January 08, 2019 Volume 15 Issue 01

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New slewing ring bearing offers reduced weight and size

igus has developed a maintenance-free and wear-resistant slewing ring bearing for medium loads that also offers significantly reduced weight and space. The iglide polymer slewing ring bearings (PRT) have sliding elements between the inner and outer bearing rings made of aluminum or stainless steel. The new PRT-04 bearing range is 50 percent smaller in installation height, 60 percent lighter, and can save users up to 20 percent in costs. The bearing will be particularly effective in automation, stage technology, and control panels.
Learn more.


New Hot Tap Digital Flowmeters simplify installation

EXAIR's new Hot Tap Digital Flowmeters allow installation when compressed air piping is under pressure. By eliminating the need to isolate and remove pressure from the pipe, these compressed air flowmeters reduce installation time while maintaining safety. Hot Tap Digital Flowmeters incorporate two valves that the measuring probes pass through. A sound muffler that also collects chips from the drilling process eliminates installation debris from entering the airstream and minimizes noise exposure. Measuring compressed air is the first step toward identifying high compressed air use areas, compressed air leaks and optimizing air use.
Learn more.


Top Tech Tip: Interlaced wave springs

When heavy loads are necessary with a demand for greater travel, Smalley Interlaced Wave Springs can handle weighty loads in small places. Interlaced wave springs can replace heavy-duty coil springs or Belleville stacks. An interlaced wave spring is formed from two constituent wave springs of similar thickness, amplitude, and frequency. The two individual wave springs are combined together by interlacing them so that the spring turns of each spring abut each other for the entire length of the interlaced spring.
Learn more.


New composite materials for transmission components reduce friction and wear

The material developers at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies have developed PEEK compounds that are precisely tailored to their applications. In one real-world example, gear seals and thrust washers in a vehicle transmission are characterized by lower wear, lower friction, and lower temperature development.
Read the full article.


Build your own mini synchronous drive systems

With the Miniature Synchronous Drive System from Stock Drive Products (SDP), you can put your own 1-, 2-, or 3-mm design together in a snap. The tiny timing belts and pulleys are engineered and manufactured to give high accuracy and smooth, dependable operation in 3D printers, moving security cameras, med devices, robotic surgical equipment, self-service machines, and more. Advantages include no-slip synchronization, accurate positioning, high torque transmission with low backlash, quiet operation, and long belt life.
Learn more.


Motorized puller assemblies provide out-of-the-box productivity

Versa Motorized Puller assemblies include all components for out-of-the-box productivity for a wide variety of downstream handling requirements. Available in Pinch Wheel or Caterpillar designs, pullers are mounted on a 12-in. x 14-in. base plate for easy positioning of feed materials and include a choice of either AC or DC motor, drive, and a remote Operator Control Station (OCS) that can be mounted wherever desired. A variety of speed ranges are available, with pinch roll or belt materials to suit a broad range of product requirements. These puller assemblies are ideal for many applications, including downstream handling of pipe, profiles, and tubing as well as wire/cable, steel materials, and more.
Learn more.


Reduce belt-driven spindle failures with precision load limiter

Setco's TensionSet is a load-limiting device that ensures proper belt tensioning on motor drives, protecting shaft bearings and other components from premature failure. The patented and easy-to-install product rotates like a nut to generate pull force on a threaded rod. The pull force increases the distance between the pulleys on the motor drive and creates belt tension. When pull force exceeds the load setting during tightening, TensionSet disengages internally to prevent over-tensioning. Positive reverse drive causes the TensionSet to rotate in the reverse direction, removing tensioning load. This product helps increase belt life, leading to less downtime for machine maintenance, and is retrofittable to many spindle brands.
Learn more.


Quick-release heavy-duty ball lock pins in stainless steel

JW Winco has expanded its line of GN 113.10 Heavy Duty Ball Lock Pins Stainless Steel, with Stainless Steel Shank AISI 630. These rapid-release pins have an extreme load capacity and are used for quick fixing, connecting, and locking of various parts and workpieces. A typical application for the Ball Lock Pins is where they may need to be regularly moved in and out of position when connecting two components, but a more secure hold is required of those two components. By pressing the spring-loaded push button, both balls are unlocked. By releasing it, the balls are locked again.
Learn more.


Top Tech Tip: Self-locking retaining rings from Smalley

Smalley self-locking rings allow the ring to operate at high speeds, withstand vibration, function under rapid acceleration and absorb a degree of impact loading. The self-locking feature utilizes a small tab on the inside turn "locking" into a slot on the outside turn. The self-locking option can be incorporated for both external and internal rings.
Learn more.


Fiber sizings improve performance of carbon fiber composites

Michelman fiber sizings are available for a variety of application types to dramatically improve fiber-polymer interface adhesion. This technology helps industries such as automotive, transportation, construction, aerospace, energy, and sport improve the quality and performance of composites. New offerings include Hydrosize Carbon 200 Series (an APE-, solvent-, and VOC-free solution perfect for fiber-reinforced nylon composites where greater thermal stability is required, like coolant pumps) and Hydrosize Carbon 400 Series (for extreme processing temps that many high-temp thermoplastics require, such as PEEK, PPS, PEI, and others used to produce various composite engine components).
Learn more.


New vacuum soft gripper for delicate objects

A new, vacuum-based soft gripping tool called piSOFTGRIP has been developed by Piab with food industry automation in mind. This three-fingered unit will grip sensitive and lightweight objects of odd geometries and/or an unusual surface. Bin picking of small, irregularly shaped objects, such as toys, is another potential application. The cost-effective soft gripper can handle objects with a diameter up to 50 mm (1.97 in.), but larger units are in the works. Combined with Piab's end-of-arm vacuum tool piCOBOT, the piSOFTGRIP offers a powerful and flexible plug-and-play extension for collaborative robots. As both piCOBOT and piSOFTGRIP offer compressed air-saving functionality, virtually no energy is needed to perform a grip and release.
Learn more.


New Modular Mounting Systems from Ruland

Ruland Manufacturing now supplies a large selection of modular mounting components that designers can combine to make complete systems for positioning sensors, scanners, reflectors, cameras, coolant pipes, air nozzles and more. The diversity of component sizes and materials allows them to be used in many different industrial, food processing, and packaging environments. Parts that make up modular mounting systems include mounting brackets, bracket clamps, tubes, rods, tube end caps, mini-clamp tube connectors, swivel clamp tube connectors, mounting bases, portable magnet bases, clamping lever kits, and adjustable spring joints. The wide range of modular mounting components enables designers to customize systems to whatever the application requires.
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.
Click here to learn more. You should bookmark this one.


Innovative rod seals enhance hydraulic and electromechanical aviation actuator performance

Rod seals for cylinders and actuators seal the applied system pressure toward the atmospheric side. They perform a critical function in preventing external leakage that may contaminate the immediate environment. The rod seals LB and LS from Parker Hannifin have been specially developed for the safety-critical applications in aviation and offer high reliability and wear resistance due to their seal geometry and material selection.
Read this informative Parker blog.


Right-sizing valve manifolds linked to smart machine design

Valves are generally sized by cylinder bore, actuation speed, and required pressure. In the past, the entire valve manifold would be sized based on the largest force/speed requirements of the pneumatic system, or by splitting between two manifolds (low and high pressure/flow). However, this methodology results in waste, both in terms of compressed air and the expense and size of the manifold, not to mention the labor needed to install two manifolds.
Read this informative Parker Hannifin blog.


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
  • Non-Toxic
  • 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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