Cool Tools: World's darkest spray paint
A whole range of products can now take advantage of the world's blackest coating, Vantablack, thanks to the development of a new spray version called Vantablack S-VIS. It is easily applied at large scale to virtually any surface. Vantablack's carbon nanotube matrix structure absorbs virtually all (99.8 percent) incident light, enabling precision optical systems to be optimized. The material's developer, UK-based Surrey NanoSystems, has mimicked the performance of its original Vantablack with this new version that can be sprayed onto objects, rather than deposited using a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process.
Click here to learn more.
New e-chain features injection-molded contact points to reduce energy-line failure due to freezing
In order to prevent freezing of an energy supply, for example on inclined lifts, the motion plastics specialist igus has developed a new e-chain called "ice-chain." With injection-molded raised contact points, the chance of freezing is significantly reduced along with the costs of downtime and maintenance. This solution can be used in applications down to -40 F. The ice-chain is also available as a complete system equipped with pre-harnessed cables that can be quickly installed and connected.
When should you 3D print jigs and fixtures?
Jigs and fixtures are typically machined, but industrial 3D printing can often be used as a complement or alternative to machining. Designing irregular or complex shapes? Need smaller-than-usual tooling? Building components that are difficult or impossible to machine? If so, additive manufacturing is probably a good fit for your jigs, fixtures, and other tooling needs.
Read the Protolabs design tip.
End-of-arm vacuum tool for cobots
Piab is proud to introduce piCOBOT, a cleverly equipped end-of-arm (EOAT) vacuum tool designed specifically for the cobot market. Featuring the company's signature vacuum technology, piCOBOT offers industry-certified plug-and-play extensions to the latest collaborative robots, so called cobots. Offered as a development kit, piCOBOT comprises a vacuum pump unit, a gripper unit, and two suction cups. The standard kit includes four different sets of suction cup models suitable for a variety of tasks, but customers can also choose freely from the company's extensive range of suction cups for more tailored solutions.
Xometry launches die casting, stamping, extrusion manufacturing services
Xometry has launched a new service through which customers can request quotes for Die Casting, Stamping, and Extrusion work from their network of qualified partners. It's all part of the company's plan to become your one-stop shop for on-demand manufacturing. Xometry's ever-expanding partner network already includes over 2,500 shops in the United States.
Learn more. Xometry has been called "the Uber of manufacturing."
Know your materials: Nylon 12CF
FDM Nylon 12CF is a chopped carbon fiber-filled polyamide 12 material that is available for 3D printing on compatible Stratasys Fortus production systems. The material is 35 percent carbon fiber by weight and has a high strength-to-weight ratio with a tensile strength on par with high-performance FDM material. The 3D design and rapid prototyping specialists at TriMech run through what you need to know about this exciting and versatile material.
Read the TriMech blog.
Cool Tools: Desktop full-color 3D printer
The all-new XRIZE desktop industrial 3D printer enables users to manufacture functional polymer and composite parts in full color. And since RIZE's intelligent and innovative solutions focus on the user as much as the machine, XRIZE is easy to use, safe, and enables markup to provide much-desired IP security, traceability, and branding. This machine requires minimal pre-processing, post-processing, and material management. It uses a patented Augmented Deposition process by extruding an engineering-grade thermoplastic and simultaneously jetting C-M-Y-K inks through industrial printheads to achieve the full-color part. Build volume is 12 x 8 x 8 in. (310 x 200 x 200 mm). New carbon fiber materials also available.
Experts answer questions about retaining rings and wave springs
Every year, hundreds of technical questions are submitted through Smalley's "Ask the Expert" page. The company's team of engineering experts answers the questions directly, but they also post them in a blog for sharing. This selection addresses some commonly asked questions about retaining rings and wave springs. Very useful info.
Read the full article.
Lube nozzles oil the wheels of aviation gearboxes
Gearboxes used in aviation and other similar demanding applications are specially designed, held to tight tolerances, and require precise and reliable lubrication. This is in contrast to how gearboxes in heavier, more industrial applications tend to be immersed in lubricant without the need for targeted lubrication. The delivery of precise, highly accurate (and in some cases screened lubricants) is usually provided by lube nozzles. The Lee Company, with over 70 years of experience in precision fluid control, is able to offer special nozzle designs to meet most requirements. Safety screens can be added for additional protection.
Click here to learn more.
Tech Tip: Why use flame-resistant adhesives?
Learn about the benefits of flame-retardant adhesive and potting systems, including how they mitigate the risks associated with smoke, toxicity, and flames. Several Master Bond epoxies have been formulated to meet the stringent UL94V-0 specification and pass the horizontal/vertical burn test per FAR standard 14 CFR 25.853 (a). These products feature non-halogenated fillers, have low smoke emissions, and are self-extinguishing.
Protect internal threads during paint and powder coating processes
New PEM PreTect thread masking plugs from Penn-Engineering will protect internal threads of self-clinching nuts and standoffs during paint and powder coating processes. The pre-installed silicone masking plugs -- supplied already in place -- have been designed for self-clinching blind standoffs, thru-hole standoffs, and nuts in thread sizes #4-40 to 1/4-20 and M3 to M6. Plugs can be augmented for thru-hole fastener types with a specially engineered stretched polyester film offering thread protection on the side opposite the plug. Plugs and film can be removed easily using a fine tip tool when processes are completed.
New 3M tape tackles high-temp fastening applications
Since 1980, 3M VHB Tapes have opened the door to faster and easier assemblies. Now, the new GPH series from 3M combines the extreme, permanent bonding power and convenience of 3M VHB Tapes with high-temperature resistance. It can withstand operating temperatures up to 450 F, with long-term durability in conditions up to 300 F. Users will experience excellent adhesion to high and medium surface energy materials, as well as coated or painted surfaces. 3M VHB Tapes, including the new GPH series, replace traditional mechanical fasteners, subsequently eliminating processes like drilling, grinding, refinishing, screwing, welding, and associated rework/clean-up.
Click here to learn more.
Top Tech Tip: Balanced retaining rings
Smalley's balanced feature statically balances the retaining ring. A series of slots, opposite the gap end, account for the missing material in the gap. This characteristic is very useful when the balance of the assembly is critical and it is necessary to reduce eccentric loading.
Request your free samples today!
Belt conveyor design program
ABB's new web-based Dodge Passport design tool allows users to select, quote, and order conveyor pulley assemblies complete with shafting and mounted bearings for bulk material-handling applications. Real-time pricing and availability enable customers to make cost-effective selections of readily available components. After selections are complete, Passport's add-to-order capability lets customers seamlessly convert selections into orders via the PT Place e-commerce platform.
Updated grippers for plastic materials
FIPA has upgraded its proven product line of sprue grippers for handling plastic material. The Series 90, 100, and 130 grippers now bear the red FIPA dot, which makes the gripper components immediately identifiable in installations. The Series 90 grippers reliably grip small sprues due to their high closing force, wide jaw opening, and compact design, while the Series 100 grippers are designed to securely grip medium to large sprues. The Series 130 grippers feature strong gripping force and a wide jaw opening, making them ideal for large sprues. FIPA grippers have a long life cycle due to their high-strength aluminum alloy housing and jaws, with a durable, corrosion-resistant anodized coating. FIPA also offers grippers with and without "part present" monitoring.
Hydrogen power in a bottle for on-the-go use: Army plans to license nanogalvanic aluminum powder discovery
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory's nanogalvanic aluminum powder for hydrogen generation. [U.S. Army photo by David McNally]
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory plans to license its discovery of a nanogalvanic aluminum powder for hydrogen generation.
Army researchers at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland have developed a novel, structurally stable, aluminum-based nanogalvanic alloy powder that, when combined with water or any water-based liquid, reacts to produce on-demand hydrogen for power generation without a catalyst.
"This powder-based alloy includes material that disrupts the formation of an encapsulating aluminum oxide layer, allowing for the continuous production of hydrogen that can be used at the point of need to power a wide range of devices via fuel cells and internal combustion," said Dr. Anit Giri, a scientist with the lab's Weapons and Materials Research Directorate. "The powder can be easily manufactured to scale, and can be conveniently and safely transported via tablets or vacuum pouches, thus eliminating reliance on high-pressure hydrogen cylinders."
Dr. Anit Giri, a scientist with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, observes a sample of a unique aluminum nanomaterial powder that reacts with water to produce hydrogen. [U.S. Army photo by David McNally]
ARL will be posting a Federal Register Notice and launching a supporting website inviting companies to submit their ideas on how best to commercialize this technology. The laboratory will then select the most appropriate partners and collaborators. Officials said license exclusivity will then be determined.
Researchers said the powders has many advantages, including:
- Energy and Power Source
- Stable Alloy Powder
- Environmentally Friendly
- Hydrogen Emitting
- Manufacture to Scale
- Easily Transportable
Army researchers discovered the unique properties of the nanopowder while investigating aluminum alloy compositions for other purposes. The researchers, from the lab's Lightweight and Specialty Metals Branch, made the serendipitous discovery that at least one of these compositions can, in the presence of water, spontaneously generate hydrogen -- rapidly and efficiently.
"The researchers have since demonstrated rapid hydrogen generation rates using powder and tablet forms of the alloy," said Branch Chief Robert Dowding. "The hydrogen has been shown to be useful for powering fuel cells and is expected to power internal combustion engines."
The researchers are currently taking advantage of the innovation by characterizing the hydrogen generation rates and purity of the gas generated, Dowding said.
Army researcher Anthony J. Roberts inflates a balloon with hydrogen produced from a chemical reaction between water and an aluminum nanomaterial powder discovered at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. [U.S. Army photo by David McNally]
"They are also examining the effects of compositional changes to the alloy and systematic changes in the microstructure of the powders," he said.
Giri said the discovery has many benefits and applications, such as simple manufacturing.
"The powder can be made using current manufacturing techniques from either pure or alloyed aluminum," he said. "The manufacturing process is easily scalable and it is also very fast -- with a 75-percent theoretical hydrogen yield in one minute at standard temperature and pressure, and 100-percent theoretical yield in three minutes."
The nanopowder is also extremely efficient. Giri said 1 kg of powder can generate 4.4 kWh of energy -- enough to power 10 60-W incandescent light bulbs for more than seven hours or the equivalent LED bulbs for over 50 hours.
The material can be in powder or tablet form and be combined with any available water-based liquid to provide hydrogen on demand, at the point of need.
The discovery eliminates reliance on high-pressure cylinders, Giri said.
"It's easy to transport and store via tablets or vacuum-sealed pouches with no inherent inhalation risk," he said. "The powder is also environmentally friendly. Its by-products are stable and non-toxic. Finally, it's a versatile hydrogen source with direct combustion for vehicular power, to use in fuel cells to power any electronic device, and could potentially be used in 3D printing/additive manufacturing to create self-cannibalizing robots/drones."
In order to support a better understanding of the material, the laboratory established a website to showcase details on the technology and a review the process that will culminate in the granting of a patent license(s) around September 2018.
On this website, visitors can register their interest to be contacted about further developments, post general questions, and download background technical information, as well as templates for all the required documents that will be used throughout the process.
For further information, click here.
"The Federal Register announcement is a significant step forward in the transition of power to the Soldier in the field, where it will become available on demand at the point of need," Dowding said.
Source: U.S. Army Research Laboratory
Published July 2018
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