Ultrasonic Stir Welding
Ultrasonic Stir Welding
Ultrasonic Stir Welding is a solid state stir welding process, meaning that the weld work piece does not melt during the welding process. The process uses a stir rod to stir the plasticized abutting surfaces of two pieces of metallic alloy that forms the weld joint. Heating is done using a specially designed induction coil. The control system has the capability to pulse the high-power ultrasonic (HPU) energy of the stir rod on and off at different rates from 1-second pulses to 60-millisecond pulses. This pulsing capability allows the stir rod to act as a mechanical device (moving and stirring plasticized nugget material) when the HPU energy is off, and allowing the energized stir rod to transfer HPU energy into the weld nugget (to reduce forces, increase stir rod life, etc.) when the HPU energy is on. The process can be used to join high-melting-temperature alloys such as titanium, Inconel, and steel.
materials and coatings
Computer generated graphic depicts Orion's heat shield
A New Class of Strong and Flexible Carbon Fiber Reinforced Phenolic Composites
This unique approach modifies the phenolic polymer network by adding thermoplastic molecules with flexible segments such as aliphatic carbon and siloxane. The thermoplastic molecules are terminated with bifunctional groups that can directly react with the phenolic under the curing condition to form chemical bonds. Further incorporation of these segments can be facilitated by a relay reaction of a second molecular component which can bond with both the first flexible segments and the phenolic network. The selections of flexible, thermoplastic segments are based on desired properties, which include flexibility, ablative, an charring ability, heat resistance, and low catalycity. The modified phenolic is a truly molecular composite in which flexible segments are connected with the phenolic network through strong chemical bonds and are uniformly distributed among the networks. This feature renders a uniform toughening/strengthening effect without compromising the lightweight nature of the materials. The process is also feasible to scale up and amenable for manufacturing.
mechanical and fluid systems
Gear Bearings
Gear Bearings
These patented gear bearings provide superior speed reduction in a small package. They form rolling friction systems that function both as gears and bearings and are compatible with most gear types, including spur, helical, elliptical, and bevel gears. These self-synchronized components can be in the form of planets, sun, rings, racks, and segments thereof. The design reduces micro chatter and eliminates rotational wobble to create smooth and precise control. It offers tighter mesh, more even gear loading, and reduced friction and wear. Gear bearings eliminate separate bearings, inner races, and carriers, as well as intermediate members between gears and bearings. Load paths go directly from one gear bearing component to another and then to ground. By incorporating helical gear teeth forms (including herringbone), gear bearings provide outstanding thrust bearing performance. They also provide unprecedented high- and low-speed reduction through the incorporation of phase tuning. Phase tuning allows differentiation in the number of teeth that must be engaged govbetween input and output rings in a planetary gearset, enabling successful reduction ratios of 2:1 to 2,000:1. They provide smooth and accurate control with rifle-true anti-backlash. This produces a planetary transmission with zero backlash. The gear bearing technology is based on two key concepts: the roller gear bearing and the phase-shifted gear bearing. All designs are capable of efficiently carrying large thrust loads. Existing gear systems have drawbacks including weak structures, large size, and poor reliability, as well as high cost for some types (e.g., harmon-ic drives). Gear bearings solve these problems with simpler construction, fewer parts, and superior strength. By selecting the appropriate manufacturing method and materials, gear bearings can be tailored to benefit any application, from toys to aircraft.
Ikhana aircraft, wind turbine
Lightweight Fiber Optic Sensors for Real-Time Monitoring of Structural Health
<strong><i>How It Works </strong></i> The FOSS technology employs efficient, real-time, data driven algorithms for interpreting strain data. The fiber Bragg grating sensors respond to strain due to stress or pressure on the substrate. The sensors feed these strain measurements into the systems algorithms to determine shape, stress, temperature, pressure, strength, and operational load in real time. <strong><i>Why It Is Better </strong></i> Conventional strain gauges are heavy, bulky, spaced at distant intervals (which leads to lower resolution imaging), and unable to provide real-time measurements. Armstrong's system is virtually weightless, and thousands of sensors can be placed at quarter-inch intervals along an optical fiber the size of a human hair. Because these sensors can be placed at such close intervals and in previously inaccessible regions (for example, within bolted joints, embedded in a composite structure), the high-resolution strain measurements are more precise than ever before. The fiber optic sensors are non-intrusive and easy to install&#8212;thousands of sensors can be installed in less time than conventional strain sensors and the system is capable of processing information at the unprecedented rate of 100 samples per second. This critical, real-time monitoring capability enables an immediate and informed response in the event of an emergency and allows for precise, controlled monitoring to help avoid such scenarios. <b><i>For more information about the full portfolio of FOSS technologies, see DRC-TOPS-37 or visit&nbsp;<a href=></a></b></i>
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