March 10, 2020 Volume 16 Issue 10

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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Do-it-yourself high-performance aluminum cold plates

New high-performance aluminum cold plates from Advanced Thermal Solutions (ATS) let engineers safely drill holes in a mounting pattern that matches the specific connection points of hot devices that need cooling, providing lots of customization options. ATS says its cold plates have been demonstrated to provide more than 30% better thermal performance than other commercially available cold plates.
Learn more.


Long-range retro-reflective photoelectric sensors overcome interference

The new 36 series of sensors from Leuze are suitable for demanding requirements in intralogistics, packaging systems, and the automotive industry. They detect objects with different optical properties -- even at a great distance or when sources of interference are present (such as film-wrapped pallets, vibration, or ambient lighting). Available as sensors with background suppression (range to 2.5 m), as retro-reflective photoelectric sensors (up to 17 m), or as throughbeam photoelectric sensors (up to 80 m).
Learn more.


Calculator simplifies cabinet cooling system selection

EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems provide a comprehensive solution for cooling and purging electronic cabinets and come in a litany of different cooling capacities, NEMA ratings, and classifications. With the breadth of available options, choosing the best Cabinet Cooler for a specific environment can be a tedious task and depends on a few key factors. With EXAIR's new Cabinet Cooler Calculator, it's easy to find the ideal Cabinet Cooler System for any specific application.
Learn more.


New low-voltage compact LED bulbs

LEDtronics has released new additions to its industry-leading offering of intermediate-based LED bulbs that fit in enclosed fixtures, featuring low voltage, 160-degree spherical illumination, low power consumption, and high lumen intensity. The B605SM series is available either as a 14-VAC/VDC bulb that replaces incandescent lamps 67, 89, 97, 98, 1095, 1155, and 5008, or as a 28-VAC/VDC bulb that replaces incandescents 71, 303, 623, and 1251. These bulbs are a perfect fit in applications such as machine status or gaming candle indicators, indicator lights for instrumentation, panel-mount pilot lights, accent lighting, and automotive.
Learn more.


Neat. How to prototype 4x machine vision applications on one small embedded system quickly

Teledyne FLIR has put together a neat article that shows how to prototype a machine vision system quickly that runs four simultaneous applications, three of which use deep learning. The system uses the Quartet Embedded Solution for TX2, a customized carrier board that enables easy integration of up to four USB3 cameras at full bandwidth. The example traffic systems application includes license plate recognition, vehicle type categorization, vehicle color classification, and seeing through a windshield -- all simultaneously. Very cool.
Read the Teledyne FLIR application article.


New Gefran inclination sensors use MEMS technology

Automation-Direct has added Gefran inclination sensors to their growing lineup of position transducers. Gefran sensors use cutting-edge MEMS technology (micro-electromechanical devices integrated onto a single silicon chip) to provide reliable and precise tilt angle measurement with respect to gravity. These sensors are rugged and suitable for the harshest environments. M12 quick-disconnect models are fully redundant, having two sensors in one housing.
Learn more.


Affix a heat sink in seconds!

superGRIP is a two-component system from Advanced Thermal Solutions (ATS) that can be installed in seconds to mount heat sinks securely to a wide range of components -- without needing to drill holes in the PCB. It features an injection molded plastic frame clip and a stainless steel spring clip. This clever system provides a strong, even binding force with minimal space required around the component's perimeter, making it ideal for densely populated PCBs.
View the video.


Cool Tools: Entry-level high-tech portable 3D scanner

The GOM Scan 1 from CAPTURE 3D is an affordable, precise 3D scanner with mesh-editing capabilities to accurately digitize physical objects into the 3D world. GOM Scan 1 provides accessibility to the leading GOM blue light 3D scanning technology used by top manufacturers worldwide. Applications include creating a digital file of an object for 3D printing, reverse engineering, manufacturing, quality control, virtual display and 3D modeling, research and education, art and design, and healthcare. GOM Scan 1 offers GOM Inspect 3D inspection software to quickly capture, visualize, and analyze 3D measurement data within the same workflow.
Learn more.


High-def SWIR camera for military apps

Attollo Engineering's new Phoenix HD5 SWIR Camera is an uncooled high-def imager that features the industry's smallest shortwave infrared HD sensor and an ultra-small 5-┬Ám pixel pitch, which permits more pixels on target with a short-focal-length optic. Specifically designed for low size, weight, and power (low-SWaP) applications, the HD5 SWIR camera is ideal for integration into small gimbals, small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS), and handheld and soldier-mounted systems.
Learn more.


Control panel solutions: Wire duct and wire wrap

Automation-Direct sells everything you need to build quality control panels, including a large assortment of wiring duct, flexible duct, wire wrap, wire sleeve, and associated tools and accessories. Check out all that this one-stop shop has to offer. High stocking rates and fast shipping too.
View the video.


Space Applications: Smallest rad-tolerant network storage

Aitech Systems has released the most compact network storage device available for use in near-earth-orbit and low-earth-orbit space applications. With a raw storage capacity of almost 1 TB, the new S999 Aitech is a 2.5-in. solid state drive (SSD) for high-performance spacecraft data processing or distributed computing systems in satellites and human-rated platforms.
Learn more.


Cool Tools: All-in-one laser tracker

Exact Metrology now offers high-performance laser tracker technology in a portable and easy-to-use form factor thanks to the Leica Absolute Tracker AT960. This is a robust, all-in-one laser tracker that fits in a single flight case. Offering high-speed dynamic measurement as standard, it is a complete solution for six degrees of freedom (6DoF) probing, scanning, and automated inspection, as well as reflector measurement. Combined with the Real-Time Feature Pack and Leica T-Mac, the AT960 becomes a laser tracker that meets the deterministic measurement data-delivery requirements of high-end automated installations.
Learn more.


Strain sensor can help prevent structural disasters

Developed to help prevent civil disasters and save lives, HEIDENHAIN's ESR digital strain sensor monitors the structural health of bridges, buildings, wind turbines, and even automation equipment. This fatigue-free measurement concept provides high-resolution digital input into a system of choice. With a renewed emphasis on improving the national infrastructure, the digital ESR strain sensor is the perfect option, since it offers significantly higher accuracy and increased robustness when compared to conventional strain and vibration gauges. It also offers transferable mounting, allowing users to move the one-gauge sensor to multiple locations.
Learn more.


Custom air knives for unique applications

EXAIR's Air Knives are an efficient and highly effective tool for blowoff, cooling, cleaning, and drying in a myriad of manufacturing processes. To accommodate the wide variety of unique problems manufacturers face, EXAIR has the ability to tailor Air Knives to different specifications -- from size, shape, and material to custom mounting holes and dimensions. They solve distinct manufacturing problems not already addressed by the industry's largest selection of Air Knives, which are available in Super, Standard, and Full-Flow styles that all can be customized.
Learn more.


Great Resources: 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).


Say what? Installed ultrasound device improves charge time and run time in lithium-metal batteries

Researchers used a new ultrasound device to generate a flow within a smartphone battery's electrolyte. [Credit: David Baillot/University of California San Diego]

 

 

Researchers at the University of California San Diego developed an ultrasound-emitting device that brings lithium-metal batteries, or LMBs, one step closer to commercial viability. Although the research team focused on LMBs, the device can be used in any battery, regardless of chemistry.

The device that the researchers developed is an integral part of the battery and works by emitting ultrasound waves to create a circulating current in the electrolyte liquid found between the anode and cathode. This prevents the formation of lithium metal growths, called dendrites, during charging that lead to decreased performance and short circuits in LMBs.

The device is made from off-the-shelf smartphone components that generate sound waves at extremely high frequencies -- ranging from 100 million to 10 billion hertz. In phones, these devices are used mainly to filter the wireless cellular signal and identify and filter voice calls and data. Researchers used them instead to generate a flow within the battery's electrolyte.

"Advances in smartphone technology are truly what allowed us to use ultrasound to improve battery technology," said James Friend, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego and the study's corresponding author.

Currently, LMBs have not been considered a viable option to power everything from electric vehicles to electronics because their lifespan is too short. But these batteries also have twice the capacity of today's best lithium-ion batteries. For example, lithium-metal-powered electric vehicles would have twice the range of lithium-ion-powered vehicles, for the same battery weight.

Researchers showed that a lithium-metal battery equipped with the device could be charged and discharged for 250 cycles and a lithium-ion battery for more than 2,000 cycles. The batteries were charged from zero to 100 percent in 10 minutes for each cycle.

"This work allows for fast-charging and high-energy batteries all in one," said Ping Liu, professor of nanoengineering at the Jacobs School and the paper's other senior author. "It is exciting and effective."

The team details their work in the Feb. 18 online issue of the journal Advanced Materials.

Most battery research efforts focus on finding the perfect chemistry to develop batteries that last longer and charge faster, Liu said. By contrast, the UC San Diego team sought to solve a fundamental issue: the fact that in traditional metal batteries, the electrolyte liquid between the cathode and anode is static. As a result, when the battery charges, the lithium ion in the electrolyte is depleted, making it more likely that lithium will deposit unevenly on the anode. This, in turn, causes the development of needle-like structures called dendrites that can grow unchecked from the anode towards the cathode, causing the battery to short-circuit and even catch fire. Rapid charging speeds this phenomenon up.

By propagating ultrasound waves through the battery, the device causes the electrolyte to flow, replenishing the lithium in the electrolyte and making it more likely that the lithium will form uniform, dense deposits on the anode during charging.

The most difficult part of the process was designing the device, said An Huang, the paper's first author and a Ph.D. student in materials science at UC San Diego. The challenge was working at extremely small scales, understanding the physical phenomena involved, and finding an effective way to integrate the device inside the battery.

"Our next step will be to integrate this technology into commercial lithium-ion batteries," said Haodong Liu, the paper's co-author and a nanoengineering postdoctoral researcher at the Jacobs School.

The technology has been licensed from UC San Diego by Matter Labs, a technology development firm based in Ventura, CA. The license is not exclusive.

Source: UC San Diego

Published March 2020

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