February 05, 2019 Volume 15 Issue 05

Mechanical News & Products

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.


Research raises awareness of indoor air quality risk from 3D printers

The nozzle of a consumer-oriented 3D printer. [Credit: UL Chemical Safety]

 

 

Consumer-oriented 3D printers showed up on many holiday wish lists last year, but purchasers should be aware of research conducted at Georgia Institute of Technology that highlights how the popular low-cost devices could pose a health risk by harming indoor air quality.

A recently completed multi-year research project, sponsored by UL Chemical Safety, was aimed at characterizing particle emissions by the printers in a controlled environment.

The researchers found that the printers generate a range of different-sized particles, including ultrafine particles (UFPs), which have the potential to be inhaled deep into the human pulmonary system and impact respiratory health.

"These printers tend to produce particles that are very small, especially at the beginning of the print process, and in an environment without good ventilation, they could significantly reduce indoor air quality," said Rodney Weber, a professor in Georgia Tech's School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences who led the research.

Many of the findings were published in 2018 and 2017 in Aerosol Science and Technology, and other studies are forthcoming.

The research endeavor revealed that more than 200 different volatile organic compounds (VOCs), many of which are known or suspected irritants and carcinogens, are released while 3D printers are in operation.

Several factors (including nozzle temperature, filament type, filament and printer brand, and filament color) affected emissions. Meanwhile, extrusion temperature, filament material, and filament brand were found to have the greatest impact on emission levels.

"We found that one of the overriding principles is the temperature of the filament," Weber said. "If you use a filament that requires a higher temperature to melt, such as ABS plastic, you produce more particles than PLA plastic filaments, which require lower temperatures."

3D-printed object. (Credit: Rob Felt)

 

 

As a result of the research, UL is advocating for a complete risk assessment of all 3D printers, taking into account dose and personal sensitivity considerations as well as the publication of more marketplace information about each printer to help consumers choose safer options.

"Following our series of studies -- the most extensive to date on 3D-printer emissions -- we are recommending additional investments in scientific research, product advancement to minimize emissions, and increased user awareness so that safety measures can be taken," said Marilyn Black, vice president and senior technical advisor at UL.

In the meantime, some measures can be taken by operators of 3D printers to lessen their impact on air quality:

  • Operating 3D printers only in well-ventilated areas;
  • Setting the nozzle temperature at the lower end of the suggested temperature range for filament materials;
  • Standing away from operating machines; and
  • Using machines and filaments that have been tested and verified to have low emissions.

Based on the scientific research conducted with Georgia Tech and further collaboration with other stakeholders, UL developed an ANSI consensus standard for testing and evaluating 3D-printer emissions to set emissions targets for 3D-printer manufacturers. UL/ANSI 2904 is in the final stages of completion and should be available in the coming weeks.

This story was adapted from content provided by UL Chemical Safety.

Source: Georgia Tech

Published February 2019

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