Explore innovations supporting advances in manufacturing and rapid prototyping. Access the developments and solutions that have an impact on applications in 3D printing and automation.

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Constant-Differential-Pressure Two-Fluid Accumulator

A two-fluid accumulator has been designed, built, and demonstrated to provide an acceptably close approximation to constant differential static pressure between two fluids over the full...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Venting Closed-Cell Foam Panels

A technique for reducing in-flight loss of closed-cell foam insulation has been devised. In the original application, foam is used for thermal insulation on the external tank of the space shuttle. As the space...

A technique for making precise, microscopic holes and grooves in glass workpieces has been invented. The technique differs from both (1) traditional macroscopic mechanical drilling...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Two Concepts for Deployable Trusses

Two concepts that could be applied separately or together have been suggested to enhance the utility of deployable truss structures. The concepts were intended originally for application to a truss...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Use of Nanofibers to Strengthen Hydrogels of Silica, Other Oxides, and Aerogels

Research has shown that including up to 5 percent w/w carbon nanofibers in a silica backbone of polymer crosslinked aerogels improves its strength, tripling compressive modulus and increasing tensile stress-at-break fivefold with no increase in density or decrease in...

Some modifications that could be made, separately or together, have been conceived as improvements of the generic design of a structure of the type described in “Hybrid Inflatable...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Electrostatic Separator for Beneficiation of Lunar Soil

A charge separator has been constructed for use in a lunar environment that will allow for separation of minerals from lunar soil. Any future lunar base and habitat must be constructed from strong, dense materials to provide for thermal and radiation protection. It has been proposed that...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Bonded Invar Clip Removal Using Foil Heaters

A new process uses local heating and temperature monitoring to soften the adhesive under Invar clips enough that they can be removed without damaging the composite underneath or other nearby bonds. Two 1×1 in. (≈2.5×2.5 cm), 10-W/in.2 (≈1.6-W/cm2), 80-ohm resistive foil Kapton foil...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Gratings Fabricated on Flat Surfaces and Reproduced on Non-Flat Substrates

A method has been developed for fabricating gratings on flat substrates, and then reproducing the groove pattern on a curved (concave or convex) substrate and a corresponding grating device. First, surface relief diffraction grating grooves are formed on flat substrates....

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fabricating Radial Groove Gratings Using Projection Photolithography

Projection photolithography has been used as a fabrication method for radial grove gratings. Use of photolithographic method for diffraction grating fabrication represents the most significant breakthrough in grating technology in the last 60 years, since the introduction of...

While automotive, aerospace, and high-tech equipment manufacturers are early adopters of wireless networks, the overall manufacturing industry has been...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Discrete Fourier Transform Analysis in a Complex Vector Space

Alternative computational strategies for the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) have been developed using analysis of geometric manifolds. This approach provides a general framework for performing DFT calculations, and suggests a more efficient implementation of the DFT for applications...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Self-Assembling, Flexible, Pre-Ceramic Composite Preforms

In this innovation, light weight, high temperature, compact aerospace structures with increased design options are made possible by using self-assembling, flexible, pre-ceramic composite materials. These materials are comprised of either ceramic or carbon fiber performs, which are...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Miniature Scroll Pumps Fabricated by LIGA

Miniature scroll pumps have been proposed as roughing pumps (low-vacuum pumps) for miniature scientific instruments (e.g., portable mass spectrometers and gas analyzers) that depend on vacuum. The...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Mercuric Iodide Anticoincidence Shield for Gamma-Ray Spectrometer

A film-growth process was developed for polycrystalline mercuric iodide that creates cost-effective, large-area detectors for high- energy charged-particle detection. A material, called a barrier film, is introduced onto the substrate before the normal mercuric iodide film growth...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Improved Method of Design for Folding Inflatable Shells

An improved method of designing complexly shaped inflatable shells to be assembled from gores was conceived for original application to the inflatable outer shell of a developmental...

A new cell designed to mimic the photosynthetic processes of plants to convert carbon dioxide into carbonaceous products and oxygen at high efficiency, has an...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Silicon Wafer-Scale Substrate for Microshutters and Detector Arrays

The silicon substrate carrier was created so that a large-area array (in this case 62,000+ elements of a microshutter array) and a variety of discrete passive and active devices could be mounted on a single board, similar to a printed circuit board. However, the density and...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Inert Welding/Brazing Gas Filters and Dryers

A system has been designed to reduce the hydrogen molecule content in inert gases that are used for shielding the welding arc and molten weld area during the manual fusion, automated welding, and induction brazing process. Two desiccant pipeline dryer cartridges are connected together using either...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fabricating Copper Nanotubes by Electrodeposition

Copper tubes having diameters between about 100 and about 200 nm have been fabricated by electrodeposition of copper into the pores of alumina nanopore membranes. Copper nanotubes are under consideration as alternatives to copper nanorods and nanowires for applications involving thermal and/or...

The use of hybridized carbon/silicon carbide (C/SiC) fabric to reinforce ceramic matrix composite face sheets and the integration of such face sheets with a...

HAWE Hydraulics, Charlotte, NC, offers proportional valves and controls typically used by companies manufacturing machine tools, lifting platforms, mobile cranes,...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Improved Blackbody Temperature Sensors for a Vacuum Furnace

Some improvements have been made in the design and fabrication of blackbody sensors (BBSs) used to measure the temperature of a heater core in a vacuum furnace. Each BBS consists of a ring of thermally conductive, high-melting-temperature material with two tantalum-sheathed...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Thin-Film Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

The development of thin-film solid oxide fuel cells (TFSOFCs) and a method of fabricating them have progressed to the prototype stage. A TFSOFC consists of the following:

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Novel Materials Containing Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes Wrapped in Polymer Molecules

In this design, single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have been coated in polymer molecules to create a new type of material that has low electrical conductivity, but still contains individual nanotubes, and small ropes of individual nanotubes, which are...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Light-Curing Adhesive Repair Tapes

Adhesive tapes, the adhesive resins of which can be cured (and thereby rigidized) by exposure to ultraviolet and/or visible light, are being developed as repair patch materials. The tapes, including their resin components, consist entirely of solid, low-out-gassing, nonhazardous or minimally hazardous...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Zinc Alloys for the Fabrication of Semiconductor Devices

ZnBeO and ZnCdSeO alloys have been disclosed as materials for the improvement in performance, function, and capability of semiconductor devices. The alloys can be used alone or in combination to form active photonic layers that can emit over a range of wavelength values.

A two-step plasma process has been developed as a means of removing surface oxide layers from indium bumps used in flip-chip hybridization (bump bonding) of integrated circuits. This...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Tool for Crimping Flexible Circuit Leads

A hand tool has been developed for crimping leads in flexible tails that are parts of some electronic circuits — especially some sensor circuits. The tool is used to cut the tails to desired lengths and attach solder tabs to the leads. For tailoring small numbers of circuits for special applications,...

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