Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Fluid Handling

Stay up to date on the latest developments in fluid handling. Explore technical briefs, news, and the latest applications.

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Latest Briefs & News

Question of the Week : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Will Wave-Powered Desalination Catch On?

Today's lead INSIDER story demonstrated how ocean waves can be used to turn seawater into freshwater.

Briefs : Aerospace
Fluid-Filled Frequency-Tunable Mass Damper

Innovators at Marshall Space Flight Center developed the fluid-filled Frequency-Tunable Mass Damper (FTMD) technology that allows for significant distribution of loads while also providing a simple mechanism that allows for the capability to change its frequency of mitigation with negligible impact on...

Briefs : Imaging
Schlieren System Captures Brilliant Shockwave Images
Schlieren System Captures Brilliant Shockwave Images

Supersonic flight over land is generally prohibited because sonic booms created by shockwaves disturb people on the ground and can damage property. Armstrong innovators are working to...

Schlieren System Captures Brilliant Shockwave Images
Briefs : Energy
Rose-Inspired Device Collects and Purifies Water
Rose-Inspired Device Collects and Purifies Water

A new device, inspired by a rose, inexpensively collects and purifies water. The device is a new approach to solar steaming for water production — a technique that uses energy from sunlight...

Rose-Inspired Device Collects and Purifies Water
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D-Printed Liquid Lab-on-a-Chip
3D-Printed Liquid Lab-on-a-Chip

Researchers have 3D-printed an all-liquid device that, with the click of a button, can be repeatedly reconfigured on demand to serve a wide range of applications from making battery materials to screening drug...

3D-Printed Liquid Lab-on-a-Chip
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Miniature Stretchable Pump
Miniature Stretchable Pump

Soft robots have a distinct advantage over rigid robots: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects, and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber, or other stretchable polymers,...

Miniature Stretchable Pump
Briefs : Materials
Surface Treatment Could Improve Refrigeration Efficiency
Surface Treatment Could Improve Refrigeration Efficiency

Unlike water, liquid refrigerants and other fluids that have a low surface tension spread quickly into a sheet when they come into contact with a surface. For many industrial...

Surface Treatment Could Improve Refrigeration Efficiency
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Soft, Multi-Functional Robots
Soft, Multi-Functional Robots

In the future, soft, animal-inspired robots may be safely deployed in difficult-to-access environments in which rigid robots cannot currently be used such as inside the human body or in spaces that are too...

Soft, Multi-Functional Robots
Q&A : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Q&A: A Circulatory System for Robots

Robert F. Shepherd is Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He is leading a team exploring the use of hydraulic fluids in soft robots to also serve as a source of energy.

INSIDER : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mini Stretchable Pump for Soft Robots
Mini Stretchable Pump for Soft Robots

Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines’ moving parts. Because they are connected to these bulky pumps by tubes, these robots have limited autonomy and...

Mini Stretchable Pump for Soft Robots
Application Briefs : Motion Control
Shutoff Device Controls and Meters Flows in Harsh Environments
Shutoff Device Controls and Meters Flows in Harsh Environments

Millions of gallons of crude oil were released into the Gulf of Mexico during the seabed oil drilling catastrophe of 2010. Numerous strategies to stop or stem the oil flow...

Shutoff Device Controls and Meters Flows in Harsh Environments
Briefs : Motion Control
New Piston Design Features Soft, Flexible Materials
New Piston Design Features Soft, Flexible Materials

Conventional pistons are made of a rigid chamber and a piston inside that can slide along the chamber’s inner wall while at the same time maintaining a tight seal. As a result, the piston...

New Piston Design Features Soft, Flexible Materials
Briefs : Energy
Technique Identifies Electricity-Producing Bacteria
Technique Identifies Electricity-Producing Bacteria

Certain species of bacteria that exist in oxygen-deprived environments must find a way to breathe that doesn't involve oxygen. These microbes — which can be found deep within mines, at...

Technique Identifies Electricity-Producing Bacteria
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Visualizing Motion of Water Molecules for Liquid-Based Electronics

A high-resolution inelastic x-ray scattering technique was used to measure the strong bond involving a hydrogen atom sandwiched between two oxygen atoms. This hydrogen bond is a quantum-mechanical phenomenon responsible for various properties of water, including viscosity, that...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Cryogenic Hydraulically Actuated Isolation Valve

Researchers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center have developed a cryogenic isolation valve that utilizes the upstream line pressure of cryogenic fluids for actuation. Previously, the use of cryogenic fluids for actuation systems had been too difficult to control and resulted in unsafe operating...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Nitinol-Actuated, Normally Open Valve Assembly (NOVA)

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has developed the NOVA zero-leak, permanent isolation valve that helps prevent leaks in space propulsion systems with operating pressures less than or equal to 500 psia. The actuator is made from nitinol, a heat-activated, non-explosive, shape memory alloy and...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Method Uses Ultraviolet Light to Control Fluid Flow and Organize Particles
Method Uses Ultraviolet Light to Control Fluid Flow and Organize Particles

A new method uses ultraviolet light to control the flow of fluids by encouraging particles — from plastic microbeads, to bacterial spores, to pollutants — to...

Method Uses Ultraviolet Light to Control Fluid Flow and Organize Particles
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Light-Activated Micro-Pump
Light-Activated Micro-Pump

Even the smallest mechanical pumps have limitations, from the micro-fabrication techniques required to make them to the fact that there are limits on their size. A laser-driven photoacoustic microfluidic pump was...

Light-Activated Micro-Pump
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Microscale Electro-Hydrodynamic (EHD) Modular Cartridge Pump

The EHD pump uses electric fields to move a dielectric fluid coolant in a thermal loop to dissipate heat generated by electrical components with a low-power system. The pump has only a few key components and no moving parts, increasing the simplicity and robustness of the system. In...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Deployable Emergency Shutoff Device Blocks High-Velocity Fluid Flows

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center has developed a device and method for blocking the flow of fluid from an open pipe. The device plugs, controls, and meters the flow of gases and liquids. Anchored with friction fittings, spikes, or explosively activated fasteners, the device...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center
NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center

On September 1, 1961, NASA requested appropriations for initial land purchases on Merritt Island on Florida’s east coast to support the Apollo Lunar Landing Program. Designers quickly began developing...

NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center
Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Wafer-Level Microchannel Fabrication Process for Lab-on-a-Chip Devices
Wafer-Level Microchannel Fabrication Process for Lab-on-a-Chip Devices

Microchannels fabricated into a silicon-Pyrex wafer with a diameter of 75 m and total channel length of 40, 60, 80, or 100 mm — characterized by specialized microbeads...

Wafer-Level Microchannel Fabrication Process for Lab-on-a-Chip Devices
Blog : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
How to Produce More Clean Water? Resemble the Rose.
How to Produce More Clean Water? Resemble the Rose.
A new water purifier works better because it takes the shape of the rose.
How to Produce More Clean Water? Resemble the Rose.
Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Pneumatics for Mechanical Motion
Pneumatics for Mechanical Motion

Employing fluid power to achieve mechanical motion can be implemented via hydraulics using uncompressible liquids or via pneumatics using compressible gasses; typically, air. The latter provides several...

Pneumatics for Mechanical Motion
Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Spotting Minute Amounts of Disease in the Bloodstream
Spotting Minute Amounts of Disease in the Bloodstream

The difficulty in spotting minute amounts of disease circulating in the bloodstream has proven a stumbling block in the detection and treatment of cancers that advance stealthily with few...

Spotting Minute Amounts of Disease in the Bloodstream