July 28, 2020 Volume 16 Issue 28

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Automation: ECONOmaster drilling units help build trailers

On a recent project for Mid-State Engineering, Suhner custom ECONOmaster drill units were used to automatically drill holes into fiberglass panels for a truck trailer body. The quill-feed drill unit has selectable drill heads that can be used in combination or individually. Using servo drive motors, the machine auto indexes down a table to ensure precision hole locations across a 60-ft span.
Read the full article.

Great Resources: Unit Conversion Tool

Convert popular spring units such as force or retaining ring thrust capacities into metric units with Smalley's engineering tools. Convert units such as mass and weight, angular measurements, velocities, temperatures, pressures and densities, and more.
Click here to learn more. You should bookmark this one.

Assembly pins help build in safety

Assembly pins are not new, but JW Winco has been able to make them even better by enhancing fully developed parts according to the application and combining them with other standard securing parts. See what's new, including assembly pins with different end washer forms, spring cotter pins with specific wire-gauge sizing, and more.
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Reduce component failure with the HELI-CAL Flexure

Discover how to eliminate vibrating failure, prevent premature component wear, prevent motor seizure, and stop bearing failure by incorporating Helical Products' flexure technology into your machinery components. With the Generate Only program, companies can maintain ownership of their specialized design while incorporating Helical's proprietary flexure technology.
Learn more in this informative white paper.

New cable reel with worm guide increases safety in assembly areas

igus has just introduced a clever cable reel that can guide cables and hoses for the transmission of energy, media, and data without interruption. The e-spool flex increases safety at manual workstations and operating panels. For quick installation of the cable reel, the developers opted for a worm guide. The cable is inserted in a few simple steps, and the e-spool is ready for use. No complicated slip rings are required, so bus cables and hoses for air and liquids can also be guided without interruption. Both manual and automatic return options available. Extension lengths to 15 m possible.
Learn more.

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.
Learn more.

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.
Learn more.

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.
Learn more.

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.
Learn more.

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.
Learn more.

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.
Learn more.

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.
Learn more.

Super steel project claims big breakthrough: Super strength and enhanced fracture resistance

Professor Huang Mingxin and PhD student Miss Liu Li with their new D&P super steel, which reaches an unprecedented high level of fracture resistance and excellent performance in ductility and strength. [Credit: ©The University of Hong Kong]





The Super Steel project led by Professor Huang Mingxin at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Hong Kong (HKU), with collaborators at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), has made an important breakthrough in its new super D&P steel project by demonstrating greatly enhanced fracture resistance while maintaining super strength for advanced industrial applications. The material is called D&P steel because it is produced using a new "deformed and partitioned method." The steel is not the same as DP (dual-phase) steel.

The findings were published in Science on May 8, 2020, in the paper titled, "Making Ultrastrong Steel Tough by Grain-Boundary Delamination."*

Steel is a common alloy. Material scientists and engineers are continually seeking to develop next-generation steel materials that are easier to extend and elongate (ductility) into different forms and structures, higher in resistance to deformation (strength) and fracture (toughness), light in weight, and low in production cost.

The task has been difficult. The conventional view is that raising the performance of one metallic property, whether in strength, ductility, or toughness, will undermine one or more of the others. For example, an increase in strength will inevitably make the metal more brittle (known as the strength-toughness tradeoff) or less flexible to be extended or elongated into different shapes (strength-ductility tradeoff).

"In this latest breakthrough in super D&P steel, we attained an unprecedented strength-toughness combination which can address a major challenge in safety-critical industrial applications -- to attain an ultra-high fracture toughness so as to prevent catastrophic premature fracture of structural materials," said Huang. "The breakthrough also changes the conventional view that attaining high strength will be at the expense of deteriorating toughness, which invariably leads to the embrittlement of structural materials and greatly limits their application."

Earlier, the team had raised the D&P steel's strength-ductility performance significantly, so now the super D&P steel attains excellent performance in all three metallic properties at an unprecedented level.

Several patents in United States, EU, and China have been filed. The team has been liaising with industrial partners to generate prototypes of a high-strength bridge cable, bulletproof vest, and a car spring with the super steel for further testing.

The latest advancement in D&P steel, made in collaboration with Professor Robert O. Ritchie's research team at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) and UC Berkeley, results in a steel with a yield strength resistance against deformation of ~2GPa, a superior fracture toughness of 102 MPa · m½, and a good uniform elongation of 19 percent (Fig. A and Fig. B).

Currently, high-strength steel for bridge cables has a yield strength lower than 1.7 GPa and a fracture toughness lower than 65 MPa · m½; high-strength armored steel used in armored cars has a similar maximum strength/toughness combination. The toughness level that can be attained by the D&P steel is much higher than that of existing steel materials, while it maintains its super strength.

Steel piano wire, for instance, has a high strength ranging from 2.6 to 2.9 GPa to resist deformation and to keep the instrument in tune, but this is achieved at the expense of toughness. In turn, it is very brittle.

(A) Yield strength-toughness and (B) yield strength-uniform elongation of the present breakthrough D&P steel compared with other existing high-strength metallic materials. D&P steel demonstrated the best combination of yield strength, toughness, and uniform elongation. [Credit: ©The University of Hong Kong]





The team has also made an important scientific discovery in the structure of the super D&P steel. The super steel has a unique fracture feature in which multiple micro-cracks are formed below the main fracture surface through a novel "high-strength-induced multi-delamination" toughening mechanism. These micro-cracks can effectively absorb energy from externally applied forces, resulting in the steel's much higher toughness resistance compared to existing steel materials.

Meanwhile, the cost of raw materials of the D&P steel is only 20 percent of the maraging steel currently used in aerospace (e.g., Grade 300, whose yield strength and fracture initiation toughness are 1.8 GPa and 70 MPa · m½, respectively).

"D&P steel has other advantages such as simple industrial processing and low raw materials cost," said Li Liu, the first author of the journal article and a PhD student supervised by Huang. "It can be produced by conventional rolling and annealing processes. As such, no complex fabrication routes and special equipment are required."

"We have made a big step closer to industrializing the novel super steel. It demonstrates a great potential to be used in various applications including superior bulletproof vests, bridge cables, lightweight automobile and military vehicles, aerospace, and high-strength bolts and nuts in the construction industry," said Huang.

*Editor's Note: Please see the referenced paper for the technical description and steel "recipe."

Source: The University of Hong Kong

Published May 2020

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