Cool Tools: Minimally invasive video borescope
Extech Instruments has launched the BR250-4, an affordable and versatile wireless inspection borescope designed to get into openings as small as 4.5 mm while providing bright clear images on its detachable, wireless 3.5-in. color display. When you need to get into walls, ducts, furnaces, boiler tubes, air handlers, exchangers, coils, plenums, and other concealed or hard-to-access areas, this is your hero. And when there's no existing opening and drilling is required, making a much smaller hole leaves minimal damage.
Drop-in solution makes your machine ready for Industry 4.0
Bosch Rexroth's IoT Gateway Rack is an IP65-rated enclosure containing Rexroth's award-winning IoT Gateway. It includes all the necessary wiring and connections to connect PLCs, I/O, and other data sources for collection, processing, and forwarding of plant floor data to upper-level data systems, making it ideal for retrofitting older machines with Industry 4.0 data-transfer capabilities. The plug-and-play design allows OEMs to use the IoT Gateway Rack as an optional addition to their existing machines. Uses standard 110-V plug.
New family of EC fans for AC applications
Orion Fans has launched a family of electronically commutated (EC) fans that offer low-power, energy-saving cooling solutions for AC applications. The AC-input fans -- available in a range of sizes (60 mm, 120 mm, 172 mm, and 250 mm) -- utilize a brushless DC motor and incorporate voltage transformation within the motor for significantly lower power consumption. This equates to power savings of up to 50 percent, enabling customers to meet energy-consumption requirements from agencies like ENERGY STAR. These fans are ideal for a broad range of applications including appliances, commercial and process control, refrigeration, HVAC, and electronic enclosures and cabinets.
Industry's first 100-W and 200-W USB Type-C controllers
Texas Instruments has introduced two new USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery (PD) controllers, with fully integrated power paths to simplify designs, minimize solution size, and speed time to market. The TPS65987D and TPS65988 offer system designers the industry's highest level of integration to reduce design complexity and overall cost. The devices are the industry's first USB PD controllers to source 100 W and 200 W of power, respectively, to support computing applications and enable the benefits of USB Type-C in additional applications such as cordless power tools, gaming, and virtual reality headsets.
First explosion-proof stackable multi-turn encoder
Sensata Technologies has introduced the first explosion-proof stackable multi-turn encoder, an ideal position sensing solution for oil and gas applications such as drawworks, top drives, and pipe-handling equipment where working conditions are extreme. The new encoder, BEI Sensors' model MAAX, is ATEX and IECEx certified to operate in explosive environments and features a Profibus output in a unique, stackable package. CANopen and SSI outputs are also available. The MAAX provides up to 16 bits of resolution as well as up to 16 bits of turns by mechanical counting. This workhorse product operates directly in Zone 1 environments without the need for an accompanying Intrinsic Safety barrier.
DuPont announces newest in-mold electronics inks
DuPont Electronics and Imaging is launching its second generation of In-Mold Electronic (IME) materials with key advancements in its electrically conductive adhesive, protection encapsulant, and crossover dielectric. IME technology enables functions such as touch controls and lighting to be directly embedded inside plastic parts by printing circuits onto plastic sheets, which are then thermoformed and injection molded. This allows product engineers to reduce weight and cost while increasing design aesthetics and functionality in everything from car dashboards to home appliances, using fewer parts and manufacturing steps.
Learn more about the latest materials.
Go to the DuPont In-Mold Electronic Technology website.
Through-beam object-detecting fork sensors
Fork sensors (slot sensors) from Automation-Direct are U- or L-shaped through-beam object-detecting sensors that have the transmitter and receiver built into the opposing "fork" arms of the sensor housing. New PS series fork sensor additions include harsh-duty U-frame sensors for food applications, L-frame or angled fork sensors for unique mounting situations, and fork sensors for liquid detection. Depending on the model, PS series fork sensors are available in visible red, infrared, and laser lighting and in sensing ranges from 5 mm to 220 mm.
Application Note: Cooling for automotive applications
Advances in automotive technologies such as smart headlights, autonomous systems for collision avoidance, and infotainment systems require enhanced thermal protection of critical electronics to ensure optimized performance. Packing more functionality into smaller footprints has increased the heat flux density and thermal challenges in automotive electronics. Designing active cooling systems will provide a thermal management solution needed to operate each sensitive device within its temperature range and optimize its performance. Get this in-depth application note from Laird Thermal Systems.
Read the app note (no registration required).
Collect and understand vibration condition data
Vibration monitoring is one of the most effective ways to detect potential equipment failures before they cause downtime. However, vibration analysis is complex, and it can be cost prohibitive to place sensors on noncritical assets. The new, wireless Fluke 3561 FC Vibration Sensor allows maintenance teams to improve uptime by adding remote, continuous vibration monitoring to virtually any rotating equipment. With a frequency range of 10 to 1,000 hertz, the 3561 FC detects and notifies users of conditional changes caused by critical faults like imbalance, misalignment, looseness, and bearing wear, providing warning of impending equipment failure.
Polyimide heater kit -- tons of uses
The Polyimide heater kit from Omega Engineering contains thin and flexible heaters with adhesive backing to conform to practically any flat or curved surface. With 15 different shapes, this kit can suit almost any application. Heater configurations are outlined on a 0.3-m x 0.3-m (1-ft x 1-ft) sheet, with line markings for easy selection and cutout. When used in combination, these heaters can provide a number of resistances and wattages. Leads can be soldered on or connected with alligator clips. Typical applications include: aerospace, analytical equipment, tooling, commercial equipment, agriculture, packaging, and material handling.
LED headlights installed on San Francisco's historic cable cars
Since 1873, the best lighting the historic San Francisco Municipal Cable Cars had was dim incandescent headlights that did not do anything for illumination. They were merely bright enough to serve as an indicator that a cable car was coming. After over 140 years, that finally changed with their upgrade to LED light bulbs from LEDtronics. Along with the PAR46 LED headlights, A19-style LED light bulbs were also installed inside the passenger cabins. Savings on energy costs and maintenance are major benefits.
Verify color accuracy in real time
The LEX-1000 sensor from EMX Industries is used to measure the relative color characteristics
for a wide variety of light sources and illuminated objects. It focuses the light onto a sensitive RGB photodiode, where it is measured for its red, green, and blue (RGB) composition.
When all three colors fall within the programmed tolerance, the output indicates a match. This is a great solution for evaluation of all visible light sources, LCD and LED display quality, and automotive lighting verification.
Solenoid valves for commercial space vehicles
Marotta Controls has launched CoRe Flow Controls, a new series of commercially available, high-performance solenoid valves for today’s NewSpace generation of reusable launch vehicles. It enables system designers to quickly move through the development phase with minimal risk, and its versatility allows for integration into a wide variety of critical applications, including pressurization systems, stage separation, and engine controls. The line consists of six flight-qualified solenoid valves designed around common components with operating pressures up to 6,000 psi (41 MPa). This standardized, high-volume production approach enables Marotta to offer lower cost components with shorter lead times.
Click here to learn more.
Waterproof 6-axis acceleration and angular rate sensor
Code Mercenaries has released the JoyWarrior 56FR1-WP, a cost-efficient, waterproof, six-axis MEMS motion sensor that provides 3-axis measurements of both acceleration and angular rate with 16-bit resolution for motion, vibration, or orientation sensing applications. Readings are taken at 833 measurements per sec in standard mode, while a high-speed mode generates 6,664 data points per sec. The different range settings at which acceleration and angular rate can be measured can be stored permanently in the sensor. Comes with a 6-ft cable and USB interface. Available from U.S. distributor Saelig.
Click here to learn more.
Advancements in reed switch-based technology for liquid-level sensing
Madison Company has developed an advancement in proven reed switch-based technology that provides ultra-high resolution, very tight tolerances, and consistent repeatable measurements in liquid level sensor designs. Sensors can be also designed to withstand extreme shock or vibration as well as corrosive conditions and temperature variations. Applications include: power generators, commercial compressors, power transmission equipment, chemical processing, and hydraulic systems.
Scientists turn X-ray laser into world's fastest water heater
Scientists have used a powerful X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to heat water from room temperature to 100,000 degrees Celsius (C) in less than a tenth of a picosecond, or millionth of a millionth of a second. SLAC is operated by Stanford University.
The experimental setup, which can be seen as the world's fastest water heater, produced an exotic state of water from which researchers hope to learn more about the peculiar characteristics of Earth's most important liquid. The observations also have practical use for probing biological and many other samples with X-ray lasers.
The research team from Germany's Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Uppsala University in Sweden, and SLAC reported its findings in May in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The researchers used SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray free-electron laser to shoot extremely intense and ultrashort flashes of X-rays at a jet of water.
"It is not the usual way to boil your water," said Carl Caleman of the Center for Free-Electron Science (CFEL) at DESY and Uppsala University. "Normally, when you heat water, the molecules will just be shaken stronger and stronger." On the molecular level, heat is motion -- the hotter the temperature, the faster the motion of the molecules. This can be achieved, for example, via heat transfer from a stove, or more directly with microwaves that make the water molecules swing back and forth ever faster in step with an electromagnetic field.
In this experiment, "Our heating is fundamentally different," Caleman said. "The energetic X-rays punch electrons out of the water molecules, thereby destroying the balance of electric charges. So, suddenly the atoms feel a strong repulsive force and start to move violently." In less than 75 femtoseconds -- that's 75 millionths of a billionth of a second, or 0.000000000000075 seconds -- the water goes through a phase transition from liquid to plasma. A plasma is a state of matter where the electrons have been removed from the atoms, leading to a sort of electrically charged gas.
"But while the water transforms from liquid to plasma, it still remains at the density of liquid water, as the atoms didn't have time to move significantly yet," said co-author Olof Jönsson from Uppsala University. This exotic state of matter is nothing that can be found naturally on Earth, he added: "It has similar characteristics as some plasmas in the sun and in the gas giant Jupiter, but has a lower density. Meanwhile, it is hotter than Earth's core."
The scientists used their measurements to validate simulations of the process. Together, the measurements and simulations allowed them to study this exotic state of water in order to learn more about water's general properties.
"Water really is an odd liquid, and if it weren't for its peculiar characteristics, many things on Earth wouldn't be as they are, particularly life," Jönsson said. Water displays many anomalies, including its density, heat capacity, and thermal conductivity. It is these anomalies that will be investigated within the future Center for Water Science (CWS) planned at DESY, and the results obtained at LCLS are of great importance for the activities there.
Apart from its fundamental significance, the study also has immediate practical significance. X-ray lasers are often used to investigate the atomic structure of tiny samples. "It is important for any experiment involving liquids at X-ray lasers," said co-author Kenneth Beyerlein from CFEL. "In fact, any sample that you put into the X-ray beam will be destroyed in the way that we observed here. If you analyze anything that is not a crystal, you have to consider this."
The measurements show almost no structural changes in the water up to 25 femtoseconds after being hit with an X-ray pulse. But at 75 femtoseconds, changes are already evident.
"The study gives us a better understanding of what we do to different samples," explained co-author Nicusor Timneanu from Uppsala University, one of the key scientists developing the theoretical model the research team used. "Its observations are also important to consider for the development of techniques to image single molecules or other tiny particles with X-ray lasers."
Source: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Published October 2018
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