Tech Exchange

Lightweight Building System Eases Construction

A silicate-based, lightweight construction system features building blocks that are already covered by insulating material. After the concreting process, the formed, reinforced concrete tissue grid becomes load-bearing. There is no need for applying any subsequent heat or sound insulation.

Posted in: Techs for License
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Plastic Production System Controls Directional Forces and Tearing

To achieve exacting performance requirements, “Smittie” technology produces predictable bi-axial or mono-axial orientation in polymer materials. The system eliminates expensive equipment, curbs energy use, reduces the need for highly skilled labor, and shortens setup times.

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Small-Droplet, Emissions-Control Nozzle Ensures Consistency

Macrospray® nozzles produce highly uniform spray patterns and droplet sizes (in the size range of 10-30μm Sauter Mean Diameter/SMD). The nozzles are created from digital tools with the flow features chemically etched into bonded substrates, resulting in a monolithic structure. Hydraulically smooth internal surfaces reduce flow losses. Nozzle passages, metering slots, spin chambers, and exit orifices are designed to minimize pressure drops.

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Steel Alternative Features Higher Usability Strength

A new material offers a lighter weight and at least 30% higher usability strength compared to traditional steel. The equipment necessary for the production of the new technology is identical to equipment used for the manufacturing of conventional steel. It does not require other machinery, and the steel can be cast in molds as well as in closed continuous casting machines.

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Heat-Seal Adhesive

A new food-grade heat-seal adhesive is needed for roll-coated film lids. New chemistries must be formulated into a waterbased matrix to seal transparent film onto plastic trays containing food or medical materials. The organization deals primarily with polyester films (APET/CPET) and trays, and containers made from polystyrene (PS), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyester (PET), and polyvinylchloride (PVC). Extrusion films or solvent-based materials are not needed, and the solution must withstand 100–140 °C during application. Because the substrate is roll-wound, the material cannot adhere to itself at room temperature.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Corrugate Reduction

An organization wants to use less corrugate in its shipping operations. Unique designs or processes must reduce the amount of corrugate material required, while maintaining the same level of protection for the products being shipped. Replacing corrugate with another material may be considered, but the replacement material will have to be less expensive and equally environmentally friendly. Possible solutions include thin-walled corrugate, fewer pieces, corrugate reinforced with 90-degree-angle folds, or corrugate in combination with shrink-wrap. The proposed method must be automated and cannot increase the labor component of packaging the materials.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Polymer Indicator Monitors Spoilage

The Fresh Stripe multi-layer indicator for meats is manufactured or incorporated into packaging using conventional roll-to-roll processes. The polymer layer biodegrades at a predictable rate in the presence of the same hydrolytic bacterial enzymes that degrade meat. As the indicator degrades, it changes appearance so that a consumer can effectively judge the meat’s freshness. Freezing, refrigeration, and heat do not degrade the performance of the indicator or affect its accuracy.

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Holographic Technology Offers Robust Authentication

A new security technology provides a hologram invisible to the naked eye. The tool requires viewing with a prism to discover the holographic image. The product also supplies a primary and complementary hologram for applications where visibility is required or desired. Both approaches offer robust authentication and are extremely difficult to counterfeit. The technology is suitable for high-volume production.

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Heat Seal Solutions for Flexible Film

An organization seeks one or more bonding agents that can be dispersed into water. When the bonding agents are coated onto a PET film and dried, the coated film should adhere to and seal items made from rigid PE (polyethylene), PP (polypropylene), PS (polystyrene), PVC (polyvinylchloride), and PET (polyester). The same agent does not need to bond all five materials. One possible solution may be a material that has both a polar group to bond to PET and a non-polar group that can bond to other substrates.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Fast-Cooking Pasta

A large manufacturer of consumer products needs an innovative process to make fast-cooking pasta. Cooking time should be reduced by at least 70%, and thickness/texture of the dry product must be the same as that of the reference shape. Ingredients should be suitable for human consumption. The reduction of cooking time and eventual temperature represents not only a clear advantage for a “time-starving” consumer, but also a lower energy consumption of the cooking process, which reduces impact on the environment.

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