to program and simulate predictable cable movements, a rigid upper arm with a reach of 1.55 m, and a payload of 6 kg. It is able to accommodate heavier weld torches, and provides wire feeding control near the arc. TrueMove™ technology provides 0.05-mm path repeatability. The integrated DressPack allows the robot to move at maximum acceleration and speed for machine tending applications. The risk of collision in confined spaces is also eliminated, and the 1,390° working range of axes 4, 5, and 6 enables agility in CNC machines.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control

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Block Spindle

Suhner Industrial Products Corp. Automation Division (Rome, GA) introduced the BEX8 high-speed machining block spindle capable of maintaining rigidity and precision at operations up to 25,000 rpm. The spindle weighs 33 lbs. and can be mounted directly onto robotic arms for fully automated machining operations in automotive, appliance, off-highway, and other industries. The standard motor supplied is either 0.37kW or 0.75kW, and the standard toolholder supplied is ER20.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control

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Rotary Tables

Koma Precision (East Windsor, CT) offers Tsudakoma RDS Series direct drive rotary tables that use a proprietary direct drive motor system that enables the tables to achieve high speed and acceleration with no backlash. The compact, single-axis, 150-rpm tables feature indexing accuracy of ±10 arc seconds and a pneumatic braking system. Various options such as rotary joints, chucks, tailstocks, support spindles, and faceplates are available. The tables can be integrated with machine tools that have Fanuc or Mitsubishi controls. The tables also feature a low-profile build for mass production and high-speed indexing operations in the automotive, medical, and computer/electronic manufacturing industries.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control

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