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June 1999

Navy Looking for Answers

(6/1/99) Our readers may be able to help the Navy solve an ongoing problem. Shipboard watertight doors (WTD) have handles that, when not being used, are stowed in the vertical direction. The handles are held there in place by spring metal clamps. Some of these WTDs are operated hundreds of times a day. Unfortunately, the clamps being used can corrode, lose their spring (which causes the handles to fall down and block the doorway) or simply break off. The FMTTC is looking for a replacement for these clips. They do not have to be made of metal, but, if they are metal, they must be able to withstand the salt-water environment. If you have a product or an idea that we could propose to the Navy, please call or email Dick Gilbert at the numbers at the bottom of this page.

MTTC Identifies Remarkable New Lubricant Additive

(6/1/99) MTTC has been informed of a major new advance in wear-resisting lubricant additives.  A series of products manufactured by Muscle Products, Inc. (Butler, PA), all incorporating the basic anti-friction product MT-10 in various formulations, have been designed for use in a wide variety of applications in which high pressures between mating parts are required.   Suggested uses include gears, pistons, cutting tools, and sporting equipment.   Tests by independent laboratories have shown amazing reductions in wear.  For example, in a test conducted by Southwest Research Institute, use of well-known commercial products such a Slick 50 and STP Engine Treatment resulted in seizure at applied loads of 200 kg, whereas in tests with the MT-10 seizure did not occur up to the maximum equipment load of 800 kg!

CJ Distributing of Burton, MI contacted MTTC for assistance in "spreading the word" about this technology.  MTTC is planning on using its partnerships with the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) to alert manufacturers the benefits of these new products.  We are particularly interested in demonstrating the use of ST-10 synthetic, soluble, biodegradable cutting fluid.  In fact, CJ Distributing has offered free samples of this product to companies willing to provide specific feedback on improvements in tool life as a result of its use.

MTTC Assists Small Business With Revolutionary Clean Air Technology

(6/1/99) MTTC has been working with True Molecular Sieve, LLC (TMS) on a new gas separation technology that has the potential to revolutionize they way industry deals with clean air regulations.  This new technology (patent pending) can separate gases in a steady-state flow and, unlike conventional "molecular sieves" or membranes, can handle the gas flow rates required by industry.  A primary application for this technology is in the separation of oxygen from nitrogen.  For example, the major causes of "smog" are oxides of nitrogen, or NOx.  These gases are formed when nitrogen, which is the major (80%) constituent of air, is introduced into a combustion process.  Now picture this situation:  suppose you could separate nitrogen from air before the combustion process, so that only oxygen entered the combustion chamber.  The result would be no nitrogen, no NOx, and no smog!

This technology is especially significant for Kentucky, where coal-fired power plants provide most of the electricity, because the EPA has demanded tough new standards for NOx in these plants starting in the year 2003.  Coal is the least expensive fuel used to generate electricity, yet these new regulations could cost utility companies up to half a billion dollars per plant for compliance using current technology!  This will make coal-fired power plants nearly as expensive to operate as plants using competing fuels, reducing the cost advantage of Kentucky-bases utilities in deregulated industry.  And, of course, it will increase the electric bills for all consumers.  However, the TMS technology promises to do a better job of eliminating NOx than current scrubber systems, and will do the job at a much reduced cost.

Beyond power plants, consider the automobile.  A lot of money has been spent developing alternatives to the internal combustion engine, because of the pollutants, especially NOx, this powerplant produces.  Think of all the pollution-control devises on today's autos, right up through and including the catalytic converter.  Now suppose that nothing but oxygen was entering the engine's cylinders.   Not only would NOx never be produced, eliminating the need for all current smog equipment, but the engine could burn fuel far more efficiently, thereby improving both performance and mileage.

The TMS technology is in the early development stage, and MTTC's role has included identification of improved fabrication approaches; coordination with federal laboratories; providing business development, intellectual property, and scientific/engineering support; and developing and presenting technology an business plans to user and investors.  MTTC's early support efforts were so successful that TMS has placed MTTC under contract for further assistance.  Time is of the essence in helping utility companies meet the  EPA 2003 requirement, so stay tuned for further developments in this exciting technology.

Have you got an invention that would, in some way, have a major impact on life on this planet, but you need some help in "getting it off the ground"?  Maybe MTTC can help you! 

Next Meeting of the Technical Advisory Board (TAB)

(6/1/99) As announced at the April Board, the next TAB meeting will be held October 13, 1999 at MTTC.  Time and location to be announced.

Lynx Motor Update

(6/1/99) While U.S. Navy and Naval contractors are still expressing strong interest in using the Lynx Motor in a variety of applications, no contracts have yet been issued. Lynx has continued its expansion in the commercial arena. They recently signed contracts with NASA and Boeing to produce a prototype motor that may eventually replace the hydrazine auxiliary power unit on the space shuttle. They have completed production of the first 10-inch diameter motor that is associated with their Department of Energy SBIR contracts. Lynx is conducting negotiations with a large number of potential users ranging from transportation to home appliances. 

MTTC Fleet Maintenance Projects

(6/1/99) The Project Status is as follows:

S086501: Superbolt. Testing is complete. NAVSEA issued a letter on May 17, 1999 authorizing fleet-wide use.  This project is closed.

S086502. Portable Chlorinator. Suitcase unit is designed and under construction. COMNAVSURFLANT has identified the USS CARR as the test ship. Shipchecks have been conducted and modifications will be installed during an upcoming drydocking. A 6-12 month test period is envisioned.

S086503.Lynx Motor. The Lynx Motor shock test will probably be delayed until later in 1999 when a steel-cased motor becomes available.

S086504. Watertight Door Hinge Replacement. Approved at the January 13, 1999 meeting of the Office of Naval Research Working Group. Contract discussions are ongoing with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock. NAVSEA has estimated that this new hinge pin set will save $10M annually in maintenance costs. The new pin sets will be subjected to accelerated cycle testing to verify performance before introduction into 52,000 fleet doors. This is a Secretary of the Navy high interest item.  Contract is imminent.

S086505. Heat Exchanger Descaler. Approved on January 13, 1999. This commercially- available system will be tested and approved for shipboard use. This will permit emergent maintenance and eliminate the need for costly removal/reinstallation of heat exchangers in order to deliver them ashore. An estimated $4M/year cost avoidance is forecast. Contract is imminent.

S086506. "EURONAVY" Bilge Paint Qualification. Approved on January 13, 1999. MTTC will be teaming with NAVSEA and the Fleet Commands to qualify this new epoxy paint for use in ship bilges. This is a Secretary of the Navy high interest item and should be complete by September 1999.  A savings of $6 million per year has been projected.  Contract is imminent.

S086507. Topside Connector Corrosion Protection. Approved on January 13, 1999. MTTC will qualify several re-enterable connector covers for shipboard use. The use of these materials will minimize connector corrosion and result in greater electronic system reliability and reduced maintenance. NAVSEA and Raychem, Inc. are currently developing a test plan.

New Project. Fast Track. K-Flex E Co.  MTTC will evaluate a test section of this new material on USS Rushmore.  BBN, Inc. will conduct a baseline assessment prior to ship depoyment in June 1999.  When the Rushmore returns, the installation will be re-evaluated.   If approved, larger savings in production costs will be realized.

New Project.  Fast Track.  DDG Louver Coating.  Contract has been issued to Automatic Coating Ltd., Toronto, Canada.  Coat two DDG-5 class louvers for at-sea testing.

Call for More Information...

For additional news or information about opportunities involving technology transfer, contact Dick Gilbert or Dave Goddard at (502)367-2186.

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For more information how MTTC can help your company benefit from technology transfer, contact Dick Gilbert or Dave Goddard at (502) 367-2186.



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