Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Mechanical Components

Find multimedia resources and technical briefs covering complex mechanical components and technologies. Find the latest applications that design engineers are using to meet their design challenges.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
System Provides Cooling with No Electricity
This passive device relies on a layer of material that blocks incoming sunlight but lets heat radiate away.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Microfluidics Device Detects Cancer Cells in Blood
This device could enable rapid, inexpensive liquid biopsies to help detect cancer and develop targeted treatment plans.
Products: Data Acquisition
New on the Market: May 2020
Sealing connection tools, oscilloscopes, snap-action switches, and more...
Applications include distributed computer systems, computer security, and commercial satellite systems.
The technique could be used to improve navigation for robots, drones, or pedestrians.
This diagnostic device allows doctors to detect cancer quickly from a droplet of blood or plasma.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Polymer Twists and Bends in the Presence of Light
A liquid crystal elastomer can be programmed to exhibit controllable, dynamic behavior without the need for complex electronic components.
This lightweight and efficient mechanism enables retention, release, and deployment of solar arrays and antennas.
The domino effect is used to design deployable systems that expand quickly with a small push and are stable and locked into place after deployment.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Foldable Mechanical Devices
These “developable mechanisms” are built into the surfaces of structures.
This gel releases short gene sequences into the heart muscle to heal it following a heart attack.
Articles: Materials
Products of Tomorrow: May 2020
A cryptographic ID tag, a high-reliability NASA switch, and a stretchable thermoelectric generator...
Facility Focus: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Facility Focus: NASA Ames Research Center
This NASA center hosts the world’s greatest collection of wind tunnels and flight simulation facilities
Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: May 2020 Photonics & Imaging Technology
Photodetectors, ultrafast lasers, energy sensors, and more.
Technology Leaders: Photonics/Optics
Using Lasers in the Automotive Manufacturing Industry

Ever since Henry Ford introduced the first moving production line to the industry in 1913, automotive manufacturers have been constantly striving to streamline their processes,...

Question of the Week: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Can Solar-Powered Desalination Solve Water-Scarcity Challenges?

“Seawater is a very abundant resource for clean water, but the problem is how to desalinate it,” MIT researcher Lenan Zhang told Tech Briefs in our April issue.

White Papers: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Noise and Signal Distortion Considerations for Encoders in Motion Control Applications

An encoder is an electro-mechanical transducer that converts mechanical rotary motion into digital signals for the control of machinery. Encoders are used...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Square Structural Joint with Robotic Assembly Tool
Square trusses replace round for enhanced strength and robotics compatibility.
This technology cancels out the vibrations of a satellite by vibrating the solar panels in the opposite direction.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Mechanical Controller for Robot-Assisted Surgery

Robot-assisted surgery has advanced dramatically over the past decade in almost every surgical sub-specialty. Robot-assisted surgery is usually performed using surgical robot systems that...

Here's what you'll need to know when you’re choosing an encoder for a motion control system.
As advancements in technology continue to define how pneumatic or electromechanical linear devices lift, move, or place a load, the requirements of excellent closed-loop positioning and accuracy greatly increase
The domino effect is used to design deployable systems that expand quickly with a small push and are stable and locked into place after deployment.
Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: April 2020 Motion Design
Motor drivers, position sensors, offset couplings, and more.
Applications include powering portable electronic devices and sensors, and harvesting waste mechanical energy for aircraft, automobile, and other transportation equipment.
Lenan Zhang and his team at MIT developed a small, economical, highly efficient device to provide fresh drinking water using only the Sun for its energy input.
Surface treatments have limitations that demand attention early in the design process.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Method for Electrospinning Customizable Nanofibers
The electrospun nanofibers are used for wound healing and 3D matrices for biological tissues.
This work could accelerate the development of flexible electronics.

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