Tech Exchange

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.

Posted in: Tech Exchange, Tech Needs, NASA Tech Needs

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High-Temperature Seals for Non-Nuclear Test Facility

The United States National Research Council (NRC) has identified Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) as a high-priority NASA Space Technology Roadmap Area. NTP could be an enabling technology to reduce transit time and mission risk to Near-Earth Objects, Mars, and other deep space destinations. Nuclear power and propulsion technologies are key enabling technologies for future NASA exploration missions. The goal for Stennis Space Center is to investigate the technologies that would be required in the potential development of a Nuclear Propulsion and Power Nonnuclear (NP2N) test facility to provide component- and system-level ground testing of the NTP systems during the development and certification phases of their lifecycle.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs

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Nozzles Provide Spray Pattern Consistency

Macrospray® nozzles produce consistent mists at very low pressure. The nozzles have a uniformly distributed droplet size (10–30 μm Sauter Mean Diameter), which provides greater contact between deodorant, for example, and odorcausing particles or dust. Droplet size can be tuned for the degree of dust particle interaction and “knock-down” required. The nozzles provide multiple tips for high flow.

Posted in: Techs for License

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Uni-Body Composite Plastic Chassis Reduces Part Count

A patented, one-piece, fiber-reinforced plastic composite chassis, produced by sheet molding compression, uses a highglass-content vinyl ester composite structural material, toughened with urethane for fatigue and damage tolerance.

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Sterilizable Applicator for Pre-Mixed Liquid Formulation

An organization needs an inexpensive device to deliver a pre-measured amount of liquid evenly to a surface. The applicator is intended for a single use, must be able to be sterilized after final assembly, and needs to hold enough liquid or gel to cover about 1 to 3 square feet of surface completely. The user’s hands cannot touch either the liquid or the surface to which the liquid is being applied. The design should also be scalable so that units delivering as little as 3 mL can be manufactured.

Posted in: Tech Needs, NASA Tech Needs

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Force-Feedback Mechanism

A torque-feedback mechanism must measure force, pressure, and displacement. The hybrid system or multi-part assembly requires haptic, visual, sound, temperature, or vibration feedback instruments. The technology may take the form of either a standalone sensor cube that flashes according to pressure, or a material that changes behavior, color, or texture. The technology must also be recyclable and sustainable for the environment. No battery is needed; energy harvesting should be possible from vibration, force, and solar power.

Posted in: Tech Needs, NASA Tech Needs

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Piezo-Powered Actuators Offer Reduction in Weight

A set of piezoelectric actuators weighs 4 to 50 times less than other robotic actuators in end-effectors, including hydraulic or solenoid devices. The small piezos use ultra-low power: 3 mA holding current at 6.8 VDC, 7.5 mW. The piezo technology is a scalable actuator moved by a pre-loaded piezo stack. One- and two-armed versions are available.

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