Mechanical Components Branch OverviewMr. James Zakrajsek, chief of the Mechanical Components Branch, presented an overview of research conducted by the branch. Branch members perform basic research on mechanical components and systems, including gears and bearings, turbine seals, structural and thermal barrier seals, and space mechanisms. The research is focused on propulsion systems for present and advanced aerospace vehicles. For rotorcraft and conventional aircraft, we conduct research to develop technology needed to enable the design of low noise, ultra safe geared drive systems. We develop and validate analytical models for gear crack propagation, gear dynamics and noise, gear diagnostics, bearing dynamics, and thermal analyses of gear systems using experimental data from various component test rigs. In seal research we develop and test advanced turbine seal concepts to increase efficiency and durability of turbine engines. We perform experimental and analytical research to develop advanced thermal barrier seals and structural seals for current and next generation space vehicles. In space mechanisms, we conduct fundamental research on lubricants, materials, components and mechanisms subjected to deep space and planetary environments.