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Displaying Available Technologies results for Mechanical, Civil & Environment

MINIMUM QUANTITY LUBRICATION METALWORKING SYSTEM

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Computer numerical control (CNC) processes are under scrutiny from environmental and regulatory agencies due to excessive use of cutting fluids and subsequent disposal methods. Currently, there is no way to control the amount of cutting fluid used by CNC machines, resulting in wasted fluids and lost money.

Researchers at the University of Utah have developed a system to administer the necessary amount of cutting fluid for the programmed task. This system communicates with the CNC machine in real time, allowing for seamless fluid administration during CNC processing.


SEISMIC BUCKLING BRACE

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During intense earthquakes and other natural disasters, buildings experience significant damage, including deformation and buckling, due to non-linear displacement. Structural dampers absorb high amounts of energy and can prevent or reduce damage. One such device, a buckling restrained brace (BRB), absorbs energy through plastic deformation. However, conventional BRBs, typically concrete in a steel tube (perform well under large forces, 200,000+ pounds) are heavy and have not yet been developed for small capacity applications.

The heavy timber buckling restrained brace consists of a steel core and heavy timber casing to prevent buckling, even for small capacity applications. It can be used in buildings, bridges, and other structures to dissipate seismic energy and prevent damage from natural disasters. It improves resiliency by acting as a fuse to protect the structure.
This casing can be further fortified by adding compression screws to account for forces that run perpendicular to the grain.


COGGING-TORQUE ACTUATOR

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Motors were designed and optimized for industrial processes that require continuous smooth rotation, which typically requires minimization of cogging torque. These motors operate efficiently at high speeds, but must be geared down to achieve velocities and torques typically needed for robotics. This leads to inefficient motors with no inherent compliance. As compliance ensures safety and prevents damage to the robot, researchers have attempted to address the issue. Current solutions, however, require auxiliary components resulting in large, ineffective, and complex systems.

A new type of robot actuator, comprising an electromagnetic machine combined with a local controller implementing bioinspired motion primitives. The cogging-torque actuator will accept high-level commands and adjust its own behavior according to its local experience through a combination of controlled passive dynamics and high-bandwidth feedback control. This design will facilitate more robust operation by enabling distributed control, inherent sensing capability, controllable compliance, and leveraging the nonlinear dynamics of the actuator.


SEISMIC SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE GEOFOAM BRIDGE

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According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 61,000 bridges in the United States are structurally deficient. Consolidation and post- construction creep settlement slow and inhibit accelerated construction of support systems for bridge structures on soft soil. Other common challenges include low bearing capacity, poor construction conditions, relocation of buried utilities, and potential settlement damage to adjacent structures and foundations.

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Geofoam Bridge Support Systems accelerate construction of bridge support without compromising safety. EPS eliminates the need for deep foundations or ground improvement in soft ground conditions. EPS technology is lightweight and reduces, or almost eliminates, uneven settling of soil. EPS bridges are used around the world, but not currently permitted in the United States as they do not hold up under seismic conditions. The proposed system increases stability during seismic events by utilizing a steel cable system enabling EPS bridge deployment in seismic geographic areas.


SECONDARY STIFFNESS DEVICES FOR STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS

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In 2017, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported over $300B in structural damages caused by natural disasters. Various devices exist to prevent structural damage after seismic events by absorbing load displacements. One such device, a buckling restrained brace (BRB), absorbs energy through plastic deformation and utilizes a stiff sleeve with a metal shell to prevent buckling under compressive forces. The sleeve is prone to fracturing and excessive plastic deformation can cause permanent damage to the system.

The proposed system limits displacement of steel beams during a natural disaster and reduces structural damage by adding addition stiffness to BRBs through reinforced steel sleeves. Steel compression plates attached at the joint where a steel beam connects to the ground and at the steel tube encasing mortar add stability to the system. Secondary tension straps decrease excessive deformation improving the reliability of the system.


ELONGATE MEMBER REINFORCEMENT WITH A STUDDED COLLAR

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In 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America’s infrastructure a D+, based on the country’s crumbling infrastructure. Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites, which are lightweight, corrosion resistant, and have a high strength to weight ratio, show promise for strengthening and rehabilitating structures, but can be cost prohibitive.

The proposed device utilizes FRP to strengthen or reinforce columns, pipes, and walls at a lower cost. The device secures a support layer to a structure with a collar to facilitate load transfer between the structure and support layer, enhancing the overall strength and durability of the structure.


ANCHOR, SPLICING, AND PRESTRESSING DEVICE FOR FRP RODS

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Tens of thousands of US bridges and buildings, many over 50 years old, need repairs or are at risk of failure due to antiquated technology and materials. Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite rods have high strength-to-weight ratios and resist corrosion, but as yet have not been used widely in post-tensioning or in pre-stressing applications. Standard gripping anchors, when used with FRP rods used to repair infrastructure, place stress on individual fibers, leading to premature failures.

The proposed technology is an inexpensive anchor, splicing, and pre-stressing device for FRP rods. The device is simple to build and uses conventional materials such as steel and epoxy to achieve pre-stressing of FRP rods of any length. It makes FRP rods a more viable option for construction, significantly reducing costs and adding a successful FRP anchor for post-tensioning and pre-stressing applications.


COMPACT COMPLIANCE TACTILE FEEDBACK DEVICE

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Haptics, the science of interfacing with users via touch, is being used to provide sensory input to users in various applications, including robotic surgery, touch screen displays, and navigational systems. While robotic or automated instruments allow users to manipulate physical objects in a remote or virtual environment, they insufficiently communicate tactile information to users. Users have to rely instead entirely on visual information decreasing efficacy. Robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery (MIS), in particular, allows for greater precision and control but relies on high-quality visual systems to guide procedures. Surgeons simply cannot feel tactile changes and the impacts of surgical tools within a body cavity.

The Compact Compliance Tactile Feedback Device provides a rendering of surfaces based on the stiffness of the surface in question. The device calibrates based on the user’s force and displacement and communicates tactile feedback to the user through pressure or directional motion.


PERFORATED PLATE SEISMIC DAMPERS

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Intense earthquakes and other natural disasters cause significant damage, including deformation and buckling, to buildings that experience non-linear displacement. Structural dampers, which absorb high amounts of energy, prevent or reduce damage. Expenses and specialization, however, limit their use to high-cost applications.

Perforated Plate Seismic Dampers offer a novel method for efficient seismic energy absorption at a low cost. A single steel plate shaped to have four “nodes” or fuse points, stretches under seismic accelerations, focusing the shear and tension forces onto the four nodes. This unique plate formation absorbs excess energy, thereby reducing the lateral displacement and resultant damage to buildings during seismic events.