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NASA Glenn Wins an R&D 100 Award in the IT/Electrical Category


R&D 100 Awards at GRC
Nickel titanium alloy bearings are immune to corrosion and rust

Teams of researchers and scientists at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland were named as contributing to two of the top 100 technologically significant new products in 2013.

The R&D 100 Awards have long been a benchmark of excellence for industry sectors as diverse as telecommunications, high-energy physics, manufacturing, and biotechnology. The awards can be vital for gauging government agency's efforts to commercialize emerging technologies.

The technologies and teams selected include:

Superelastic Intermetallic Nickel Titanium Alloys and Manufacturing Techniques for Advanced Bearing Applications: Meant for use in ball bearings, gears, and other mechanical components, these new alloys can withstand tremendous loads and stresses, but unlike those made of steel, they are immune to corrosion and rust and do not chemically degrade lubricants. They are also 20 percent lighter than steel, non-magnetic, electrically conductive, polish to a smooth finish, and are readily machined before final hardening. They are ideal for use in harsh terrestrial, marine, and aerospace environments.

The team consisted of Glenn’s Chris DellaCorte, Ron Noebe, Santo Padula, Glen Bigelow, Malcolm Stanford, Fransua Thomas, and Walter Wozniak; and Glenn Glennon of Abbott Ball Company, West Hartford, Connecticut.

Ultra-thin Therma-Base® Titanium-Water Vapor Chamber: This invention is a thermal management system for cooling electronics. Along with low weight, high strength, and high heat dissipation capability, it also improves thermal performance by up to 15 times compared to a solid copper–based heat spreader. Its cutting-edge two-phase cooling approach provides extremely reliable thermal conductivity. Its unique planar structure renders it thin and compact, making it ideal for cooling proton exchange membrane fuel cells and for use in many space-based, military, and commercial applications, particularly computer electronics and light-emitting diode–based devices that require highly reliable heat dissipation in a small and compact form factor.

The Therma-Base® team consisted of Glenn’s Ken Burke and Anthony Colozza; Ian Jakupca of Vantage Partners, Lanham, Maryland; and Sergey Semenov of Thermacore, Inc., Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

The R&D 100 Awards, announced annually and selected by the editors of R&D Magazine, were presented on November 7, 2014 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Read the press release about Glenn's R&D 100 awards.