Tech Exchange

Palladium Membranes Separate Hydrogen

Compared to conventional technology, palladium membranes offer an increased flow of high-purity hydrogen from a gaseous stream. The membranes are prepared by electroless- deposition plating of Pd (or Pd alloy) on a porous support. The process results in a unique hexagonal structure. High flux translates to smaller separators or lower cost for the same purity of hydrogen.

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Microfluidic System Moves Liquid Without Electricity

Many new devices need to move nano- and micro-scale quantities of liquid from an external source to a sensor. Technology has been developed to transport very tiny volumes of liquids without the need for electricity or other external energy source. The device is especially useful when surface forces overcome the flow in channels, or when high-precision control of rates and volume are needed. The surfaceenergy gradient coating technology produces enhanced capillary action in nano-scale plumbing to move and mix liquids, and to introduce chemicals or biologics for reactions.

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Software Recognizes Amblyopia in Early Childhood

In developed societies, amblyopia (i.e. lazy eye) is a leading cause of permanent vision loss under the age of 30. A research team implemented an electrophysiological method that recognizes the presence or lack of binocularity in children as young as six months of age. The method is also capable of identifying other childhood visual disorders that may potentially lead to amblyopia after age 3.

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Multiple-Input DC Converter Distributes Power from Battery

The Direct Electric Power Converter (D-EPC), a semiconductor switching circuit, controls power distribution among multiple DC power sources without using a DC-DC converter. During every pulse-width-modulation (PWM) cycle, the DEPC alternately activates one of the multiple inverter circuits, which are connected to the power sources. The converter has been proven experimentally to conduct charging operations and distribute power between two DC power sources having different voltages.

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Piezo Technology Offers Precise Actuation, Generates Less Heat

“VIVA” piezo technology enables a valve to be direct-operated. The piezo element is protected from the fluid stream to eliminate potential for clogging or contamination failure. The valve is directly shifted by the VIVA arm, and requires only a standard 40-micron air filter upstream. No minimum air pressure is needed for operation.

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Conductive Polymers Integrate Antennas Into an Electronic Device Housing

Micron-sized conductive fibers within a thermoplastic matrix enable polymeric antennas that can be molded in various shapes and sizes. The polymer antenna technology can even become an integral part of a device housing, thus reducing part count, concealing itself, and simplifying the manufacturing process. With adhesion, the lead is attached to the antenna’s central receptor patch.

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Long-Wave IR Sensors Enable Remote Temperature Measurement

A 2000-pixel long-wave infrared sensor detects and monitors hot spots, wear points, and friction on operating machinery and other equipment. Using software, the device also displays the condition of heat-generating tools, including motors and bearings; collects temperature readings from running machines, lab equipment, and experiments; monitors objects being oven-cured or heat-sealed; and signals an alert when specific temperature conditions are met. The device also features an IP65/NEMA4 enclosure.

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