Tech Exchange

Reusable Adhesive Thermal Interface Material (TIM) To Improve the Contact Thermal Conductance

Current TIM technologies include thermal greases or pastes, phase change materials, solders and thermally conductive adhesive tapes. The thermal conductivity of the best thermal greases available in the market are on the order of 10^5 W/m^2 -K. However, thermal greases, which are single use applications, are oily so their utilization is messy, making them difficult to apply in a thin, uniform coat. This reusable technology employs vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to bridge the interfaces. By using a CNT array as dry interface material, his technology can perform as a thermally conductive tape that provides not only good thermal conducting ability but also strong mechanical bonding between the mating surfaces. It has been shown that a small fraction of CNTs as filling material could induce a 125% enhancement in thermal transport. This interface material can be directly applied to any interface that needs high thermal conductivity.

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Reusable, Dry Adhesive Material Utilizing Vertically Aligned Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Array

A novel dry adhesive is being developed that can mimic the hairs on a gecko's foot using vertically aligned multiwalled carbon nanotube (CNT) array. The use of CNT array as dry adhesive material allows reproducing biological adhesion structures and generates fairly strong adhesion strength (over 100 N per centimeter square). CNTs are known to have extraordinary mechanical, thermal and electrical properties. This adhesive can be bent repeatedly with large deflection without failure, which intrinsically results in a reusable or re-attachable dry adhesive. The highly hydrophobic property of CNTs makes them free from the clumping problem, which the polymer based synthetic hair structures face. This product's adhesion is so effective it can be directly applied to glass.

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Novel Nano-Structured Concept for Thermal Protection System

Lightweight carbon-carbon (C/C) composites produced by pressure-assisted co- polymerization of carbon fibers, hydrocarbons and fullerenes have excellent mechanical properties and high thermal stability that make them ideal for thermal protection applications.

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High Performance Single Crystal Piezoelectrics

The new single crystals offered here possess exceptional properties and are poised to revolutionize piezoelectric materials applications. In addition to strain levels exceeding 1% (usable strain: 0.5% at 35 kV/cm), these crystals exhibit five times the strain energy density of conventional piezoceramics. Thus, unlike piezoceramic actuators that employ strain magnification schemes, single crystal actuators can deliver higher strain levels without sacrificing generative force. The high electromechanical coupling of the proposed crystals (>90%) increases transducer bandwidth, resulting in greater sensitivity and acoustic power. In addition, low strain hysteresis results in improved high power efficiency, and lower acoustic impedance than piezoceramics allowing for easier matching to air or water. High coupling also leads to dramatic improvement in passive vibration damping.

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Printable Biosensor for On-Site, Online Measurements

Bioactive Hybrid Materials for Photonic Microsystems It allows samples to be analyzed on site within a few minutes by integrating biotechnology, information technology, electronics, physics, and chemistry to realize small and cost-effective bio-photonic microsystems.

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Maintain Food Crispiness from Freezer Storage to Microwave Preparation

Methods are sought to replicate the texture of crunchy food in a convenience food stored in a freezer and prepared in a microwave oven. All ingredient-based solutions must be GRAS (generally recognized as safe) for human consumption. Cost must be within 1 to 2 cents per pound for the final product, and cooking time, once out of the box, must be complete in 4 to 6 minutes. Storage time for the packaged food should be 18 months in a home freezer.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs

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Freshness Indicator for Consumer Packaging

A technology is sought that indicates that a product packed into a rigid metal container has not been tampered with and/or degraded over time. The solution must incorporate a method of communicating this information to the packager, retailer, or consumer. After packaging, and depending on the product, the container may be subjected to a thermal treatment, to a maximum of 130°C for an hour for some canned foods, or a 90°C pasteurization treatment for some beverages.

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