June 02, 2015 Volume 11 Issue 21

Mechanical News & Products

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SOLIDWORKS: FeatureManager tips for assemblies

Discover tools to make your SOLIDWORKS assembly Feature-Manager design tree display easier to view and use. Learn options to limit the amount of information in each component listing, combine multiple instances of a component into a single listing, and separate fasteners mates into a new folder. Lots more tips on the SOLIDWORKS YouTube channel.
View the video.


Top die casting design tips: Xometry

Optimize your die casting project's manufac-turability with these 23 top design tips from Xometry. Ensure your work is cost effective too, so you can hit the ground running and have the highest chance of success. Tips include: fillets and radii, wall thicknesses, ribs and metal savers, holes and windows, parting lines, finishes, and more.
Read the Xometry article.


8 top ways to wreck your coupling-driven system

Engineers at Ruland Manufacturing Co. have compiled the eight best ways to consistently sabotage or damage your coupling-driven system -- and how to avoid these pitfalls in the future. Misunderstanding performance criteria such as misalignment, torque, or rpm can be all it takes to cause a critical and costly failure.
Read the full article.


New washer tech for leak-free automotive sealing

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has just launched the Rubore® Washer, a unique solution offering virtually leak-free sealing beneath screwheads to safeguard critical systems in vehicles, especially electric ones.
Read the full article.


How Reell electric wrap spring clutches work

Electric wrap spring clutches are ideally suited for critical timing applications requiring consistent, repeatable engagement and disengagement performance. Wrap spring technology used in Reell clutches provides the capability to transmit a large amount of torque in a small size -- package sizes smaller than other clutch technologies such as friction disk, tooth, or magnetic particle. Reell's technology has very positive engagement characteristics and also limits the effects of wear.
Read this informative Reell article.


New 'breathable' rupture disk tech provides overpressure and vacuum relief

To increase equipment safety and reliability, a new rupture disk technology activates at a set burst pressure, but it can also "breathe" to relieve minor pressure fluctuations. The patent-pending, dual-function device from BS&B Safety Systems is ideal for use on low-pressure vessels that are susceptible to ambient temperature changes.
Read the full article.


Engineer's Toolbox: 9 considerations for specifying a slewing ring bearing

In applications that require a bearing to support a structure while it rotates (e.g., cranes, radar, tank turrets), premature bearing failure can put people and equipment at risk. While slewing ring bearings have proven themselves countless times in such applications, designers must consider many factors when specifying them. According to engineers at Kaydon, the bearing's support structure, mounting (including bolt strength, tensioning, and hole patterns), installation, and even storage are all factors in a bearing's success or failure.
Read the full article.


ClampDisk micro fastener is new alternative for automotive and consumer electronics

Designed as a unique alternative in assemblies for the automotive and consumer electronics markets, the ClampDisk Press-on Fastener is a new offering from PennEngineering that delivers a fast, simple way to achieve sheet-to-sheet clamped fastening while replacing the use of standard screws, nuts, and adhesives. The most common challenges that can be eliminated or reduced by using ClampDisk include over installation, cross threading, stripped screw heads, broken screws, and damaged product. This fastener can be removed easily with a sharp-edged tool.
Learn more and see how ClampDisk works.


New nylon constant torque hinge

Southco has expanded its line of E6 Constant Torque Hinges with a compact, nylon version designed for small applications. The newest addition to the company's E6 50 Constant Torque Position Control Hinge series measures 45 mm with a torque range of 4 to 16 in./lb and is 65% lighter compared to the standard E6 50 Hinge. It provides constant resistance throughout the entire range of motion, enabling users to easily position doors, display screens, and other mounted components and hold them securely at any desired angle.
Learn more.


What injection molding material do I use?

How do you decide what type of plastic to use for your next injection molding project? Xometry can help you narrow your choices. Discover the different strengths and applications for materials that could be ideal for your application by learning about the most common plastic injection molding materials in detail.
Read this detailed Xometry article.


What are carbon composite bellows springs?

The Carbon Composite Bellows Spring (CCBS) from MW Components is a system of carbon fiber elements that combine to work as a high-performance, lightweight, and design-flexible compression spring meant to replace coil springs or metallic Belleville disc springs. A functional spring is made from several individual elements paired and joined to make a stack. The stack spring rate is determined by the number of elements, the base rate of each element, and their series or parallel orientation in the stack. Applications include motorsports, aerospace, and high-performance activities.
Learn more.


Conductive Brush Ring overcomes current leakage in EV powertrains

SKF's new Conductive Brush Ring paves the way to greater reliability and longer life in high-performance electric vehicle powertrain systems. Using pure carbon fiber bristles, it provides a reliable electrical connection between an EV eAxle rotor shaft and its housing. When used in combination with SKF Hybrid ceramic ball bearings, it helps to alleviate parasitic current effects that can lead to premature failure in bearings and other components. Available in different configurations for wet (oil-lubricated) motor designs -- and soon for dry (sealed) applications.
Learn more.


hyperMILL 2024 CAD/CAM software suite

OPEN MIND Technologies has introduced its latest hyperMILL 2024 CAD/CAM software suite, which includes a range of powerful enhancements to its core toolpath capabilities, as well as new functionality for increased NC programming efficiency in applications ranging from 2.5D machining to 5-axis milling. New and enhanced capabilities include: Optimized Deep Hole Drilling, a new algorithm for 3- and 5-axis Rest Machining, an enhanced path layout for the 3D Plane Machining cycle, better error detection, and much more.
Learn more.


One-part epoxy changes from red to clear under UV

Master Bond UV15RCL is a low-viscosity, cationic-type UV-curing system with a special color-changing feature. The red material changes to clear once exposed to UV light, indicating that there is UV light access across the adhesive material. Although this change in color from red to clear does not indicate a full cure, it does confirm that the UV light has reached the polymer. This epoxy is an excellent electrical insulator. UV15RCL adheres well to metals, glass, ceramics, and many plastics, including acrylics and polycarbonates.
Learn more.


SPIROL Press-N-Lok™ Pin for plastic housings

The Press-N-Lok™ Pin 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 compared to screws and adhesives -- just Press-N-Lok™!
Learn more about the new Press-N-Lok™ Pin.


Engineers develop ballistic wallpaper, pop-up guard towers, laser guns for military

By David Vergun, U.S. Army

Nick Boone, a research mechanical engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Engineer Research and Development Center, in Vicksburg, MS, shows a section of ballistic wallpaper during DOD Lab Day at the Pentagon May 14, 2015. [Photo Credit: David Vergun]

 

 

 

 

Troops often use abandoned masonry, brick, or cinderblock structures for defensive purposes instead of building their own or digging foxholes.

While these structures offer a degree of protection, they are susceptible to blast impact from missile or other large projectiles, said Nick Boone, a research mechanical engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Engineer Research and Development Center, or ERDC, in Vicksburg, MS.

Boone spoke during DOD Lab Day at the Pentagon May 14, where a large number of Army laboratory exhibits were on display.

Engineers at ERDC came up with a novel idea of fortifying these structures with rolls of lightweight ballistic wallpaper with adhesive backing that can quickly be put up on the inside of the walls, he said.

The wallpaper consists of Kevlar fiber threads embedded in flexible polymer film, he said.

Without the wallpaper, a wall that is hit will "rubblize," he said, sending shards of rock and mortar flying at the occupants inside.

When the blast occurs with the wallpaper installed, it acts as a "catcher's net," containing the rubble and preventing debris from injuring Soldiers.

Engineers built unreinforced structures and actually bombed and blasted them, Boone said, showing a video of the experiments. Small blast testing was done at nearby Fort Polk, LA, and large-blast testing was conducted at Eglin Air Force Base, FL.

Ballistic wallpaper is still in the research and development stage and does not yet have an official name, but it could one day be produced and fielded and hopefully save lives, Boone said.

Other protection
Improved protection mortar pits and guard towers, designed by engineers at ERDC and royal engineers from the United Kingdom, have recently been shipped to Afghanistan, Boone said.

ERDC engineers developed the Modular Protective System, or MPS. These are inexpensive, lightweight, easily assembled and disassembled panels attached by cross-braces, which offer "a lot of protection," he said. The panels were developed by ERDC, and the cross-braces were developed with collaboration from the royal engineers.

"We got the idea from picnic chairs that fold up neatly," he said.

The structures are pretty basic, he said. The braces are made of lightweight galvanized steel tubing, and the panels are made of multi-layered fiberglass.

Modular Protective System models of guard towers and mortar pit protection are shown during DOD Lab Day at the Pentagon May 14, 2015. [Photo Credit: David Vergun]

 

 

 

 

Boone showed models of the fortification as well as full-size versions. They resembled scaffolding. The steel tubing is crossed-braced at angles that afford the greatest strength, he said. It is strong enough to protect against military-grade rounds.

Besides being inexpensive, strong, and lightweight, the MPS can be quickly assembled by just a few Soldiers without any specialized tools or equipment, he said.

Another positive is that the entire MPS structure fits inside a small container that can be sling-loaded under a CH-47 Chinook helicopter for rapid delivery, he said. The beauty of it is that the shipping container itself then becomes the ammunition storage for the mortar pit structure. For the guard tower, the shipping container becomes a platform to support it.

Once the mission ends, everything gets packed back into the shipping container. Nothing gets wasted or left behind, he said.

The mortar pit MPS kits are being used by Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan, he said. The guard towers are being used by the royal engineers there as well. A small, expeditionary guard tower for the U.S. Army has not yet been deployed.

MPS is standing by for licensing and for a possible transition to a program of record, he said.

Contaminants protection
While protection from blast is fairly evident, protection from the unseen can be just as deadly.

Dr. Brandon Lafferty, a research soil scientist with ERDC, said that while operating in enemy territory, Soldiers sometimes come across existing infrastructure that poses threats that cannot be seen.

"Sometimes, those buildings were abandoned for a reason," Lafferty said. "They may have been a chemical processing site, a waste dump, we just don't know. There are currently no portable tools to rapidly determine possible hazards."

Soldiers on the move often do not have time to wait for heavy test equipment to be trucked in and tested by specialists, he continued.

ERDC engineers developed the "Environmental Toolkit for Expeditionary Operations" to address this problem, he said.

Dr. Brandon Lafferty shows the Petroleum Environmental Test Kit during DOD Lab Day at the Pentagon May 14, 2015. [Photo Credit: David Vergun]

 

 

 

 

An engineer, who is not a specialist, can toss all the instruments he needs in his rucksack and determine if contaminants are present and what their levels of concentration are, he said, so that a commander can make an informed decision whether or not to occupy the structures or area.

The three pieces of gear used for testing include the Hand-held Fluorescent Spectrometer, which measures heavy metals in soil and water; the Petroleum Environmental Test Kit, which identifies and measures petroleum content in soil and water; and the Water Dog, which tests water properties for hardness, acidity, conductivity, and turbidity to determine if the water is contaminated, good for drinking, or maybe just clean enough for washing clothing.

When Soldiers decamp, the area is tested once more because of environmental reporting that requires an area to be left uncontaminated, he said.

Soldiers are being trained to use the test equipment at the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence on Fort Leonard Wood, MO. Test equipment is now being field tested in Kuwait and Iraq, he said.

Video teleconference in a suitcase
When Soldiers need to set up an outpost or bivouac in an unfamiliar area, there might be hazards nearby like landslides or flooding that they're not aware of.

To determine if the location is safe, Soldiers can contact the experts at ERDC who have all of that information readily available, said Vernon Lowery, general engineer, ERDC.

To make contact in remote areas possible, ERDC has supplied the entire Army with Telecommunications Equipment Deployable, or TCED. This video teleconferencing capability comes in a small suitcase that is easily carried by one person, he said. The communications equipment links to Vicksburg via satellite.

Soldiers in remote areas might also want to communicate with people other than at ERDC for various reasons. Lowery said ERDC can relay them to Video Teleconferences, or VTCs, elsewhere around the world.

Vernon Lowery, general engineer, ERDC, shows the telecommunications equipment deployable during DOD Lab Day at the Pentagon May 14, 2015. [Photo Credit: David Vergun]

 

 

 

 

For example, when Soldiers deployed to Haiti to assist with earthquake humanitarian assistance relief in 2010, they used TCED to establish command and control. Lowery said Soldiers told him it was their "lifeline," and without it, they could not have accomplished their mission.

Laser protection
Laser guns may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but engineers at the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command - Technical Center at Redstone Arsenal, AL, have successfully developed and tested just such a system, known as High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator, or HEL MD.

Dee Formby, an engineer involved in its development, said that a 10-kW laser, mounted on a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck A4 platform, successfully took out 60-mm mortars and unmanned aerial vehicles at White Sands Missile Range, NM, last year.

Workings of the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator are shown during DOD Lab Day at the Pentagon May 14, 2015. [Photo Credit: David Vergun]

 

 

 

 

Once the laser locks on, it essentially fries its target, Formby said. It is a cost-effective way to destroy cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, mortars, rockets, and artillery.

A 60-mm mortar round fried open by a High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator during testing is shown during DOD Lab Day at the Pentagon May 14, 2015. [Photo Credit: David Vergun]

 

 

 

 

In good weather, the laser achieves a high success rate, he said. Right now, the system does not perform as well in degraded weather and atmospheric conditions. Distance-to-target remains classified.

In 2017, a 50-kW version will be tested, followed by a 100-kW demonstration in 2020. Higher power means quicker kill time of the projectile, he said, because more power is on the target.

Published 2015

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