Tech Exchange

Small-Droplet, Emissions-Control Nozzle Ensures Consistency

Macrospray® nozzles produce highly uniform spray patterns and droplet sizes (in the size range of 10-30μm Sauter Mean Diameter/SMD). The nozzles are created from digital tools with the flow features chemically etched into bonded substrates, resulting in a monolithic structure. Hydraulically smooth internal surfaces reduce flow losses. Nozzle passages, metering slots, spin chambers, and exit orifices are designed to minimize pressure drops.

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Steel Alternative Features Higher Usability Strength

A new material offers a lighter weight and at least 30% higher usability strength compared to traditional steel. The equipment necessary for the production of the new technology is identical to equipment used for the manufacturing of conventional steel. It does not require other machinery, and the steel can be cast in molds as well as in closed continuous casting machines.

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Controlled Delivery of Liquid

A customer seeks a range of technologies that will allow controlled delivery of liquid products over a wide viscosity range. Proposed technologies must work for liquids with low viscosity (such as floor cleaners) and/or very high viscosity (such as thick bleaches and body washes). Technologies will be evaluated based on added functionality to the product and optimization of delivery mechanism. Potential solutions include electro-sprays, ionizers, diffusers, piezotechnology, microfluidics, dosing caps, monodose/soluble pouches, orientable/ adjustable nozzles, and automatic spray heads. Technologies such as controlled dosing or automated dispensing are of high interest.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs

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Spray Coating Systems

Current spray designs coat the exposed surface of the top layer of fibers, while fibers in the interior do not get treated. Fibers also move around when transported during processing, leading to exposure of untreated surfaces. An organization seeks novel technologies that can apply a spray coating to the entire surface area of a collection of fibers. New spray systems and designs must treat the underlying surface area of fibers. Spray systems that can be installed in a confined space are not required, but of additional interest. The invention must be compatible with water-based solutions.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs

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Improved Recycling Processes

Currently, cellulose-based fibers can only be recycled 6-8 times, after which the fiber length and properties are too significantly impacted for any further reuse. Technologies are therefore required to enhance the fibers’ recycling potential. The technologies must not add virgin fibers at each recycling stage. Potential solutions include synthetic fibers to aid in recovering structural integrity lost in repulping; coatings to provide strengthening end results; and chemical technologies that minimize damage to the fibers during repulping. The primary function of packaging must be maintained.

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Microencapsulation of Probiotic Bacteria

The incorporation of probiotic bacteria into liquid food or food with high water activity is still a challenge for the functional food industry. The metabolic activity of the lyophilized bacteria, however, is extremely sensitive to the presence of water and oxygen, and a solution must protect microencapsulated bacteria from contact. Particles must be of a size below 100 micrometers. Between the process of encapsulation and the time of preservation of probiotic bacteria in the liquid matrix, loss of viability must not exceed an order of magnitude.

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Polymer Indicator Monitors Spoilage

The Fresh Stripe multi-layer indicator for meats is manufactured or incorporated into packaging using conventional roll-to-roll processes. The polymer layer biodegrades at a predictable rate in the presence of the same hydrolytic bacterial enzymes that degrade meat. As the indicator degrades, it changes appearance so that a consumer can effectively judge the meat’s freshness. Freezing, refrigeration, and heat do not degrade the performance of the indicator or affect its accuracy.

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