Mechanical & Fluid Systems

High-Speed Backplane Connector System

Samtec (New Albany, IN) has expanded its ExaMAX® High-Speed Backplane Connector System optimized for high-density and high-speed performance. The ExaMAX® header and right-angle receptacle system (EBTM/EBTF-RA Series) is optimized for speeds up to 28 Gbps on a 2.00 mm column pitch or 56 Gbps on a 3.00 mm column pitch. For 28 Gbps performance, this system meets and exceeds OIF-CEI-28G-LR specifications. Return loss compliance is achieved in both 85 Ω and 100 Ω systems due to targeting the 92 Ω specifications and controlling reflections at all geometry transitions within the connector.

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Posted in: Products, Mechanical Components
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Keylock Switches

APEM, Vista, CA, introduced LK Series keylock switches available in nickel-plated or black overmolded barrel shutter and key. The multi-position switches are available in momentary and maintained functions, and in single or double pole configurations. They feature two-, three-, and four-position locking configuration with positive detent and multiple key-pull locations. They are rated for 4A at 125 VAC or 28 VDC, with a mechanical lifespan of 6,000 cycles at full load.

Posted in: Products, Electronic Components, Mechanical Components
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Epoxy-based Hermetic Feedthroughs Boost Switchgear Reliability

With medium-voltage switchgear, progress is being made with regard to finding alternatives to SF6 as an insulation gas. Designs that incorporate dry air or a mixture of fluoroketone, nitrogen and oxygen as the insulating gas are being explored to minimize environmental impact.

Posted in: White Papers, Aerospace, Defense, Mechanical Components, Mechanics
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Jet Engine Exhaust Nozzle Flow Effector

Shape memory alloy provides variable shape control of aircraft structure through actively deformable surfaces.

NASA’s Langley Research Center has created novel flow effector technology for separation control and enhanced mixing. The technology allows for variable shape control of aircraft structure through actively deformable surfaces. The flow effectors are made by embedding shape memory alloy actuator material in a composite structure. When thermally actuated, the flow effector deflects into or out of the flow in a prescribed manner to enhance mixing or induce separation for a variety of applications, including aeroacoustic noise reduction, drag reduction, and flight control. NASA developed the active flow effectors for noise reduction as an alternative to fixed-configuration effectors, such as static chevrons, that cannot be optimized for airframe installation effects or variable operating conditions, and cannot be retracted for off-design or failsafe conditions.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Aviation, Mechanics, Alloys, Smart materials, Nozzles, Exhaust pipes, Jet engines
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A Structural Joint with Multi-Axis Load Carrying Capacity

The technology can be used in aerospace and automotive applications, outdoor structures, and sporting goods.

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a composite joint connector that is more structurally efficient than joints currently on the market. Traditionally, composite joints can bear heavy loads along their length but tend to fail when stress is applied along multiple axes. This joint is designed to minimize stress concentrations, leading to overall increased structural efficiency when compared to traditional joints.

Posted in: Briefs, Joining & Assembly, Mechanics, Composite materials, Parts, Connecting rods
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Eddy-Current-Minimizing Flow Plug for Use in Flow Conditioning and Flow Metering

Innovators at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a suite of prototype fluid plug technologies with an array of capabilities for fluid flow metering, mixing, and conditioning. Each innovation within this suite is based upon a core technology that has no moving parts, is simple to manufacture, and provides high reliability and efficiency. Also, the base fluid plug technology can be modified with very few or no hardware changes to achieve the desired effect or combination of mixing, metering, and conditioning capabilities depending on the application.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mechanics, Computational fluid dynamics, Customization, Product development, Fittings, Valves, Reliability, Reliability
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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, Fluid Handling, Mechanical Components, Mechanics, Fabrication, Adhesives and sealants, Acoustics, Acoustics, Valves
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Compact Vibration Damper

Applications include wind tunnel models, launch vehicles, smokestacks, helicopters, wind turbines, and skyscrapers.

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a compact tuned damper to reduce vibration occurring at a fixed frequency. Tuned dampers reduce vibration of the base structure by the dissipation of energy. The magnitude of the dissipated energy is proportional to the square of the displacement or velocity of the tuned mass, which in turn is proportional to the range of motion. The NASA damper design allows the slider mass to achieve 2× to 3× greater range of motion than that found in conventional devices. This enables 4× to 9× more effectiveness for the same size and weight; or the same effectiveness for a 4× to 9× decrease in weight. The damper is also tunable and can be adjusted in effectiveness. The damper can be made small enough for use in wind tunnel tests, or scaled up to large sizes like those used in helicopters, wind turbines, or skyscrapers.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mechanics, Propellers and rotors, Dampers and shock absorbers, Dampers or shock absorbers, Wind power, Vibration, Vibration, Wind tunnel tests
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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, Fluid Handling, Mechanical Components, Mechanics, Computational fluid dynamics, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Fuel economy, Product development, Engine efficiency
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Conduit Purging Device and Method

Applications include pneumatic or hydraulic tubing, high-purity gas processing, brake lines, automobiles, and aircraft.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center invites companies to license this dead-end welding device for use in the welding of tubing. This technology solves the problem of unacceptable welds in dead-end configurations. The technique has been proven to be highly successful with many dead-end weld configurations, as well as with various alloys. It produces a consistently higher-quality dead-end weld than conventional welding techniques, and does so in a fraction of the time. Its monitoring capability enables precision control in any deadend configuration. It is a reliable and very low-maintenance device that presents no safety concerns.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Mechanics, Welding, Alloys
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