Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Coming Soon - Selecting the Right Tapered Roller Bearing for Your Application

In Conjunction with SAE

Tapered roller bearings are widely used throughout the North American market as an economical solution for friction management in machine design. While there are many standard catalog bearings available in the marketplace, demanding applications often require engineered solutions in order to optimize machine performance and minimize downtime.

Posted in: Upcoming Webinars, Automotive, Mechanical Components
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Plasma-Assisted Catalytic Reverse Water Gas Shift Reactor

For improving CO2 conversions for a low-temperature CO2 methanation process, a mechanism of using reverse water gas shift (RWGS) reaction as an intermediate step to generate the more reactive CO species for the methanation process was developed. The challenge was to achieve useful conversions of RWGS reaction (CO2 to CO by hydrogenation) at low temperatures (200-300 °C), which is not possible with conventional catalytic reactors. Achieving useful conversions (up to ~50%) is not possible at the desired temperature window of 200-300 °C with a conventional catalytic reactor due to equilibrium limitations of the endothermic RWGS reactor.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Folding-Tube Deployable Solar Array

This structural concept was designed for large arrays that package compactly and are exceptionally lightweight.

Future space missions incorporating solar electric propulsion (SEP) will require large solar arrays that are an order of magnitude larger than the current state of the art for deployable arrays. This invention is a structural concept for such an array, and was designed to enable large arrays that package compactly and are exceptionally lightweight.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Vented Launch Vehicle Adapter for a Manned Spacecraft With “Pusher” Launch Abort System

A Launch Vehicle Adapter (LVA) was developed that provides a structural interface between a Commercial Crew Vehicle (CCV) Crew Module/Service Module Spacecraft (CM/SM) and an expendable launch vehicle. It also provides a means to control the exhaust plume from a pusher type launch abort system integrated into the Service Module.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Delayed Latching Mechanism

This device provides security of doors, gates, and latches in areas requiring limited access.

Uncontrolled and rapid movement of equipment and people through security gates has been a major problem for security personnel. In situations pertaining to facility security, it is desirable to delay the passage of a person through an entrance or an exit for a small interval of time, such as several seconds or up to a minute. Often, authorization to proceed is provided by an electronic signal to unlock the passageway. Such electronic signals are initiated remotely by a person in authority, such as a guard in a control room viewing a security camera, or a person who verifies the identity of the requester through a two-way audio connection.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Multifunctional Hot Structure (HOST) Heat Shield

This integrated system reduces both weight and volume.

Traditional heat shield design isolates the functions of the thermal protection system (TPS) from the underlying load-carrying structure. This is due to the use of brittle TPS material that cannot carry the structural loads and that ablate during planetary entry. To isolate the TPS, the traditional approach has been to either bond a strain isolation pad between the TPS and structure or to design the structure significantly thick to eliminate bending loads transferred to the TPS. Adhesive is used to bond the TPS to the pad and/or structure. These bond lines can be a source of stress concentrations and manufacturing flaws.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Feed Mechanism and Method for Feeding Minute Components

This mechanism singles out one component from a disorganized batch of bulk components, and presents it to an exact location.

Electrical circuits such as printed wiring boards or hybrid microcircuits designed to utilize surface mount electrical components are commonly assembled by computer-controlled automated equipment. These machines typically use a vacuum nozzle to pick up and handle the components during assembly. Three methods are commonly used to feed surface mount components to automatic assembly equipment: tape reel feeders, linear or bowl-type vibratory feeders, or waffle-style packages.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Vibration-Dampening Pedestal for MEMS

This thin-film modular pedestal provides passive dampening of undesirable external vibrations that can affect MEMS devices.

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are critical devices for various highly sensitive applications; however, the development and potential fielding of these next-generation smart systems is currently impeded by the inability to satisfy the stringent performance standards for precision and control. These advanced smart systems currently suffer from severe inaccuracies caused by a critical failure of a MEMS inertial measurement unit (IMU), i.e., the angular rate sensor (ARS).

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Compact, Portable Device for Structural Vibration Reduction

The device has use in theaters, malls, and other areas where high-traffic floor vibrations can be unsettling to occupants.

Tuned mass dampers are used worldwide to mitigate vibrations in structures like buildings and bridges where excessive movement can be alarming or even sickening to occupants. The vast majority are multi-ton devices that occupy an average of 1,000 square feet, and are complex and costly to install, tune, and maintain.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Origami Techniques Expand Compacted Spacecraft

Origami has once again inspired engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. Besides aesthetic beauty, the Japanese tradition of paper-folding addresses a persistent problem faced by JPL engineers: how do you pack the greatest amount of spacecraft into the smallest volume possible?

Posted in: INSIDER, Aerospace, Joining & Assembly, Motion Control
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