Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories are researching improved methods of monitoring and inspecting enclosures, with new systems that visualize molecular changes, alerting users to an issue with a specific area that may have been breached. Their findings are outlined in ‘Tamper-Indicating Enclosures with Visually Obvious Tamper Response,’
With the use of progressive ‘bleeding materials,’ Sandia National Laboratories is creating methods for inspectors to realize penetration of material simply by looking at a tamper-indicating enclosure (TIE). Today, most traditional methods rely on high-maintenance, time-consuming examinations by inspectors. They may also use cameras, or other equipment or approaches.
Securing whole volumes includes:
- Enclosures that are non-standard in size/shape.
- Enclosures that may be inspectorate- or facility-owned.
- Tamper attempts that are detectable but difficult or timely for an inspector to locate.
- The requirement for solutions that are robust regarding reliability and environment (including facility handling).
- The need for solutions that prevent adversaries from repairing penetrations.
In creating a new method, the scientists explored the idea of 3D printing microspheres that would become discolored upon a breach. They also explored a spray coating formulation, with typical TIEs falling into three categories of use:
- Materials the inspector visually examines
- Active electronics methods/materials
- Externally deployed indicators of penetration or access to materials
“The limitations to these three categories are the subjective and time-consuming process of visually inspecting surfaces, the inability to deploy an active approach in some situations because of batteries or because of environmental conditions or facility requirements, and the limited materials able to be analyzed by eddy current and potential inability to bring external equipment into a facility. Further, some approaches rely more on post-mortem analysis rather than in-situ verification,” said the researchers.
The researchers envision a 3D printed material adding substantially to the TIE toolbox—currently ‘limited in options.’ It will also be available for customized inspection equipment, as well as spray coated equipment. The team expects 3D printed prototypes to be subjected to a range of environmental assessments, along with testing regarding durability and vulnerability levels.
Urea Formamide (UF) performed the best in terms of materials performance. The researchers noted details such as a ‘robust’ synthetic method, narrow size distribution, uniform particle properties, along with good compatibility of mobile phase materials which the team had already tested.
“The anticipated benefits of this work are passive, flexible, scalable, cost-effective TIEs with obvious and robust responses to tamper attempts,” explain the authors in their abstract.
Viable applications for this technique could include:
- Custom TIEs
- Spray coating on items or structures
- Spray coating of circuit boards
- 3D printed seal bodies
3D printing has opened a wealth of knowledge about the countless materials available to scientists today seeking to improve industrial and other applications. Monitoring and sensing devices are becoming extremely popular in the 3D realm also, allowing for better performance of machines and higher quality prototypes and parts. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.
[Source / Images: ‘Tamper-Indicating Enclosures with Visually Obvious Tamper Response’]
You May Also Like
BASF Commercializing Metal-Polymer 3D Printing Composite Material with iGo3D, MatterHackers, and Ultimaker
BASF 3D Printing Solutions, a subsidiary of German chemical company BASF that’s focused entirely on 3D printing, has been working to build up its materials inventory over the past two years. In 2017,...
Royal DSM Will Choose Ten Startups to Participate in the I AM Tomorrow Challenge
Royal DSM, headquartered in The Netherlands, is a global company based on science and sustainable living—with serious dedication to 3D printing also, as they realize the incredible potential such technology...
Prusa Publishes Hardware and Firmware Updates for 3D Printers, Ships over 130,000 Printers
It’s time for another one of Prusa‘s popular updates on its various hardware and firmware! The company makes sure its customers always know about the latest new products and improvements to its...
The Nydus One Syringe Extruder (NOSE): Turns Your Prusa i3 Into a Bioprinter
Researchers from Germany are exploring democratizing bioprinting with their findings outlined in ‘Nydus One Syringe Extruder (NOSE): A Prusa i3 3D printer conversion for bioprinting applications.’ Recognizing the promise of...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.