Tech Exchange

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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Non-Invasive Intra-Cranial Pressure Monitoring

Because manned spaceflight still imposes unknown stresses on the human body, NASA is seeking non-invasive technological approaches for intra-cranial pressure measurement. A baseline must be established on the ground, and then periodic measurements will be taken during flight — possibly over several months to a year. For consistency, it is important for the same technology to be used both on the ground and in space. The method and equipment must operate independent of gravity and acceleration. Materials and designs for spaceflight should anticipate the potential for high radiation exposure.

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Better Foam Generation

Foam is a key indicator of efficacy and performance for a range of consumer pharmaceutical and food products. A company seeks cost-effective physical and mechanical technologies for enhanced foam generation and stability. Devices that are able to generate a high volume of foam from low-concentration, surfactant-based formulations are especially of interest. Possible solutions include packaging technologies that alter the ingress of fluid dynamics in a surfactant-containing cage, or that impact the entrapment of air in a squeezable bottle or aerosol. Nozzles and pharmaceutical/dermatological foam-generation devices are also suitable options.

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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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Printing Technology for PVA Film

A company seeks technology options for printing on a moving Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) film web before or during the production of liquitabs and other unit dose products. The technology must be able to print on PVA film either on-line (preferred), at line, or offline. The film production method, which will require a specific picture, should occur without damaging the individual pouches. Three colors are needed: black, red, and white. Printing must be dry in 10 seconds or less, assuming 2-micron thickness. The finished product should also maintain the current dilution profile in water.

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