Press Release

NASA Glenn Propels Energy Conversion Evolution, Welcomes Collaboration

By SpaceRef Editor
December 21, 2016
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NASA’s Glenn Research Center has acquired a large-scale planar flow caster capable of producing custom soft alloy magnetic ribbons measuring one mile long and up to 50 mm wide. This caster is the largest in the nation for conducting magnetic material research.

Located in Glenn’s Magnetic Material Fabrication and Characterization Lab, the caster supports NASA’s hybrid electric aircraft propulsion and power management work.

It provides Glenn’s researchers and partners the ability to evolve energy conversion technology and conduct large-scale testing for commercial use in a variety of fields.

“This is important when you want to move away from basic research and actually make a realistically-sized component,” said Randy Bowman, head of the Magnetic Materials Fabrication and Characterization Lab. “Few labs have the diverse suite of instruments we have.”

The lab offers fundamental alloy design, can produce large quantities of customized material and is able to fabricate actual components – making it a one-stop shop with a cradle-to-grave production capability.

NASA Glenn plans to establish an even larger caster and further develop materials for energy conversion and testing.

Glenn welcomes collaboration with other federal entities, industry, academia and other interested groups.

Those interested in collaborating with Glenn’s Magnetic Material Fabrication and Characterization Lab should contact Randy Bowman at [email protected].

Supplementary Lab Capabilities

In addition to the large planar flow caster, a Buehler 60-gram caster, capable of producing approximately 25-mm wide ribbons, is also available for alloy development trials or for production of smaller-scale components such as those found on circuit boards.

The lab also offers a wide range of material characterization equipment including an alternating current permeometer, vibrating sample magnetometer, a permanent magnet hysteresigraph and a Magneto Optical Kerr Effect microscope.

To learn more about NASA Glenn, visit: 

SpaceRef staff editor.