Tech Exchange

Inspection Technology Identifies Surface Defects

An automated surface inspection technology identifies potential defects on a painted surface so that they can be remedied. The system provides a database so that the size, location, quality, and other aspects of production line defects can be tracked over time.

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Razor “Saws” Hair for Easier Shaving

With traditional razors, the cutting edge of a blade moves in the direction of the cut. A new shaving device, however, includes one or more blades that perform a vibrating motion perpendicular to the direction of the cut, and parallel to the blade’s edge; the hairs are cut by sawing, rather than cutting.

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Medical Valves Withstand Magnetic Fields

Parker Hannifin has created design concepts for valves that can be used in MRI-compatible ventilators. The valves, built to work with a variety of medical fluids and gases, are unaffected by strong magnetic fields and, in turn, do not create any magnetic fields of their own. In addition, the valves can be designed to handle a range of operating characteristics while minimizing total footprint.

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Heat Seal Solutions for Flexible Film

An organization seeks one or more bonding agents that can be dispersed into water. When the bonding agents are coated onto a PET film and dried, the coated film should adhere to and seal items made from rigid PE (polyethylene), PP (polypropylene), PS (polystyrene), PVC (polyvinylchloride), and PET (polyester). The same agent does not need to bond all five materials. One possible solution may be a material that has both a polar group to bond to PET and a non-polar group that can bond to other substrates.

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Fast-Cooking Pasta

A large manufacturer of consumer products needs an innovative process to make fast-cooking pasta. Cooking time should be reduced by at least 70%, and thickness/texture of the dry product must be the same as that of the reference shape. Ingredients should be suitable for human consumption. The reduction of cooking time and eventual temperature represents not only a clear advantage for a “time-starving” consumer, but also a lower energy consumption of the cooking process, which reduces impact on the environment.

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Diagnostic Indicators on Consumer Packaging

Low-cost, flexible diagnostic indicators must be incorporated onto consumer product packaging. The main focus of the technology should be the diagnosis of bad breath; a printable diagnostic strip on a tube of toothpaste, for example, may be a possible solution for quickly identifying halitosis. The client wants to provide the consumer with a disposable tool to selfdiagnose at point of sale. Solutions could be diagnostics that detect one or multiple states, and could include tests for breath, saliva, sweat, urine, skin cells, and tongue scraping.

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Graphene as Filler for Thermoplastic Nanocomposites

To save costs and reduce weight, a company is exploring graphene as a filler for thermoplastic resins. Work to date has shown that graphene dispersion is generally poor in thermoplastics, leading to less than optimal reinforcement properties and darker color. The manufacturer is specifically interested in the reinforcement properties of graphene in polyethylene and polypropylene. Potential solution proposals must include the source of the material, the matrix they are dispersing into, the level of transparency and color, and some measure of mechanical reinforcement.

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