Tech Exchange

Piezo-Driven Pressure Controller Saves Heat

Using a piezo-actuated valve and an integral, closed-loop pressure control circuit, a modular controller maintains the pressure of non-corrosive to mildly corrosive gases. The Active Pressure Controller (APC) consumes minimal power (

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Magnetic Device Separates Hydrogen from Oxygen

High temperatures have been used to dissociate water, but in many cases, the oxygen and hydrogen recombine when temperatures drop. A new device magnetically separates hydrogen from oxygen at elevated temperatures. Steam enters a reaction chamber, heats to over 150 °C in a focused solar beam, and dissociates into hydrogen and oxygen. The ionic gases then pass through a magnetic field, where they experience opposing forces and can be drawn off individually. Once the ions are diverged, they are separated by a physical barrier. The temperature then rapidly decreases, causing the separated ions to recombine into H2 and O2.

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Lateral-Flow Device Produces Quantitative Diagnostics

A patent suite enables quantitative diagnostics from inexpensive and disposable lateral-flow test strip technology. Multiple, simultaneous analyses can be conducted on the same strip. The method reduces the hook effect, a dangerous false negative, without requiring long wait times; larger, tagged molecules, which are used as a differentiator, reach the limited reagents in the reporting area first. Using a reporter and magnetic particles can reduce hook effect even further and increase accuracy.

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Piezo-Electric Actuator Provides Motion Control Alternative

An alternative piezo-electric ceramic actuator simultaneously provides greater force and deflection, while producing no appreciable magnetic field or heat. The RLP domed piezo, a PZT disk laminated between two metal layers under heat and pressure, increases deflection 1,000-fold from an unmodified 0.2 micron to 200 microns. Viva, a scalable actuator, utilizes a pre-loaded stack of PZT ceramic piezos that flex against a fixed base. The device has one or two output arms that mechanically amplify movement. Without the magnetic signature, Viva’s linear motion can be converted to rotary motion to replace brushless DC motors.

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Pipe Alignment and Clamping Tool Offers High-Quality Alloy Welding

For welding purposes, a clamping device aligns two adjacent sections of pipe internally. The apparatus has a variety of clamping members movable between retracted and extended positions. Each of the members holds a clamping shoe that connects to the device frame. The technology is particularly useful when welding large diameter alloy pipe such as 12-16" stainless steel.

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Mobile Therapy Systems Deliver Ultrasound to Reduce Pain

New mobile devices deliver ultrasound for the relief of major conditions, including arthritis, tendonitis, and back pain. In addition to pain relief, the system can be used to heal wounds, promote transdermal drug delivery, and improve skin health. The ZetrOZ system, about the size of an iPod, is battery-powered and can be used in a doctor’s office, at work, or at home.

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Butterfly-Inspired Fibers Create Diverse Fabric Colors

Much like the Morpho butterfly’s microscopic wing structure, MORPHOTEX® fibers have various thicknesses and structures, which then determine specific colors. Thin films of 70-nm thickness, consisting either of polyester or nylon, are laminated in 61 alternating layers. By precisely controlling the layer thickness according to visible wavelength, four types of basic colors, including red, green, blue, and violet, can be developed. No dyes or pigments are used.

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