Smart Materials Boost Jet Engine Efficiency and Reduce Noise

A group of new smart materials has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of jet engines, cutting the cost of flying. The materials, which could also reduce airplane noise over residential areas, have additional applications in a variety of other industries.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Defense, Composites, Materials

Unique Chamber Gives Air Force Real-World Corrosion Test Capabilities

Aircraft corrosion is a multi-faceted issue that requires more than a simple, one-dimensional approach. To enable Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) personnel to arrive at a complete picture and find out how to best protect valuable military assets, a unique solution was required.

Posted in: INSIDER, News, Data Acquisition, Defense, Ceramics, Coatings & Adhesives, Composites, Materials, Metals, Plastics, Research Lab, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Instrumentation, 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

Burner Rig Testing of A500® C/SiC

There is growing interest in developing, testing, and deploying ceramic-matrix composites (CMCs) into commercial and military aerospace gas turbine engines due to their durability under extreme conditions and weight-savings potential. For military applications, the focus is on the afterburning section of the turbine engine, including the flameholder, augmentor liner, and both the convergent and divergent segments of the exhaust nozzle. These are demanding applications because of the high temperatures and rapid thermal cycles.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Composites, Materials, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Preventing Premature Part Failures with Electropolishing

Design engineers in the aerospace industry are constantly challenged to improve fit and function of components used in commercial and military aircraft. Parts used in these aircraft must withstand high-stress, corrosive conditions with long-term use. They also must meet highly demanding cycle life specifications.

Posted in: News, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Government, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Joining & Assembly, Machinery, Mechanical Components

3 Key Benefits: Better Corrosion Resistance, Fatigue Life, Part Integrity

Electropolishing has become a common metal finishing process used in the aerospace industry to help improve the overall quality of metal components. These components come in many forms including high-performance fasteners, fittings, nozzles, housings, and welded assemblies. In order to maintain reliable performance, these components must be precisely manufactured and have an impeccable surface finish that is free of burrs and other contaminants.

Posted in: News, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Metals, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components

Advantages of Electropolishing for Penetrant Testing

It’s common, especially in the aerospace industry, for parts that are fracture critical to be Liquid Penetrant Inspected (LPI) prior to installation. Also known as Dye Penetrant Inspection (DPI) or simply Penetrant Testing (PT), this method is used to detect micro-cracks or other defects that could serve as an initiation site for failure. In order to properly execute a penetrant test, the surface of a metal part must be thoroughly clean of any debris, smeared metal, or any amorphous layer that may be hiding a hairline crack, thus yielding a false reading.

Posted in: News, News, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Materials, Metals, Test & Measurement

Recycled Water Bottles Could Help Avoid Military Supply Snags

Soldiers on the battlefield or at remote bases often have to wait weeks for vital replacement parts. Now scientists report they have found a way to fabricate many of these parts within hours under combat conditions using water bottles, cardboard and other recyclable materials found on base as starting materials for 3D printing. They say this ‘game-changing’ advance could improve operational readiness, reduce dependence on outside supply chains, and enhance safety.

“Ideally, soldiers wouldn’t have to wait for the next supply truck to receive vital equipment,” Nicole Zander, Ph.D., says. “Instead, they could basically go into the cafeteria, gather discarded water bottles, milk jugs, cardboard boxes and other recyclable items, then use those materials as feedstocks for 3D printers to make tools, parts and other gadgets.”

Posted in: News, Defense, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Materials, Plastics