Utron Inc. has developed a combustion gas chamber to quickly compress metallic powders into small parts, and eventually mass-produce small and big components based on the process. It's one of many efforts by powder-metallurgy scientists to take talcum, powder-size grains of metals and turn them into pressed parts. Current methods use pressure and heat to slowly press out small batches of parts. Making large parts in this fashion requires long exposure to heat, with possible undesirable molecular changes resulting. With the combustion gas chamber process, Utron hopes to mass-produce parts "on millisecond time scales," according to Dr. Arul Mozhie, Utron senior scientist. The Utron process evolved from pulsed power and high-pressure combustion technologies developed for hypervelocity launch and other defense applications. The process uses high-pressure pulses, produced by the controlled combustion of propellants, to consolidate the tiny copper and steel powders Utron made using a higher momentum flux gas medium. The work was pursued under a contract awarded by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization. FAX (703) 369-5298
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.