Innovators at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center have patented a clamp that simplifies the measurement of forces applied during clamping. The device is particularly useful for applications where it is important to measure specific clamping pressure, such as bonding sensors to substrates, during adhesive bonding, or clamping sensitive or delicate parts. The Armstrong force-measuring clamp includes both clamping and measuring capabilities in a single device. The device contains the loading mechanism, the sensors that detect and measure the amount of force being applied, a power source, signal conditioning components, and a force display. Like many load-measuring devices, the clamp uses strain gauges and exploits the well-known proportionality between strain and applied force or pressure. Conventional methods of measuring clamping forces are cumbersome as they involve the use of complex measuring devices in addition to force-application equipment, including calibrated spring clamps, load washers, and miniature load cells in combination with external power sources and load-indicating equipment. In contrast, this innovation is a complete application and measure system, all in one package.
- Efficient: Provides force application and measurement in a single system
- Accurate: Applies the desired clamping force or pressure with ease, improving precision
- Adaptable: Incorporates a clamp of almost any size to enable measurement of a force of nearly any magnitude
- Practical: Offers ease of operation in a compact device
This innovation can be used to measure clamping force during a variety of critical operations, including:
- Curing of adhesives and composites
- Bonding sensors to substrates
- Joining fragile components
- Determining the pressure exerted by delicate medical equipment
Armstrong has one patent issued (U.S. Patent No: 6,758,098→ ) for this technology.
This technology is part of NASA's technology transfer program. The program seeks to stimulate development of commercial uses of NASA-developed technologies. NASA is flexible in its agreements, and opportunities exist for licensing and joint development. Armstrong is interested in a partnership to commercialize this technology.
If you would like more information about this technology or about NASA's technology transfer program, please contact:
Technology Transfer Office
NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center
PO Box 273, M/S 1100
Edwards, CA 93523-0273
Phone: (661) 276-3368