Improving the value and performance of components made from stainless steel and other alloys was the impetus behind the SAT12 Patented Surface-Hardening Process, developed by Swagelok Co. (Solon, Ohio). The SAT12 process dramatically enhances the surface hardness of stainless steel while improving corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and fatigue properties, while retaining significant ductility.
First-generation biofuels, including corn ethanol and biodiesel, are prevalent today but are only an interim solution because they use food crops for raw material. Next-generation biofuels, ones that use non-food biomass, are a more sustainable choice. Velocys-FT: Fischer Tropsch Fuels Using Velocys Microchannel Technology enables these next-generation biofuels to be produced more inexpensively at smaller-scale facilities, appropriate for biomass collection infrastructure.
Multi-Scale Materials: Integrated Processing Method from researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Wash.), is an integrated method for generating nanoscale- to macroscale-sized structures of different geometrical distributions in a single process, ensuring a resulting set of materials with identical chemical makeup.
Sinmat, Inc.'s (Gainesville, Fla.) Ultra-Rapid Polishing Slurry for Wide Band-Gap Semiconductors is a technology that uses a combination of reactive nanoparticles and chemistry to convert hard wide band-gap material into a softer layer for rapid removal. Smooth finishing is then accomplished with surfactant and other materials that refine the surface to atomic step levels.
Gates control the opening and closing of these transistors, which are insulated from the gate by a dielectric. Intel Corp. (Santa Clara, Calif.) saw an opportunity to reduce this transistor leakage and developed the Intel 45 nm High-k Metal Gate Transistor Technology for its new 45-nm process chips.
The high-stakes semiconductor industry is historically risk-averse, because big changes lead to big risk in a complex, round-the-clock manufacturing operation. The Tempus High-Productivity Combinatorial Research & Development Workflow has been introduced by Intermolecular (San Jose, Calif.) to eliminate some of this risk by providing an experimentation platform that can automate large numbers of samples at once.
Removing the debris before a costly breakdown stops production (as often happens) usually means losing potentially four hours of production to manual scrubbing with hydrogen peroxide or running argon through the implanter. The job is much more easily accomplished by the AutoClean in situ ion implanter cleaning process, developed by ATMI (Danbury, Conn.). Deceptively simple, the cylindrical cleaning device is attached to the implanter and run regularly.
Revisions to high vacuum pump design typically proceed in an evolutionary fashion because of the high demands placed on existing design. The HiPace 80, HiPace 300, and HiPace 700 line of high vacuum turbopumps from Pfeiffer Vacuum (Asslar, Germany) represents a significant blend of computing advancements and mechanical revisions that produces across-the-board performance improvements.
Carbon nanotube (CNT) R&D has exploded in recent years, but researchers still struggle to produce consistent, high-quality CNTs on a tight budget. A number of systems now exist on the market which are designed to manufacture nanoscale raw materials, but the SabreTube Desktop Thermal Processing System, from Absolute Nano (Amherst, N.H.), stands out because of its ease of use, powerful heating rate, modular design, and reasonable expense.
GMZ Energy (Newton, Mass.), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Mass.), and Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) have produced High Performance Thermoelectric Materials that accomplish appreciable figures-of-merit increases: 1.2 at 25°C, 1.4 at 100°C, and 0.8 at 250°C.
The Laser-Induced Fluorescence (LIF) Composite Heat Damage Detector was developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) and Galt Technology LLC (Knoxville, Tenn.), with rapid and non-destructive heat damage assessment of PMCs in mind. The LIF unit contains an excitation laser, a spectrometer, a linear-array photomultiplier tube detector, and an analog-to-digital convertor.
Waxy spherical protrusions on the surface of the Lotus leaf force water droplets to assume a 150° or greater contact angle, allowing them to easily roll away. The patterned carapace of the Namib Sternocara Desert beetle nucleates water drops during fogs, which then roll toward its mouth for drinkinig. Like the Lotus and the desert beetle, the Superhydrophobic Coating from Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, N.M.) adopts a specialized surface geometry to manipulate the molecular tendencies of water.
The need to examine heterogeneity of increasingly refined samples prompted Anasys Instruments (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and the Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, to design VESTA, a thermal analyzer able to obtain localized micron-level data of heterogeneous samples and surfaces and perform in situ failure analysis at the same scale. VESTA is the first such tool to operate on a point-and-click basis, allowing users to identify features of interest using an integrated optical microscope.
Wort boiling has the highest energy requirement of any of the brewing processes. It can account for up to 60% of the total steam demand of a brewery. Such high demand led John Heathcote at Pursuit Dynamics PLC to develop the PDX Wort Heater, an external wort boiler, an alternative to an internal heater that delivers energy savings of up to 50% for the intensive wort boiling process.
Water electrolysis generates two streams of water: alkaline and acidic—but most commercial cleaning applications use just one of the two. The Tennant Co. has come up with a floor scrubbing method that uses both streams of water to electrically activate water, making it act like a detergent. Called ech2o – Electrically Activated Water, the technology is now used in a line of walk-behind automatic floor scrubbers.