October 21, 2014 Volume 10 Issue 39

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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Benchtop ionizer for hands-free static elimination

EXAIR's Varistat Benchtop Ionizer is the latest solution for neutralizing static on charged surfaces in industrial settings. Using ionizing technology, the Varistat provides a hands-free solution that requires no compressed air. Easily mounted on benchtops or machines, it is manually adjustable and perfect for processes needing comprehensive coverage such as part assembly, web cleaning, printing, and more.
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LED light bars from AutomationDirect

Automation-Direct adds CCEA TRACK-ALPHA-PRO series LED light bars to expand their offering of industrial LED fixtures. Their rugged industrial-grade anodized aluminum construction makes TRACKALPHA-PRO ideal for use with medium to large-size industrial machine tools and for use in wet environments. These 120 VAC-rated, high-power LED lights provide intense, uniform lighting, with up to a 4,600-lumen output (100 lumens per watt). They come with a standard bracket mount that allows for angle adjustments. Optional TACLIP mounts (sold separately) provide for extra sturdy, vibration-resistant installations.
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World's first metalens fisheye camera

2Pi Optics has begun commercial-ization of the first fisheye camera based on the company's proprietary metalens technology -- a breakthrough for electronics design engineers and product managers striving to miniaturize the tiny digital cameras used in advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), AR/VR, UAVs, robotics, and other industrial applications. This camera can operate at different wavelengths -- from visible, to near IR, to longer IR -- and is claimed to "outperform conventional refractive, wide-FOV optics in all areas: size, weight, performance, and cost."
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Orbex offers two fiber optic rotary joint solutions

Orbex Group announces its 700 Series of fiber optic rotary joint (FORJ) assemblies, supporting either single or multi-mode operation ideal for high-speed digital transmission over long distances. Wavelengths available are 1,310 or 1,550 nm. Applications include marine cable reels, wind turbines, robotics, and high-def video transmission. Both options feature an outer diameter of 7 mm for installation in tight spaces. Construction includes a stainless steel housing.
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Mini tunnel magneto-resistance effect sensors

Littelfuse has released its highly anticipated 54100 and 54140 mini Tunnel Magneto-Resistance (TMR) effect sensors, offering unmatched sensitivity and power efficiency. The key differentiator is their remarkable sensitivity and 100x improvement in power efficiency compared to Hall Effect sensors. They are well suited for applications in position and limit sensing, RPM measurement, brushless DC motor commutation, and more in various markets including appliances, home and building automation, and the industrial sectors.
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Panasonic solar and EV components available from Newark

Newark has added Panasonic Industry's solar inverters and EV charging system components to their power portfolio. These best-in-class products help designers meet the growing global demand for sustainable and renewable energy mobility systems. Offerings include film capacitors, power inductors, anti-surge thick film chip resistors, graphite thermal interface materials, power relays, capacitors, and wireless modules.
Learn more.


Standard parts with signal feedback included

JW Winco standard parts are becoming even more functional -- multifunctional, to be precise. From smart stop bolts that report whether workpieces are precisely positioned in the machining process to cabinet handles with signal lights and fluid level indicators with electronic REED contact signals, intelligent standard parts from JW Winco ensure greater safety, higher efficiency, and increased stability. Many more very useful options available for a wide range of applications.
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Create smarter control systems with relays

Control relays play a pivotal role in the world of automation and control systems. These versatile devices are designed to help you manage electrical circuits, making them indispensable for a wide range of applications. Learn the distinctive benefits of relays, including reliability and durability, versatility, ease of use, and costs. Check out the relays AA Electric has in stock too.
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COMSOL Multiphysics Version 6.2 is here

COMSOL Multiphysics Version 6.2 introduces faster solvers for turbulent fluid flow, electric motors, and room acoustics. It also brings data-driven surrogate model functionality for creating multiphysics-based digital twins and building fast and accurate standalone simulation apps. Get the full details of what's new in the latest version.
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17 ways SOLIDWORKS 2024 helps you work faster

SOLIDWORKS 2024 helps designers and engineers work faster than ever. Learn all about improvements to core 3D CAD modeling features, new 3D modeling techniques, and graphical and software performance boosts that will help you get your parts made and your products developed in record time.
View the video.


6 tips to streamline workflow in Mastercam 2024

Mastercam 2024 CAD/CAM software has been intentionally upgraded to make programming fast and easy. It prioritizes streamlining workflow so that the entire machining process -- from design to QC -- is as efficient as possible. Learn how to maximize the benefits of Mastercam 2024, including special toolpaths, easier hole-making operations, wireframe shortcuts, and more.
Read this informative Mastercam blog.


Leak detection sensor for multiple HVAC refrigerants

Sensata Technologies has launched the Sensata Resonix RGD sensor, the first leak detection sensor with UL certification for multiple A2L refrigerant gases used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment. It supports HVAC manufacturers' transition to refrigerants with a lower global warming impact. Typically mounted near the evaporator coil, the new sensor measures the acoustic resonance of the surrounding air in real time and can trigger mitigation, such as a fan, when A2L gas is detected.
Learn more.


New electro-pneumatic vacuum regulator

The Type 1005V Electronic Vacuum Regulator is the first electronic vacuum regulator offered by ControlAir. It is used in various industrial and automation applications to precisely control and regulate the flow of air or gases in a system. It has two solenoid valves, a pressure sensor, and an electronic board for precise control to ensure that the vacuum pressure remains steady.
Learn more.


Real-world applications: FUTEK 100 sensor examples

Get inspired. FUTEK has more than 100 real-world application examples for their load cells, force transducers, torque sensors, pressure sensors, and multi-axis sensors. From a cryogenic load cell on the Mars Curiosity rover to fly-by-wire multi-axis force and torque sensors for aircraft, learn about sensor systems, their specs, and design. Automotive, manufacturing, medical, robotics, and automation are covered too. Fascinating and highly practical.
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Filter fans for enclosures: 70 models in new series

The new 4000 Series from Seifert Systems covers 70 UL-listed filter fan models designed for enclosure applications. They snap in place once a cutout is made in the enclosure. Mounting screws are available with EMC models or as an option. Filter media snaps in place and easily slides out for replacement. When used with a Seifert thermostat, 4000 Series filter fans can be turned on only when needed. Air flow ranges from 7 to 483 cfm.
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Electrically conductive plastics show promise for batteries, solar cells

By Emil Venere, Purdue University

An emerging class of electrically conductive plastics called "radical polymers" may bring low-cost, transparent solar cells, flexible and lightweight batteries, and ultrathin antistatic coatings for consumer electronics and aircraft.

Researchers have established the solid-state electrical properties of one such polymer, called PTMA, which is about 10 times more electrically conductive than common semiconducting polymers.

"It's a polymer glass that conducts charge, which seems like a contradiction because glasses are usually insulators," said Bryan Boudouris, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Purdue University.

The polymer is easy to manufacture, resembling Plexiglas, an inexpensive transparent plastic found in numerous products. However, unlike Plexiglas, it conducts electricity.

An emerging class of electrically conductive plastic is called "radical polymers." The graphic at left depicts the structure of a polymer. At right, transparent polymer overlays the Purdue logo. [Purdue University photo]

 

 

"We make billions of tons of plastic every year," Boudouris said. "So imagine if you could produce that same kind of material at that same scale but now it has electronic properties."

The PTMA is in a class of electrically active polymers that could bring inexpensive transparent solar cells; antistatic and antiglare coatings for cellphone displays; antistatic coverings for aircraft to protect against lightning strikes; flexible flash drives; and thermoelectric devices, which generate electricity from heat.

The polymers have seen commercial use in new types of batteries. However, finding widespread practical applications for the polymers will require increasing the conductivity another 100 to 1,000 times, Boudouris said.

Recent research findings were detailed in a paper published online in May in the journal Macromolecules. A review article on the subject appeared in September in the same journal and is featured on the cover. The American Chemical Society also has recorded a series of podcast with Boudouris, accessible at http://pubs.acs.org/page/mamobx/audio/index.html.

The review article is authored by Purdue graduate students Edward P. Tomlinson and Martha E. Hay, and Boudouris. The research article published in May was authored by graduate student Lizbeth Rostro, undergraduate student Si Hui Wong, and Boudouris.

Polymers are strings of molecules with a central backbone and may contain side chains called "pendant groups" that dangle from the central structure. In radical polymers, it's these pendant groups that allow charge to be transported, conducting current.

To create the radical polymer, the researchers used a procedure called deprotection, which involves replacing a specific hydrogen atom in the pendant group with an oxygen atom, converting it into a so-called radical group.

"We just finally studied deprotection in a way others had not to learn how it affects the electronic properties of the radical polymers," Boudouris said.

Electrons surround an atom's nucleus in "shells," and these electrons are usually paired. The oxygen atom in PTMA, however, has one unpaired electron in its outer shell, making it amendable to transporting charge.

"You have to control the deprotection process very well, because it makes the conductivity vary by orders of magnitude," he said.

The researchers have determined that the deprotection step can lead to four distinct chemical functionalities of the radical polymer, two of which are promising for increasing the conductivity of the polymer.

"So manipulating the reaction conditions for this deprotection step, and monitoring closely the resultant chemical functionalities, is critical in tuning the electrical properties of radical polymers," Boudouris said.

The research is ongoing and has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Published October 2014

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