Categories
ScienceDaily

Researchers make tiny, yet complex fiber optic force sensor

Researchers have developed a tiny fiber optic force sensor that can measure extremely slight forces exerted by small objects. The new light-based sensor overcomes the limitations of force sensors based on micro-electro-mechanical sensors (MEMS) and could be useful for applications from medical systems to manufacturing.

“Applications for force sensing are numerous, but there is a lack of thoroughly miniature and versatile force sensors that can perform force measurements on small objects,” said research team leader Denis Donlagic from the University of Maribor in Slovenia. “Our sensor helps meet this need as one of the smallest and most versatile optical-fiber force sensors designed thus far.”

In The Optical Society (OSA) journal Optics Letters, Donlagic and Simon Pevec describe their new sensor, which is made of silica glass formed into a cylinder just 800 microns long and 100 microns in diameter — roughly the same diameter as a human hair. They demonstrate the new sensor’s ability to measure force with a resolution better than a micronewton by using it to measure the stiffness of a dandelion seed or the surface tension of a liquid.

“The high resolution force sensing and broad measuring range could be used for sensitive manipulation and machining of small objects, surface tension measurements on very small volumes of liquid, and manipulating or examining the mechanical properties of biological samples on the cellular level,” said Donlagic.

Creating an all-glass sensor

Although MEMS-based sensors can provide miniature force sensing capabilities, their applications are limited because they require application-specific protective packaging and multiple electrical connections. Without proper packaging, MEMS devices also aren’t biocompatible and can’t be immersed in water.

To develop a more versatile miniature force sensor, the researchers created an all-optical fiber optic sensor completely made of glass. The complex undertaking was made possible by a special etching process the researchers had previously developed to create complicated all-fiber microstructures. They used this micromachining process to create a sensor based on a Fabry-Perot interferometer — an optical cavity made from two parallel reflecting surfaces.

The end of the sensor’s lead-in fiber together with a thin flexible silica diaphragm were used to create the tiny interferometer. When external force is exerted onto a silica post with either a round or cylindrical force sensing probe on the end, it changes the length of the interferometer in a way that can be measured with subnanometer resolution.

The way the sensor’s structures were fabricated created an air-sealed cavity that is protected from contamination and amenable for use in biochemical environments. Not only can it be immersed in a variety of liquids, but it can also measure positive and negative forces and doesn’t need any additional packaging for most applications.

Measuring tiny forces

After evaluating and calibrating the sensor, the researchers used it to measure Young modulus — a measure of stiffness — of a human hair and common dandelion seed. They also measured surface tension of a liquid by measuring the retraction force when a miniature cylinder was removed from a liquid. The researchers were able to measure force with a resolution of about 0.6 micronewtons and a force range of about 0.6 millinewtons.

“The force sensing tip can be made substantially smaller — down to about 10 microns in diameter — and can be adapted to perform various force sensing tasks,” said Donlagic. “The miniature force sensor can also be used to create more complex sensors such as sensors that measure magnetic and electric fields or determine the surface tension or flow of a liquid.”

The researchers say that the current version of the sensor is ready for use. However, improving the overload robustness, producing probe tips with other shapes or adding miniaturized packaging could further expand potential applications. The researchers are also working to automate the processes used to fabricate the sensor to make it more practical.

Story Source:

Materials provided by The Optical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Go to Source
Author:

Categories
3D Printing Industry

Makerbot launches Carbon Fiber desktop 3D printers

Brooklyn-based additive manufacturer Makerbot has launched a carbon fiber edition of its METHOD 3D printer, its first desktop 3D printer designed specifically for the production of carbon fiber components.  Designed to enable customers to create stronger and more accurate parts, the new range expands on the machine’s compatible manufacturing materials. Targeting applications in metal end-use […]

Go to Source
Author: Paul Hanaphy

Categories
3D Printing Industry

Arris Composites raises $48.5m to fund expansion in the US and China

California-based Arris Composites, a developer of continuous carbon fiber composites, has secured $48.5m in Series B funding in order to continue its expansion in Southeast Asia and the US. Operating in stealth mode until last year, Arris Composites has now raised a total of $58.5m in funding over two rounds of investment. A VC firm […]

Go to Source
Author: Paul Hanaphy

Categories
ProgrammableWeb

Uber Introduces New Distributed Computing Library: Fiber

Uber has introduced a new distributed computing library for computer clusters: Fiber. Fiber is Python-based and allows programmers to program a cluster of computers much in the way they would typically program a laptop or desktop. Uber had originally developed Fiber to program large scale computation projects like POET.

In its decision to create and distribute Fiber, Uber found that current technology used to run large scale distributing computing jobs is currently limited due to the gap between local code and cluster production, lack of dynamic scaling, improper error handling, and a high cost of learning. Uber believes Fiber fills these gaps. On the Fiber site, the Uber team states:

“The new Fiber platform addresses each of these issues explicitly, potentially opening up seamless large-scale distributed computing to a much wider population of users.”

In its mission to solve these problems, Fiber was specifically designed to be easy to use, easy to learn, fast in performance, with reliable computation. But, perhaps most convincingly, Fiber is run the same way a normal application is run on a computer cluster.

Fiber bridges multiprocessing APIs with a flexible suite of backends that runs on various cluster management systems. It includes three layers (i.e. API layer, backend layer and cluster layer). The API layer provides the building blocks. The backend handles tasks (e.g. creating and terminating jobs). The cluster layer includes different cluster managers. For more information, check out the Fiber site.

Go to Source
Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">ecarter</a>

Categories
3D Printing Industry

Markforged receives undisclosed investment from military-supporting nonprofit

Metal and carbon fiber 3D printing specialist, Markforged, has recently received an investment of an undisclosed amount from In-Q-Tel, a nonprofit focused on identifying and advancing technologies that could support the missions of U.S. military divisions. The new financial relationship will expand the U.S. military’s already expansive access to Markforged’s industrial-grade metal and carbon fiber […]

Go to Source
Author: Kubi Sertoglu

Categories
3D Printing Industry

9T Labs closes $4.3 million funding round to develop carbon fiber 3D printing technology

Swiss carbon fiber 3D printing specialist 9T Labs has announced the closure of a $4.3 million seed financing round.  Using the funding, the company will focus on further developing its carbon fiber 3D printing technology, as well as scaling its mass manufacturing use cases.  The seed round included contributions from existing investors Wingman Ventures, as […]

Go to Source
Author: Anas Essop

Categories
Hackster.io

Glow Silk LED Fiber From Effulgent LED

We got this amazing Glow Silk LED Fiber in the mail from Effulgent! Can’t wait to build some twinkly wearables. 🙂

Also, find us at CES! Alex will be lurking around Eureka Park today.

// https://effulgent.co/
// https://twitter.com/EffulgentLED
// https://twitter.com/wearableLED

Categories
3D Printing Industry

Continuous fiber 3D printing: current market review by Fedor Antonov, CEO Anisoprint

Continuous fiber 3D printing has become a popular choice for business seeking to produce high-strength, functional parts on demand. With this popularity, the competition within continuous fiber 3D printing continues to grow, bringing news businesses with different additive solutions. In this article Fedor Antonov, CEO of continuous fiber 3D printing technology and products developer Anisoprint, […]

Go to Source
Author: Fedor Antonov

Categories
ScienceDaily

Researchers develop thin heat shield for superfast aircraft

The world of aerospace increasingly relies on carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites to build the structures of satellites, rockets and jet aircraft.

But the life of those materials is limited by how they handle heat.

A team of FAMU-FSU College of Engineering researchers from Florida State University’s High-Performance Materials Institute is developing a design for a heat shield that better protects those extremely fast machines. Their work will be published in the November edition of Carbon.

“Right now, our flight systems are becoming more and more high-speed, even going into hypersonic systems, which are five times the speed of sound,” said Professor Richard Liang, director of HPMI. “When you have speeds that high, there’s more heat on a surface. Therefore, we need a much better thermal protection system.”

The team used carbon nanotubes, which are linked hexagons of carbon atoms in the shape of a cylinder, to build the heat shields. Sheets of those nanotubes are also known as “buckypaper,” a material with incredible abilities to conduct heat and electricity that has been a focus of study at HPMI. By soaking the buckypaper in a resin made of a compound called phenol, the researchers were able to create a lightweight, flexible material that is also durable enough to potentially protect the body of a rocket or jet from the intense heat it faces while flying.

Existing heat shields are often very thick compared to the base they protect, said Ayou Hao, a research faculty member at HPMI.

This design lets engineers build a very thin shield, like a sort of skin that protects the aircraft and helps support its structure.

After building heat shields of varying thicknesses, the researchers put them to the test.

One test involved applying a flame to the samples to see how they prevented heat from reaching the carbon fiber layer they were meant to protect. After that, the researchers bent the samples to see how strong they remained.

They found the samples with sheets of buckypaper were better than control samples at dispersing heat and keeping it from reaching the base layer. They also stayed strong and flexible compared to control samples made without protective layers of nanotubes.

That flexibility is a helpful quality. The nanotubes are less vulnerable to cracking at high temperatures compared to ceramics, a typical heat shield material. They’re also lightweight, which is helpful for engineers who want to reduce the weight of anything on an aircraft that doesn’t help the way it flies.

The project received second place among peer-reviewed posters at the 2019 National Space and Missile Materials Symposium and received third place at the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering 2019 University Research Symposium.

That recognition is helpful for showing the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research, which partially supported the work, the promise of further research, Hao said.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Florida State University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Go to Source
Author:

Categories
3D Printing Industry

Desktop Metal reveals Fiber, a new desktop 3D printer for continuous fiber composites

Award winning 3D printer manufacturer Desktop Metal has announced the launch of Fiber, a new continuous fiber desktop 3D printer integrated with automated fiber placement (AFP) technology.  AFP is known as a method of manufacturing composite materials. Fiber’s technology combines FFF 3D printing with a miniaturized version of AFP, labeled micro automated fiber replacement (μAFP), […]

Go to Source
Author: Anas Essop