Patents

Layton C. Hale
Adjustable Link for Kinematic Mounting Systems
U.S. Patent 5,642,956
July 1, 1997
A device that provides backlash-free adjustment along its single-constraint direction and flexural freedom in all other directions. The adjustable link comprises two spheres, two sockets in which the spheres are adjustable-retained, and a connection link having threads connected at each end to the spheres. The adjustable link provides a single direction of restraint and adjusts the length or distance between the sockets. Six such adjustable links provide for six degrees of freedom for mounting an instrument on a support. The adjustable link has applications in any machine or instrument requiring precision adjustment in six degrees of freedom, isolation from deformations of the supporting platform, and/or additional structural damping.

James A. Folta
Miniaturized Flow Injection Analysis System
U.S. Patent 5,644,395
July 1, 1997
Microflow channels and capillaries formed by etching microchannels in a substrate or wafer, such as silicon or glass, followed by bonding to another substrate or wafer. Microvalves, available commercially, are bonded directly to the microflow channels. An optical absorption detection cell is formed near the capillary outlet, and light is both delivered and collected with fiber optics. The microflow system is designed mainly for analysis of liquids and currently measures 38 by 25 by 3 millimeters, but can be designed for gas analysis and be substantially smaller in construction. The system can be used when analysis involves small samples mixed with small quantities of reagents, the reaction is within a capillary flow system, and the reaction products are detected.


Milton A. Northrup, Dino R. Ciarlo, Abraham P. Lee, and Peter A. Krulevitch
Microfabricated Therapeutic Actuator Mechanisms
U.S. Patent 5,645,564
July 8, 1997
An electromechanical microgripper that has a large gripping force (40 millinewtons), where actuation is generated by shape-memory alloy thin-films. The stress induced can deflect each side of a microgripper up to about 55 micrometers for a total gripping motion of about 110 micrometers. The microgripper has a relatively rigid structural body and flexibility in function design such that it can be used as a biopsy tissue sampler, a tip designed for handling microparts, or a release-retrieval mechanism for items such as platinum coils or other materials in bulging portions of the blood vessels, known as aneurysms. The micromechanism can be mounted at one end of a catheter and manipulated from the other end, thereby extending and improving the application of catheter-based intervention therapies.


Richard M. Christensen
Fabrication Method for Cores of Structural Sandwich Materials Including Star Shaped Core Cells
U.S. Patent 5,647,933
July 15, 1997
A simple and cost-effective method that involves bonding folded or unfolded sheets of lowdensity material in both vertical and horizontal directions to form a block, which, when mechanically pulled normal to the plane of the sheets, expands to form interconnected star-shaped cells. The fabrication method produces a cellular core material that is much more flexible than any previously known core materials and can be conformed easily to curved shapes, thereby providing for the fabrication of curved sandwich panels. This method can be used to fabricate geometric cell arrangements other than the star/non-star-shaped cells. Four sheets of material (either a pair of bonded sheets or a single folded sheet) are bonded to define an area between them, which forms the star-shaped cell when expanded.


Randall L. Simpson and Cesar O. Pruneda
Non-Detonable and Non-Explosive Explosive Simulators
U.S. Patent 5,648,636
July 15, 1997
A material that contains small amounts of the actual energetic material to be simulated, but only as a minor component overall in a nonreactive matrix or on a nonreactive substrate. The fabrication of explosive simulants, which are chemically equivalent to explosives but cannot chemically react violently (nondetonable, as well as nonexplosive), involves formulating materials with large surface areas of explosives, but with volumes too small to sustain detonation. These methods are carried out either by standard slurry-coating techniques to produce a material with a very high binder-to-explosive ratio or by coating inert beads with thin layers of explosive molecules.





Awards

Jack Dini, former leader of the Laboratory's Manufacturing and Materials Engineering Division, has been named a fellow of the American Electroplaters and Surface Finishers Society (AESF). Dini was recognized for "his contributions to the advancement of the science and technology of surface finishing, and for leadership in the dissemination of this knowledge. . . ." He was president of the AESF (1984-85), chaired and served on many of the society's committees, and has published over 200 technical articles on metal finishing as well as a book, Electrodeposition: The Materials Science of Coatings and Substrates (Noyes Publications, 1993). Dini is also a fellow of the only other electroplating technical society in the world, the Institute of Metal Finishing, London, England. He recently retired after an 18-year career at the Laboratory and continues to work here as a participating guest.
Back to November 1997