Thermoplastic Composites to Play Enhanced Role in Next-Generation Aerospace Applications

Advanced thermoplastic composites-and their emergence as prominent materials for future aerospace applications–are sparking a flurry of activity from aerospace manufacturers, designers, component producers and formatters.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Thermal Management, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Composites, Materials, Plastics, Mechanical Components

An Introduction to PCM Heat Sinks

With the exception of thermal storage heat sinks, the term heat sink is a misnomer. Standard heat sinks for electronics cooling are actually heat exchangers, taking the heat from the electronics, and transferring it to a fluid, either air or coolant. Phase Change Material (PCM) heat sinks are the only heat sinks that actually act as a (temporary) sink for heat. They are emerging in the thermal management realm to solve thermal problems in systems where active solutions cannot be used. When there is no place to dissipate the heat generated by electric components, a PCM heat sink is capable of absorbing the generated waste heat [1] .

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Thermal Management, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials

Metal Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) – the process of building up solid layers of material to form a finished solid part — is an emerging and exciting technical discipline. Also referred to as “3D printing,” many misconceptions exist about the capabilities and promises of the technology.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Materials, Metals, Plastics, Machinery, Mechanical Components

Fiber-Reinforced Thermoplastic Composites

Reinforcing polymers with strong/stiff fibers is nothing new. Such materials have been used pretty much since aircraft were first created. In those pioneering days, wings were reinforced with woven cotton, or silk fabric skins, impregnated with nitrocellulose ‘dope’ to seal against the wind, and laminated wood was reinforced with fabric bonded with adhesive. Although there have been a myriad of developments along the way from those early days to where we are now in the 21st century, the principles of reinforcement are much the same.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, Thermal Management, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Composites, Materials, Metals, Plastics

Lightweighting Parts Using 3D Metal Printing

Metal additive manufacturing (3D printing), also known as Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) or Powder Bed Fusion (PBF), is changing the way metal parts are designed and produced. New software, processes and materials are redefining manufacturing value equations for specific types of parts, which can lead to improvements on existing products, new business models and new markets.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Defense, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Metals, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Simulation Software, Software

Does Your Coating System Require Climate Control? What to Look For and What to Expect

There is one aspect of the paint and coatings finishing business virtually guaranteed to give the budget director heart failure: climate control. There's no way around it – climate control systems are expensive.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Automotive, Defense, Thermal Management, Coatings & Adhesives, Machinery, Mechanical Components, Automotive

Optimizing Plasma Treatments to RESOLVE Challenging Adhesion Issues

The process of determining the ideal plasma treatment that will resolve a challenging bonding or adhesion issue is an exact science, often the domain of chemists and physicists.

Posted in: Articles, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Composites, Materials, Plastics, Fastening, Joining & Assembly, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Using Electromagnetic Brakes to Keep Thrust Reversers IN PLACE

Applying reverse thrust redirecting engine power to oppose the direction of travel is a standard technique for decelerating aircraft after touchdown. The approach saves wear on the brakes of the landing gear wheels and reduces stopping distance. Although accidental deployment of the thrust reverser cowl could and did happen, it was assumed for decades that this would only present a hazard in the moments around takeoff and landing. With changes to engine design and aircraft aerodynamics, this assumption no longer held, as demonstrated by the catastrophic loss of Lauda Air Flight 004.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Power Management, Power Supplies, Materials, Machinery, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Positioning Equipment, Power Transmission, Propulsion

Thermostatic Solutions for Temperature Control Applications

The wax-filled thermostatic element was invented in 1936 by Sergius Vernet (1899-1968). Its principal application was in automotive thermostats used in the engine cooling system. Wax thermostatic elements transform heat energy into mechanical energy using the thermal expansion of waxes when they melt. In addition to engine cooling systems, this wax motor principle also finds applications in heating system thermostatic radiator valves, plumbing, industrial, and agriculture. Today this technology is widely used across a broad spectrum of industries including aerospace & defense, most often for temperature control of various fluid systems.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Thermal Management, Materials, Metals, Fluid Handling, Joining & Assembly, Machinery, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Data Acquisition, Sensors

Compact Power Amplifier Solution for Electronic Warfare

Wolfspeed, a Cree company, provides field-tested silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) power and RF solutions. As a leader in wide-bandgap semiconductor technology, Wolfspeed partners with designers to build faster, smaller, lighter, and more powerful electronic systems.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Board-Level Electronics, Power Management, Power Supplies, Materials, Machinery, Mechanical Components, Power, Power Transmission, RF & Microwave Electronics, Semiconductors & ICs