Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA-Invented Fastener For Use In Space May Have Big Impact In Earthly Uses

Date:
October 26, 1999
Source:
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
Summary:
A specially designed nut -- for quick and easy assembly of components in the harsh environment of space -- is being licensed by NASA to a Philadelphia firm in a step that could result in saving lives on Earth.

A specially designed nut -- for quick and easy assembly of components in the harsh environment of space -- is being licensed by NASA to a Philadelphia firm in a step that could result in saving lives on Earth.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has signed a licensing agreement with M&A Screw and Machine Works of Philadelphia for the quick-connect nut.

The design permits nuts to be installed simply by pushing them onto standard bolts, then giving a quick twist. To remove, they are unscrewed like conventional nuts.

Sometimes, speed of assembly can even make the difference between life and death, according to Norman Morse, vice president of M&A.

"The mining industry is constantly erecting support barriers to shore up loose shale and rock," Morse said. "The longer it takes to erect those safety barriers, the more risk is placed on the people doing the work. This technology would help them do it much quicker."

The nut evolved from technology used in Pathfinder, a NASA project dedicated to in-space assembly techniques. Its licensing to M&A is an example of how NASA brings its technology into the private sector, according to Sammy Nabors of Marshall's Technology Transfer Department.

Technology transfer is the process of developing, transferring, and commercializing space program technology for the benefit of American people, American businesses, universities and government agencies. Improving America's standard of living and keeping the nation competitive in the global economy are the bottom-line results.

"We offered this fastener for licensing to help improve assembly processes on Earth," Nabors said. "In situations where seconds count, having to make 10 or 20 turns on a nut before it starts to tighten wastes time -- usually meaning money, too."

Bruce Weddendorf, the engineer who invented the fastener in a Marshall Center laboratory, sees possibilities for using quick-connect technology undersea. "This could be used for assembling oil drilling platforms," he said. "Space and undersea have a lot of common problems. Time is really critical, because both environments are dangerous, and it's very expensive to keep someone in either one."

Other potential applications include assembly of underwater salvage equipment, fire-fighting equipment, scaffolding, assembly-line machinery, industrial cranes, and even to change lug nuts on race cars.

"The guys in the pit stops are already really fast, but this would help greatly in that world of competition where time is so critical," Weddendorf said.

Due to their specialized nature, quick-connect nuts are not something consumers can buy at their local hardware store. "These are not the small, inexpensive nuts you would find in a jar in your workshop," Morse said.

Quick-connect nuts typically are more than three times the size of common nuts and custom-made to each specific application. Their cost can range from $35 to more than $200 each, depending on size, material specifications and quantity needed.

But, quick-connect nuts fill a critical need when time and safety are more important than cost, Morse said.

M&A, specializing in standard fasteners, manufactures quick-connect nuts by custom order in Philadelphia.

Through licensing, U.S. patents owned by NASA are made available to industry in return for royalties paid to the inventors and their NASA center. Technologies developed for the space program have enabled American industry to introduce more than 1,200 new or improved products for sale at home and abroad, including cordless tools, motion simulators and smoke detectors.

- 30 -

Note to Editors / News Directors: Interviews and photos supporting this release are available to media representatives by contacting Jerry Berg of the Marshall Media Relations Department at (256) 544-0034. Photos supporting this release are available on the Web at: http://www1.msfc.nasa.gov/NEWSROOM/news/photos/1999/photos99-270.htm

For more information or an electronic version of this release, visit Marshall's News Center on the Web at:http://www.msfc.nasa.gov/news


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. "NASA-Invented Fastener For Use In Space May Have Big Impact In Earthly Uses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991025180255.htm>.
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. (1999, October 26). NASA-Invented Fastener For Use In Space May Have Big Impact In Earthly Uses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991025180255.htm
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. "NASA-Invented Fastener For Use In Space May Have Big Impact In Earthly Uses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991025180255.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Supply Ship Takes Off for International Space Station

Supply Ship Takes Off for International Space Station

AFP (July 30, 2014) The European Space Agency's fifth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5) is takes off to the International Space Station on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship

Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship

AP (July 30, 2014) Arianespace launched a rocket Tuesday from French Guiana carrying a robotic cargo ship to deliver provisions to the International Space Station. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins