Self-lubricating polymers improve surf machines
A company in Brazil that designs fitness training equipment that simulates the movements of a surfboard reduced costs by 70 percent by switching to bearings manufactured by igus, the Germany-based motion plastics expert. The bearings also cut down on maintenance significantly.
Read the full article.
CNC machining for prototypes or low-volume parts
For plastic parts, CNC machining allows you to test the form, fit, and function of prototypes prior to tooling up for the injection molded production parts. For both plastic and metal, CNC machining provides fast turnaround and low cost for small quantities of parts. Learn all about ICOMold's CNC machining capabilities, which typically include tolerances to within +/- 0.2 to 0.3 mm for plastics and +/- 0.05 mm for metals. Parts that are CNC machined can also exhibit better structural integrity than those that are 3D printed, due to the nature of the manufacturing process. Secondary processes also available from ICOMold.
Reverse engineering software with never-before-seen features
3D Systems' Geomagic Design X 2020 combines robust 3D scan processing and complete CAD design functionality to enable faster, more accurate, and reliable reverse engineering. Using the software's newest features, engineers will benefit from streamlined modeling workflows as well as expanded modeling pathways for complex, revolved parts. The newest Geomagic Design X release includes an Unroll/Reroll function that enables an engineer to unroll the mesh to automatically extract a 2D sketch, make the modifications needed, and then re-roll the sketch for additional engineering. Wait, what? Wow. The software also includes a new Selective Surfacing feature that combines very fast organic surfacing with high-precision feature modeling methods.
Great Resources: One guide for all your retaining ring questions
Finding the best possible solution for your design challenge is no easy task. Smalley engineers have created a brand new Ask the Expert - Retaining Ring FAQ E-book that answers all of your retaining questions in one simple guide.
Get the guide today.
All about lead screws and how to apply them
Lead screws use the helix angle of the thread to convert rotary motion to linear motion. Learn all about their benefits, performance characteristics, design choices, life cycles, and more in this in-depth article from Thomson Industries.
Read the full article.
No Drip Spray Nozzles sanitize, clean, and cool
EXAIR's new 1/2 NPT No Drip External Mix Air Atomizing Spray Nozzles work in the same way the company's standard atomizing nozzles do, but have the added benefit of positively stopping liquid flow when compressed air is shut off. External Mix Air Atomizing Spray Nozzles have the highest flow rates and allow the air and liquid flow to be adjusted independently. They can be used on liquids above 300 centipoise. The patented No Drip design requires no additional air line to control the No Drip feature.
New from Ruland: Slit couplings
Reliance Precision Limited is now offering its slit couplings through Ruland's eCommerce platform and extensive worldwide distribution network. Slit couplings are zero-backlash and manufactured from a single piece of aluminum with intermittent slit cuts, allowing for high torque and torsional stiffness capabilities, low inertia, and long life. Reliance's design uses a proprietary slit pattern that has radiused as opposed to squared edges, reducing stresses that build up during misalignment conditions and torque loads. Equipment designers in industries such as packaging, scientific, semiconductor, solar, medical, and automation benefit from the wide range of sizes and performance characteristics offered by slit couplings.
Function-integrated machine frames from Rexroth include internal cable guide
Bosch Rexroth's new function-integrated profiles (FIPs) include a completely internal cable guide that allows for the safe and space-saving laying of cables, data lines, and hoses. Thanks to the new profile junctions, they can even be laid through profile connectors. The FIP range comprises four profile cross-sections with a host of accessories to build on the modular system. The entire solution can be combined with the established Rexroth modular profile system and provides an unprecedented level of design flexibility.
Intelligent chain monitoring avoids downtimes
Developed in-house by iwis, the non-contact chain elongation monitoring system (CCM-S) continuously measures the wear elongation of chains during operation and gives maintenance staff a timely warning that a chain needs to be replaced. If chains stretch and wear as a result of temperature and load, or if chains running in parallel have different lengths, even a deviation of one percent from the nominal chain pitch can lead to problems in a machine. With CCM-S, users can continuously monitor the elongation of chain drives using sensors without having to compromise production because of interruptions. Can be used with simplex, duplex, and triplex chains.
Hood latch comes in new ultra-slim design
SOUTHCO has refreshed its successful line of hood latches to accommodate the space limitations of next-generation servers, data centers, and similar applications. The new and improved HH Hood Latch features a thin profile, maintaining robust performance with a form factor of just 8 mm. The redesigned latch features an easy-to-use pop-up handle for intuitive operation. This unit offers a dual-engagement hole-mounting design, allowing for convenient installation with pin allocation at either location.
Robotic strain wave gearboxes
GAM has just announced the release of its new GSL series of strain wave gearboxes. The new gearboxes provide zero backlash and high torque in a small gearbox for robotic and motion control applications. This gearbox uses harmonic gearing for a very compact design that easily integrates into applications requiring high ratios and high precision in a small form factor. The GSL series is available in frame sizes 14 to 40 and reduction ratios 50:1 to 160:1.
How to choose commercially available O-ring cross-sections
There are 400+ standard O-ring sizes, so which is the right one for your application? What if multiple thicknesses are available for the same O-ring size? Dorothy Kern, applications engineering lead, Parker O-Ring & Engineered Seals Division, runs through the key considerations, including compression set, tolerances, contact width, and more. Very good info.
Read this informative Parker blog.
ServoClass Couplings have the advantage
Demanding applications require a coupling that holds up to shock loads caused by rapid acceleration and deceleration, start/stop conditions, and torque reversals in servo-driven systems. The ServoClass Coupling from Zero-Max has a longer-lifetime advantage because it is not as radially stiff as a bellows coupling, which reduces the reaction loads on the connected components and stresses within the coupling itself. Jaw/spider couplings do not perform as well as ServoClass Couplings either. The reason is that a coupling's spider element can deteriorate over time from heat and fatigue, shortening its lifetime. Also, jaw/spider couplings experience torsional windup in higher torque applications and have longer settling times when stopping higher inertial loads.
Learn more about Zero-Max ServoClass Couplings.
How to design the optimum hinge
Although many pin styles are available, Coiled Spring Pins are particularly well suited for
use in both friction- and free-fit hinges. To achieve optimum long-term hinge performance,
designers should observe some simple design guidelines. SPIROL provides these helpful recommendations.
Read the full article.
High-torque synchronous drive/timing belts
Automation-Direct SureMotion 5M and 8M (5-mm and 8-mm pitch) high-torque synchronous drive/timing belts are an excellent choice for many industrial applications. They have a curvilinear HTD (High Torque Drive) tooth profile that allows the belts to have a much larger pulley contact area for improved performance. The chloroprene belt body is heat and ozone resistant and features a high tooth-shear resistance. Widths from 9 mm to 30 mm and circumferences from 180 mm to 4,400 mm are available. Pitch sizes and widths match SureMotion pulleys to cover a wide range of power transmission requirements.
Air Force Research Lab tries baking COVID-19 out of aircraft interiors
AFRL team members look over a C-17 used to investigate the ability of ground heaters to raise interiors to temperatures sufficient to kill the COVID-19 virus. This test is part of an overall effort to demonstrate the effectiveness of using common equipment to disinfect aircraft quickly and easily. [U.S. Air Force photo/Richard Eldridge]
By Holly Jordan, Air Force Research Laboratory
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is fighting a new enemy with a proven weapon as it investigates heating aircraft interiors to eliminate the threat of COVID-19 and other biological contaminants inside military planes.
Researchers from the AFRL 711th Human Performance Wing are looking into the ability of common ground heaters to raise the interior temperature of a C-17 aircraft enough to kill viral agents. These heaters are found at every military installation, where they are commonly used by maintenance crews to keep warm or to heat equipment.
"Our goal with this test was to demonstrate the ability for any Air Force base to assist with aircraft disinfection utilizing only commonly available equipment and materials," said Dr. Doug Lewis, 711th Human Performance Wing Protection Systems Team Lead, who is heading the effort. "We knew that if we could prove the ability of this equipment to heat aircraft interiors to temperatures in the 120-degree Fahrenheit range, we were potentially demonstrating an Air Force-wide disinfection capability, pending further laboratory results."
Over two separate test events conducted in May 2020 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, Lewis and his team placed an array of sensors and measurement equipment inside a C-17 aircraft and carefully sealed it using materials common to military installations. Hoses from the ground heaters were directed inside, and heat levels were raised for a period of six hours per test. Through this setup, researchers successfully heated the interior up to 50 F above ambient temperature.
Dr. Angela Theys of Materials Engineering and Technical Support Services secures ductwork for an AFRL test to investigate the use of ground heaters to raise interior temperatures on C-17 aircraft. [U.S. Air Force photo/Richard Eldridge]
The team is working in coordination with Battelle, a research and development organization based in Columbus, OH, to conduct testing on the effectiveness of heat to inactivate the COVID-19 virus. Preliminary results from Battelle indicate that the temperatures reached during the AFRL tests were sufficient to disable the virus to safe levels on surface materials including aluminum, silicon, and nylon webbing.
Lewis says the team will conduct further tests and continue to work with Battelle to investigate additional test parameters representative of operational conditions. The future tests will look into the effectiveness of heating the interior for less than six hours as well as the effects of various ambient humidity and temperature conditions.
Lewis called the initial results a positive indicator of the ability to use commonly available equipment to help eliminate the COVID-19 viral threat on aircraft. He said the team is developing recommended implementation procedures, including solutions for environmental conditions that fall below the threshold required to reach the optimal disinfection range. This may include the recommendation to perform the procedure in heated hangars.
Although this approach is new, the concept of heat disinfection for aircraft is not. The AFRL-developed Joint Biological Aircraft Decontamination System, or JBADS, is a currently employed technology that similarly relies on heat and humidity to disinfect aircraft interiors. This system encloses an aircraft fully, like an aircraft "oven," heating to temperatures of 140 to 180 F and disinfecting the entire interior, including difficult-to-reach surfaces.
The JBADS team has also achieved success in optimizing the system to eliminate the COVID-19 threat. However, since this process involves highly specialized equipment, JBADS is not widely enough available to be used immediately as a go-to solution for the COVID-19 disinfection across the entire military aviation community. Conversely, ground heaters are a common and widely available resource that can be repurposed toward this goal.
In addition to reaching otherwise inaccessible surfaces, controlled heat disinfection will not adversely impact electronics and sensitive equipment, as some disinfectants might. Lewis said he was pleased with the test results and foresees it as a viable low-cost solution for the disinfection of COVID-19 and other viral agents as well.
Bill Davis of Materials Engineering and Technical Support Services measures the temperature of ductwork during an AFRL test on a C-17 aircraft. [U.S. Air Force photo/Richard Eldridge]
Lewis also noted that heat disinfection is only one approach AFRL and partner organizations are looking into to assist in COVID-19 flight safety. He and a vast team of researchers are looking at various solutions, including chemicals, common soaps and household cleaning items, ultraviolet light, ionization, and simply "airing out" aircraft between missions. Many of these potential solutions could be employed alone or together to achieve the desired results.
"Our goal is to prove the efficacy of a process that can be easily and quickly replicated throughout the Air Force to provide safety for our air crews," he said.
Published June 2020
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