Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Fastening

Explore the developments in fastening applications, processes, and technologies. Find technical briefs, white papers, and articles on advances in fastening.

NASA is preparing for the next generation of CubeSats that are propelled and will make directional maneuvers. The new gimbal mount provides a seat for the motor, and controls the position of the...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Shape Memory Alloy Art (SMA-Art) Shapes

Shape memory alloys (SMAs) have the unique ability to recover large deformations in response to thermal, mechanical, and/or magnetic stimuli. This behavior occurs by virtue of a crystallo-graphically...

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

As contemporary electronics embrace light weight, increasing efficiency, and high speed, each link of the manufacturing process also conforms to this philosophy, including printed...

Ring Motor

ThinGap (Camarillo, CA) introduced the PM model TGO77 large-bore compact ring motor for precision and highspeed applications. The brushless, frameless motor has an outside...

Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Contacts for Hi-Rel Connectors: Comparing Technologies

Contact design is critical to the performance of any connector — especially for devices that must function in harsh environments where extremes of temperature, shock, and vibration are...

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Low-Cost RFID Torque and Tension Sensing Tag System

This technology is a low-cost RFID-based torque and tension sensor for high-performance fasteners, such as bolts, that are used in sophisticated high-tech equipment and systems. It offers...

NASA Spinoff: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Novel Threading Enables New Approach to Golf Clubs

Spinoff is NASA's annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in the fields...

News: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Space Station Crew 3D Prints Student-Designed Tool

A college student who won a NASA design challenge recently had the tool he designed 3D-printed on the Additive Manufacturing Facility on the International Space Station. The Multipurpose...

News: Electronics & Computers
'Hourglass' Concept Improves Liquid Batteries

A flow battery can be recharged quickly by replacing its electrolyte liquid. Previous versions of liquid batteries, however, have relied on complex systems of tanks, valves, and pumps, adding to the cost and providing multiple opportunities for possible leaks and failures. A new liquid battery...

NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) will carry an electrostatically dissipative Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), or “strand-based,” 3D printed part made of...

An artificial intelligence algorithm was developed that greatly increases accuracy in diagnosing the health of complex mechanical systems. Typical vibration analysis searches for...

Engineers at The Ohio State University have developed a new welding technique that consumes 80 percent less energy than a common welding technique, yet creates bonds that are 50 percent...

Compressor disks for aircraft turbines are milled from a single piece of material. During processing, the blades begin to vibrate. Now, a novel clamping system boosts...

Engineers from the University of Sheffield have developed a novel technique to predict when bearings inside wind turbines will fail, which could make wind energy cheaper. The method uses...

Researchers at the University of Georgia are helping NASA determine if a key rocket component can withstand the rigors of the next generation of spaceflight. The bellows...

News: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Vibration Table Promises Different Ways of Testing

Vibration machines are crucial to test the forces that make things fall apart in the bumpy real world, from small components to complete systems like airplanes or nuclear weapons. Large,...

News: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Speedy Laser Mirrors Enable Better Welding

Silicon micromirrors can guide laser beams at extremely high speeds, allowing operators to dose heat input to workpieces with absolute precision. But to date, they have not been robust enough to be...

Briefs: Aerospace
ACS Anchor Guide Stud and Caddy

An alignment guide and a mounting interface for two of the repair tools on orbit during the Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 4 (see SM4) were developed. This design can be installed in a timely manner, and was specifically developed for a worksite with minimal access and minimal visual line-of-sight to the...

Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Fasteners

The Key-Rex™ high-security fastener is available from Bryce Fastener (Phoenix, AZ). The special safeguard feature of the screw is the endless combination of complex shapes developed in the drive (head) of the screw. Each keyway...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Transpiration-Cooled Spacecraft-Insulation-Repair Fasteners

Transpiration-cooled fasteners are proposed that operate like an open-loop heat pipe (self-tapping screws, bolts, and spikes) for use in on-orbit repair of thermal-insulation of a space shuttle or other spacecraft. By limiting the temperature rise of such a fastener and of the adjacent...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
HEXPANDO Expanding Head for Fastener-Retention Hexagonal Wrench

The HEXPANDO is an expanding-head hexagonal wrench designed to retain fasteners and keep them from being dislodged from the tool. The tool is intended to remove or install socket-head cap screws (SHCSs) in remote, hard-to-reach locations or in circumstances when a dropped fastener...

With auto sales down as much as 40 percent, it can feel to some like the industry is coming apart. But a "revolution in fasteners" may soon help bridge the gap to greener...

Application Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Spiralock Fasteners Safeguard Reliability for Medical Lasers and Implants

Failure is not an option when it comes to medical equipment. From critical or sensitive devices like lasers, MRI scanners, knee joints, and implantable pacemakers to instruments as straightforward as stethoscopes, when life is at stake, medical equipment must be...

The CubeSat standard (10 × 10 × 10 cm and weighing 1kg) has evolved into one of the most widely accepted families of picosatellite designs. A CubeSat...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Fasteners for Printed Circuit Board Attachment

No matter how sophisticated or advanced, electronic components must be attached reliably and securely if they are to deliver optimum performance. Beyond this universal requirement, particular...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Fastener Starter

The Fastener Starter is a creative solution to prevent the loss of small fasteners during their installation. This is the only currently available tool that can firmly grip and hold a single screw, bolt, nut, washer, spacer, or any combination of these parts. Other commercially available fastener starters are unable to...

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