July 28, 2015 Volume 11 Issue 28

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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20-in. automotive touchscreens enabled by new controllers

With cars like the Tesla Model S featuring 17-in. touchscreens, the trend in automotive displays is to go bigger and bigger. But unlike handheld mobile devices, screens in automobiles need to meet stringent head impact and vibration tests, so they have thicker cover lenses that potentially affect the touch interface performance. As screens get larger, they are also more likely to interfere with other frequencies and car access systems. These factors pose a major challenge in the design of modern automotive capacitive touch systems, but a new family of single-chip maXTouch touchscreen controllers from Microchip Technology was designed to address these issues.
Learn more.


Electric high-force linear actuator choices: Ball vs. roller screw

Many applications require high-force linear actuators -- from moving equipment in a foundry to powering a press in metal forming to guiding heavy logs in a sawmill. Whatever the application, a machine designer is faced with a choice: whether to specify a ball or roller screw in the electric high-force linear actuator. Learn how to make the best decision for your application.
Read the Tolomatic blog.


Big additions to miniature LED product line

Thanks to the recent acquisition of Display Products, Inc. (DPP), VCC is offering LEDs that drive energy-saving solutions for a range of applications. In mid-October, VCC announced the first wave of available replacement LED products, including the bi-pin model of the T-2 Slide Based LED Lamp. Now, the innovative company is making additional models available to provide several benefits for manufacturers, designers, and even end users seeking ways to improve efficiency and reduce maintenance costs. This next wave of rollouts includes T-2 Slide Based LED lamps in voltages ranging from 12V to 120VAC, as well as the new and noteworthy T-3 1/4 Miniature LEDs.
Learn more.


Flexible circuit design guide

Tech-Etch uses advanced techniques to manufacture flex and rigid-flex circuits to exacting customer specifications. Special processes include selective plating a single circuit with two different finishes, contoured circuits with variable metal thickness, semi-additive and subtractive techniques, open window or cantilevered contact leads, plus SMT for component assembly. Tech-Etch specializes in flexible circuits for medical device, medical implant, diagnostic ultrasound, and patient monitoring applications, in addition to telecommunications, aerospace, semiconductor, and other high-reliability electronic applications.
Learn about flex circuits and download the guide (no registration required).


Power supply for servos with power factor correction

ADVANCED Motion Controls has introduced the PFC2400W375, a regulated DC power supply designed to feed 400-V series servo drives with a low-noise 375-VDC bus. Universal single-phase AC input 100-240 VAC/50-60 Hz with power factor correction and low harmonic distortion along with soft starting circuitry guarantees global high-performance, reliable operation. This new power supply is designed to achieve power factor improvement, improve performance, and ensure consistent operation regardless of the local power company's voltage levels and quality.
Learn more.


World's smallest safety laser scanner

A laser scanner is a safety device that uses the reflection of laser beams to detect the presence of objects or people. The SE2L Safety Laser Scanner from IDEC is the world's smallest unit of its kind -- and the world's first with master/slave functionality and dual protection zones. This scanner is certified for use in safety applications including AGVs, forklifts, robots, and other items of moving equipment found in industrial facilities.
Learn more.


See further at higher sensitivity: Advanced, lightweight infrared camera core for imaging gimbals

Sierra-Olympic Technologies, a supplier of infrared (IR) and thermal imaging components, cameras, and systems solutions, has just introduced the Ventus 275, a midwave-infrared imaging engine with a continuous zoom (CZ) optic. Advanced image enhancements include electronic image stabilization, automatic/manual gain control, adaptive contrast control, and optional target tracking/detection. This compact, lightweight MWIR thermal camera core is specially designed for OEM integrators of surveillance system enclosures and other imaging gimbals.
Learn more.


1000Base-T1 automotive Ethernet common mode choke

Pulse Electronics' Networking Business Unit has introduced the 1000Base-T1 Ethernet Common Mode Choke for automotive applications. Designed to deliver high reliability and performance, the AE5002 1000Base-T1 series is ideal for applications such as Infotainment, Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) Body Control, Camera/Radar, Gateways, and Backbone Diagnostics.
Learn more.


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.
Learn more.


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.
Learn more.


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.
Learn more.


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.
Learn more.


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.
Learn more.


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.
Learn more.


Diamond and graphene combo demonstrate superlubricity in the lab

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have found a way to use tiny diamonds and graphene to give friction the slip, creating a new material combination that demonstrates the rare phenomenon of "superlubricity."

Led by nanoscientist Ani Sumant of Argonne's Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) and Argonne Distinguished Fellow Ali Erdemir of Argonne's Energy Systems Division, the five-person Argonne team combined diamond nanoparticles, small patches of graphene (a two-dimensional single-sheet form of pure carbon) and a diamond-like carbon material to create superlubricity, a highly desirable property in which friction drops to near zero.

According to Erdemir, as the graphene patches and diamond particles rub up against a large diamond-like carbon surface, the graphene rolls itself around the diamond particle, creating something that looks like a ball bearing on the nanoscopic level. "The interaction between the graphene and the diamond-like carbon is essential for creating the 'superlubricity' effect," he said. "The two materials depend on each other."

At the atomic level, friction occurs when atoms in materials that slide against each other become "locked in state," which requires additional energy to overcome. "You can think of it as like trying to slide two egg cartons against each other bottom-to-bottom," said Diana Berman, a postdoctoral researcher at the CNM and an author of the study. "There are times at which the positioning of the gaps between the eggs -- or in our case, the atoms -- causes an entanglement between the materials that prevents easy sliding."

By creating the graphene-encapsulated diamond ball bearings, or "scrolls," the team found a way to translate the nanoscale superlubricity into a macroscale phenomenon. Because the scrolls change their orientation during the sliding process, enough diamond particles and graphene patches prevent the two surfaces from becoming locked in state. The team used large-scale atomistic computations on the Mira supercomputer at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility to prove that the effect could be seen not merely at the nanoscale but also at the macroscale.

"A scroll can be manipulated and rotated much more easily than a simple sheet of graphene or graphite," Berman said.

The catch
However, the team was puzzled that while superlubricity was maintained in dry conditions, in a humid environment this was not the case. Because this behavior was counterintuitive, the team again turned to atomistic calculations. "We observed that the scroll formation was inhibited in the presence of a water layer, therefore causing higher friction," explained co-author Argonne computational nanoscientist Subramanian Sankaranarayanan.

While the field of tribology has long been concerned with ways to reduce friction -- and thus the energy demands of different mechanical systems -- superlubricity has been treated as a tough proposition. "Everyone would dream of being able to achieve superlubricity in a wide range of mechanical systems, but it's a very difficult goal to achieve," said Sanket Deshmukh, another CNM postdoctoral researcher on the study.

"The knowledge gained from this study," Sumant added, "will be crucial in finding ways to reduce friction in everything from engines or turbines to computer hard disks and microelectromechanical systems."

A paper based on the study, "Macroscale superlubricity enabled by graphene nanoscroll formation," appeared in the May 14 online issue of Science Express. The work was funded by the DOE's Office of Science. The Center for Nanoscale Materials and the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility are DOE Office of Science User Facilities.

Source: DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

Published July 2015

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