February 16, 2021 Volume 17 Issue 07

Mechanical News & Products

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Discover the design and functional advantages of copper foam

Copper foam from Goodfellow combines the outstanding thermal conductivity of copper with the structural benefits of a metal foam. These features are of particular interest to design engineers working in the fields of medical products and devices, defense systems and manned flight, power generation, and the manufacture of semiconductor devices. This product has a true skeletal structure with no voids, inclusions, or entrapments. A perennial favorite of Designfax readers.
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PBT and PPS plastics for driver-assist automotive applications

The growing trend toward electric vehicles is spurring material suppliers like Polyplastics Co. to position its innovative resin products for use in Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) parts that enable autonomous driving. The company's DURANEX PBT and DURAFIDE PPS materials -- targeted for sensors in radar and camera bracket systems -- show great promise in delivering low warpage, dimensional stability, and a low dielectric constant.
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3D printing for vehicle components using tribologically optimized polymers

igus, the manufacturer of motion plastics, now offers lightweight and durable wear-resistant parts from its 3D-printing service. Customers can order their special part made of tribologically optimized polymers online in seconds. Material options include more than 55 lubrication-free iglide materials. This 3D-printing service is particularly suitable for the short-term production of wear-resistant parts and prototypes. Turnaround is usually a few days.
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Perfectly positioned with stainless steel adjusting screws

For precisely secure and simple adjustments as well as for quick changing of mechanisms or tools, JW Winco now offers three new parts that complement each other perfectly: stainless steel adjusting screws with an adjustment scale plus matching bearing blocks and knurled nuts. The innovative stainless steel adjusting screw GN 827 is intended for use with bearing blocks GN 828 and simplifies fixing of parts to various processing and assembly mechanisms in machines, installations, and jigs. Once the optimal setting has been found, the adjusting screw can be locked in place with a stainless steel knurled nut GN 827.1 designed specifically for this purpose.
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Metal 3D printer and furnace made for office use

In partnership with Rapidia, the ExOne Company has launched the ExOne Metal Designlab printer and X1F advanced furnace, which can produce metal parts in a day. Its 3D printer operates with the ease of an entry-level plastic printer, and the parts it produces go directly into the furnace, skipping the long chemical or thermal debinding steps required by competing systems that can take three to five days to deliver final parts.
Read the full article.


Retaining rings and wave springs samples

Finding the best possible solution for your design challenge is no easy task -- that's why we're here to help you find the right wave spring, retaining ring, or constant section ring for all of your applications. Choose from one of our 12 product types, 400 sizes, and 10,000+ standard parts in carbon and stainless steel, or challenge our team of engineers to tailor a custom part fit to your exact application requirements.
Request free samples from Smalley today!


Neat! New Press-N-Lok™ Pin for plastic housings

The new Press-N-Lok™ Pin from SPIROL was designed to permanently retain two plastic components to each other. As the pin is inserted, the plastic backfills into the area around the two opposing barbs, resulting in maximum retention. Assembly time is quicker, and it requires lower assembly equipment costs as compared to screws and adhesives -- just Press-N-Lok!
Learn more about the new Press-N-Lok Pin.


Tray tables and more: New bifold torque hinge

Southco's AH-2E Bifold Constant Torque Hinge achieves a new level of safety and performance for fold-out tables in passenger transit applications in the rail, RV, bus and coach, and aerospace industries. With its integrated constant-torque technology, the AH-2E enables controlled motion that keeps the table from falling open onto the passenger's lap. Additionally, its improved aesthetics and enhanced reliability make it an ideal upgrade from traditional free-swinging hinges and dampening devices.
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Aero: Thermoplastic tape reaches thermoset laydown speeds -- no autoclave required

Using their enhanced Automated Fiber Placement processing technology, Electroimpact, a highly experienced provider of factory automation and tooling solutions, was able to increase laydown speeds of thermoplastic uni-directional tape (TP UDT) from Victrex to 4,000 in./min.
Read the full article.


Specialty hinges expand design possibilities for opening and closing

From the simplest of hinges to multi-joint hinges with complex kinematics, the JW Winco selection has everything needed for superior door and flap solutions -- including extra functions. Popular choices include the heavy-duty stainless steel GN 237.3 with 180-degree range of motion and the GN 235, which can be mounted with socket head cap screws and -- thanks to its offset axis -- still swivels 180 degrees without collision. Additional functionality is offered by hinges with variable friction, and in another Winco part, an integrated spring ensures independent return of the hinge. This special product range, which also includes integrated damping, indexing, and locking functions, is being continually expanded. One kinematic highlight is already available from Winco: the multiple-joint hinge with either a 4x, 7x, or 10x joint mechanism, which opens flaps and shifts their position at the same time, while still offering 180 degrees of travel. Many more options.
See the full range of JW Winco hinges.


Thermally conductive battery adhesive for hybrid vehicles

DELO now offers DELO-DUOPOX TC8686, a thermally conductive and flame-retardant structural adhesive for batteries used in hybrid vehicles. Already being used by an automotive supplier, this new adhesive is suitable for low-voltage batteries found in mild hybrid and conventional hybrid vehicles, as well as in e-bikes and e-scooters. The adhesive allows battery cells to be bonded into a battery's housing while dissipating the heat generated during operation. Instead of mechanically connecting the battery cells and then using gap fillers for heat dissipation, DELO-DUOPOX TC8686 combines connection of the thermal management system and structural bonding into one step, simplifying production.
Learn more.


Customized ABS with metallic effect

Avient Corp. has just added a new customized ABS formulation that features a metallic effect to its Artisan pre-colored thermoplastic series. The material was developed to help electronics manufacturers eliminate the painting process while achieving scratch and chemical resistance and sustainability goals. By using Artisan pre-colored ABS thermoplastics, molders are able to produce parts with a brilliant, high-gloss metallic effect without any secondary processing.
Learn more.


Reliable pressure-boosting system

The VR SpecPAK Pressure Boosting System is a new pump and drive package that combines the benefits of Franklin Electric's high-performance VR Series Vertical Multi-Stage Pumps with premium-efficiency TEFC motors and variable frequency drives specifically designed for pump applications. Users can easily configure the system to comply with pressure-boosting needs in most commercial, industrial, or multi-residential applications for constant-pressure operation with several available options according to flow needs, control enclosures, interfaces (Touchscreen HMI/PLC), and additional communication ports. Operation range up to 650 gpm and 350 PSI of boost pressure. Many more good features.
Learn more.


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.
Learn more. You should bookmark this one.


Top Tech Tip: Innovative way to take up tolerances!

Smalley Linear Springs are a continuous wave formed (marcelled) wire length produced from spring tempered materials. They act as a load-bearing device with approximately the same load/deflection characteristics as a wave spring. Linear Springs are now available as a standard part in carbon and stainless steel, with over 200 sizes.
Learn more.


Researchers turn coal powder into nano-graphite in household microwave oven

In a microwave oven, sparks are generated inside a glass vial containing coal powder and copper foil as part of an experiment by University of Wyoming researchers that converted coal powder to nano-graphite. [Credit: Chris Masi/UW]

 

 

 

 

Using copper foil, glass containers, and a conventional household microwave oven, University of Wyoming (UW) researchers have demonstrated that pulverized coal powder can be converted into higher value nano-graphite.

The discovery is another step forward in the effort to find alternative uses for Wyoming's Powder River Basin coal at a time when demand for coal to generate electricity is declining due to concerns about climate change.

In a paper published in the journal Nano-Structures & Nano-Objects, the UW researchers report that they created an environment in a microwave oven to successfully convert raw coal powder into nano-graphite, which is used as a lubricant and in items ranging from fire extinguishers to lithium-ion batteries. This "one-step method with metal-assisted microwave treatment" is a new approach that could represent a simple and relatively inexpensive coal-conversion technology.

"This method provides a new route to convert abundant carbon sources to high-value materials with ecological and economic benefits," wrote the research team, led by Associate Professor TeYu Chien, in UW's Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Others involved in the project were Professor Jinke Tang, in the Department of Physics and Astronomy; Associate Professor Brian Leonard, in the Department of Chemistry; Professor Maohong Fan, in the Department of Petroleum Engineering and the School of Energy Resources; graduate students Rabindra Dulal, of Nepal, Joann Hilman, of Laramie, WY, Chris Masi, of Syracuse, NY, and Teneil Schumacher, of Buffalo, WY; and postdoctoral researchers Gaurab Rimal, of Nepal, and Bang Xu, of China.

While previous research has shown that microwaves can be used to reduce the moisture content of coal and remove sulfur and other minerals, most such methods require specific chemical pretreatment of the coal. In their experiment, the UW researchers simply ground raw Powder River Basin coal into powder.

That powder was then placed on copper foil and sealed in glass containers with a gas mixture of argon and hydrogen, before being placed in a microwave oven. A conventional microwave oven was chosen because of convenience and because it provided the desired levels of radiation.

"By cutting the copper foil into a fork shape, the sparks were induced by the microwave radiation, generating an extremely high temperature of more than 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit within a few seconds," says Masi, lead author of the paper. "This is why you shouldn't place a metal fork inside a microwave oven."

The sparks caused by the microwaves generated the high temperatures necessary to transform the coal powder into polycrystalline graphite, with the copper foil and hydrogen gas also contributing to the process.

While the experiment included microwave durations ranging from 3 to 45 minutes, the optimal duration was found to be 15 minutes.

The researchers say this new method of coal conversion could be refined and performed at a larger scale to yield both a higher quality and quantity of nano-graphite materials.

"Finite graphite reserves and environmental concerns for the graphite extraction procedures make this method of converting coal to graphite a great alternative source of graphite production," the scientists wrote.

Source: University of Wyoming

Published February 2021

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