Improved Howitzer Spindle Coating Will Improve Performance, Save Money

The efforts of U.S. Army engineers to implement an improved coating for howitzer breech spindles will provide several benefits, including easing the logistical burden on soldiers, reducing hazardous waste, and saving millions of dollars.

Rust, wear and corrosion problems currently force the Army to condemn breech spindles before their full service lives. A team at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) is leading a project to identify, validate, test and evaluate a solution. Project officer Maira Senick and technical lead Dr. Christopher Mulligan, both with RDECOM's Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, in partnership with Product Manager Towed Artillery Systems, are aiming for a production-ready coating within six months to a year.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials

Toward Smarter Manufacturing and Materials

At the U.K.’s new Advanced Manufacturing Research Center, engineers and innovators have at their disposal some of the world’s most advanced design and manufacturing assets for precision engineering.

by Richard Gardner

For well over a century the word “Sheffield” has been synonymous with high-quality steel products, ranging from cutlery to heavy engineering products for bridges, railways, and aircraft. Following many years of industrial decline as much traditional large-scale manufacturing departed in the direction of low-wage Asian economies, the region suffered accordingly.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Production engineering, Composite materials

More Electric, Integrated Fuel Systems

Global warming and environmental friendliness considerations have recently been key for multiple global industries. In the commercial aviation industry, reduction of aircraft emissions, including CO2 and noise, is an urgent priority. Both aircraft and aircraft engine manufacturers are striving to improve design to accommodate the needs of commercial airlines. Engine manufacturers in particular have worked long and hard to improve each engine component, e.g., compressors, turbines, combustors, etc.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Emissions control, Electric motors, Engine components, Fuel pumps, Commercial aircraft

Optically Transparent EMI Shielding for Defense and Aerospace Applications

Modern electronic devices and computing equipment are often integrated with wireless capabilities which utilize multi-bands for high speed communication, as well as high speed circuits and high definition graphical displays that operate at a wide range of frequencies. As such, hardware systems are becoming increasingly complex, resulting in products that are highly sensitive to electromagnetic interference (EMI). The vulnerability to EMI is further heightened when multiple components are packed close together within the device due to space, size and weight constraints. As such, traditional shielding methods that employ materials like thick metal Faraday cages are not always practical due to their heavy weight and bulkiness. Despite its complexity, managing this interference and increasing the resilience of components, interconnects and subsystems within the device is crucial to ensuring reliability and functionality.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Avionics, Electromagnetic compatibility, Electronic equipment, Optics, Displays, Military aircraft

Pumped Two-Phase Cooling for Thermal Management of High Heat Flux Electronics

Pumped two-phase cooling provides a compact, low pumping power option for thermal management in high heat flux applications (300-500W/cm2). Compared to single-phase convection, significantly higher heat transfer coefficients can be achieved at substantially lower flowrates. Two-phase cooling also provides a high degree of isothermality, which is important in many applications such as lasers whose emission wavelengths are temperature-dependent.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Electronic equipment, Thermal management, Coatings Colorants and Finishes

Thermal Simulation and Testing of Expanded Metal Foils for Lightning Protection

With the implementation of major aircraft structures fabricated from carbon fiber reinforced plastic materials, lightning protection has become a more complicated issue for designers and engineers to solve.

Cracking of coatings and surface layers is evident on a variety of structures including buildings, automobiles, and aircraft. In some situations, the appearance of the coated or painted surface is degraded and the aesthetic appeal is lessened. However, in others, such as composite aircraft structures, paint cracking is both aesthetically undesirable and potentially deleterious from the electromagnetic effects aspect.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Materials, Test & Measurement, Computer simulation, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Composite materials, Lightning protection, Thermal testing

Formation and Characterization of Gold Nanoparticles

One-dimensional nanowires are of increasing interest due to their size, physical properties, and other applications in opto-electronics. For example, nanowires have already been used in light-emitting diodes and lasers, photo-detectors, resonant tunneling diodes, field-effect and single-electron transistors, and biochemical sensors. In addition, nanowires are useful because they can be grown almost dislocation-free due to their nano dimension. When dislocation- free nanowires nucleated on the substrate merge to form a continuous film, voids are left underneath, which act as sinks for dislocations, allowing other structures to be grown stress-free on top of the nano-engineered buffer layer.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Wiring, Nanomaterials

Carbon Nanotube Thermal Interfaces Enhanced with Sprayed-On Nanoscale Polymer Coatings

As the semiconductor industry continually strives to increase the power density of single-chip packages, thermal management remains a critical challenge toward realizing both performance and reliability metrics. One of the primary bottlenecks inhibiting effective thermal management arises from the several interfaces that can exist between the chip and heat sink. Specifically, the thermal resistance of the thermal interface materials (TIMs) that are currently used to bridge these interfaces must be decreased. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs), with their extraordinarily high axial thermal conductivity, have generated tremendous interest as candidates for providing low-resistance TIMs. A potentially scalable and low-cost process was developed that utilizes spray coating to deposit thin polymer films onto the tips of CNTs for bonding at room temperature.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Nanotechnology, Polymers, Semiconductors

Lipid Layer-Based Corrosion Monitoring on Metal Substrates

Corrosion is a deforming process that costs the United States Department of Defense (DOD) approximately $23 billion annually and accounts for 23% of all DOD maintenance. Exhaustive efforts have been made towards the detection and diagnosis of this issue; however, the problem persists. The Army’s “Go Green” initiative has opened the door for research into an environmentally friendly, biologically based corrosion monitoring technique. For this reason, novel research is being conducted on the use of lipid layers in corrosion monitoring.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Corrosion, Metals

Electrochemical Energy Storage Materials

One of the most important requirements in next-generation batteries is to concurrently deliver high energy density and high power density (fast charge-discharge rates). The high power density requirement can be met with enhanced ion and electron transport kinetics in batteries, which in turn requires active materials with high ion diffusion constants and conductive additives or architectures for faster electron transport to respective current collectors. It is well known that nanostructuring the electrode materials would significantly enhance the characteristic time constant for ion diffusion, thereby reducing the intercalation/deintercalation time.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Battery cell chemistry, Energy storage systems, Nanotechnology