September 26, 2017 Volume 13 Issue 36

Mechanical News & Products

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New nickel-based superalloy for 3D printing

Velo3D has qualified the nickel-based superalloy powder Amperprint 0233 Haynes 282 for use in its Sapphire family of printers. The material is designed for high creep strength, thermal stability, weldability, and fabricability not commonly found in other alloys. This superalloy is ideal for high-temperature structural applications like energy generation, gas turbines, and space launch vehicles to build parts like heat exchangers, combustors, nozzles, combustion liners, rocket engines, and shrouded impellers. Shown left is a combustor liner made with the new superalloy. It features 23,000 unique holes for optimized air-to-fuel ratios and internal channels for regenerative cooling. The part is shown as printed, with no supports.
Learn more.


Roller-type LM guide for ultra-heavy loads

THK's model HRX is the company's roller-type linear motion (LM) guide. It features ultra-high rigidity in addition to the ability to handle ultra-heavy loads. On the HRX, each row of rollers is arranged at an angle of 45 degrees. This ensures the LM block receives an equal load rating (high rigidity) in all directions. Made for the development of high-precision, energy-saving, high-speed machines with long service lives.
Learn more.


Live tooling for popular turning center lines

Heimatec, a world leader in live tools and multi-spindle drill heads, announces the immediate availability of live tooling for all popular models in the Hyundai, Miyano, and Nakamura turning center lines. According to Preben Hansen, president of Platinum Tooling Technologies and master North American importer for Heimatec, "We're carrying a substantial inventory of live tools for our customers' machines now, and it represents a substantial financial and warehouse-space commitment we've made to support them in the North American market."
Learn more.


MW Components launches eCommerce experience

MW OnDemand combines over 1 million parts from well-known brands such as Century Spring, Accurate Screw Machine, RAF Electronic Hardware, Servometer, and Maudlin into a single location. Customers can select and purchase products from across the MW Components portfolio, simplifying the entire component sourcing process. Customers can shop tens of thousands of stock spring designs along with fasteners, shims, electrical contacts, metal stampings, tubing products, bellows, and more.
Learn more.


Desktop Metal qualifies 420 stainless steel for high-volume additive manufacturing

Desktop Metal recently announced the qualification of Grade 420 stainless steel (420 SS) for use on its Production System platform, which leverages patent-pending Single Pass Jetting (SPJ) technology designed to achieve the fastest build speeds in the metal additive manufacturing industry. Manufacturers can now leverage SPJ technology for the mass production of high-strength, end-use parts in 420 SS for demanding applications in industries such as medical, aerospace, defense, and consumer products.
Learn more.


Engineer's Toolbox:
How to select the proper pin for your application

Fasteners are some of the most important parts of an assembly. In this technical article, Jeff Greenwood from SPIROL focuses on how to select the proper pin for your application, including pins used as hinges, hub and shaft fixtures, alignment, movement stops, and joining. Press fit pins are discussed here, as they are the most common type of pins used in modern manufacturing. Lots of good info and examples in this one.
Read the full article.


New PETs for automotive exterior components

Polyplastics Group has introduced two new RENATUS polyethylene terephthalate (PET) grades that deliver superior mechanical properties, appearance, and weather resistance for automotive exterior components. RH030 (30% glass filled) and RH045 (45% glass filled) maintain their jet blackness and reduce whitening on the surface of molded articles in outdoor environments, making them ideally suited for applications such as automotive side mirrors and rear wiper arms/blades. Since PET parts are not painted, weathering degradation can occur over time when the glass filler starts to float and the jet blackness decreases. Accelerated weather resistance testing demonstrates that Polyplastics' new PET materials maintain lower index values than competing products, indicating that whitening is being reduced.
Learn more.


Quick release couplings with safety lock

To reduce the time involved in setting up equipment and production lines, JW Winco has incorporated a new coupling in its product portfolio. With the GN 1050 quick release coupling, components can be quickly and securely connected to a machine or device with just a click. A safety locking button protects the coupling from being accidentally opened.
Read the full article.


Wheel nut can't loosen by itself -- even in extreme applications

Designed for flat-faced steel rims, the Nord-Lock wheel nut safely secures wheels on on-road and off-road heavy vehicles by maintaining high clamping force even under extreme operating conditions. When assembled correctly, the Nord-Lock wheel nut cannot loosen by itself. It's a simple and cost-effective way to make wheels safe and secure for more productive and efficient operations.
See how Nord-Lock wheel nuts work.


Join carbon materials and more with innovative C-Solder

C-Solder tin-based soldering alloys from Goodfellow enable the joining of carbon materials as well as carbon to metals (copper, aluminum) and aluminum to aluminum. The resulting bond is mechanically strong and electrically conductive. C-Solder is both flux-free and lead-free, has a melting point of 232 degrees C (solidus temperature), has excellent flow, does not leave a residue, and is not affected by cleaning solvents.
View the 1-minute video.
Learn more from Goodfellow.


Tiny crossed roller bearings boast big capabilities

IKO International has unveiled its newest crossed roller bearing, the CRBT105A. This ultra-small, ultra-thin unit is designed to provide exceptional rigidity for space-constrained automated machine applications such as robots with articulating arms and compact surveillance cameras. The CRBT105A features a 10-mm bore diameter, 21-mm outside diameter, and a narrow width of 5 mm. Despite its compact size, this bearing offers rigidity up to four times greater than double-row angular contact ball-type bearings.
Learn more.


Steel disc couplings with updated design offer backlash-free operation in drive applications

RINGFEDER has released an updated version of its proven TND Series of steel disc couplings, which feature backlash-free torque transmission and excellent positioning accuracy in machines that involve synchronous operation, frequent starts and stops, or reversing operations. Typical drive applications include printing and packaging machines, compressors, pumps, and variable speed drives. Two coupling types are available: High Deflection (HD), which offers excellent shaft misalignment compensation, and High Torque (HT), which incorporates a higher power density. TND Series couplings achieve superior concentricity, maximum operational reliability, smooth operation, and low vibration levels.
Learn more.


Custom modifications for material handling rollers and bumpers

Imao-Fixtureworks offers custom modifications for its standard material handling rollers and bumpers. By modifying off-the-shelf products, a significant amount of time and money is saved. The products can be custom modified in various dimensions, shapes, and sizes to meet specific application requirements. For example, the outside diameter (O.D.) of a roller could be turned down, or a bumper of a certain width could be produced. These modifications eliminate the typical design and production time necessary for a custom roller or bumper to be tooled up and molded.
Learn more.


Optimal damping: Continental develops special bearings and other elements for EVs

Continental has developed special elastomer compounds for electric vehicles. They absorb the vibrations in the high-frequency range and are also lightweight. The company is also adapting other bearing elements such as battery mounts for buses or air press bearings in truck driver cabs to the requirements of e-mobility.
Read the full article.


Advanced graphenes for composites and thermoplastic applications

NeoGraf Solutions has extended its range of next-gen graphite materials with the launch of Graf-X graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) and graphene precursors (GP). Both high-performance additive materials deliver enhanced strength, performance, and reliability in a broad range of thermoset and thermoplastic applications. The new graphene materials can increase the toughness of plastics by up to 2.5 times without a significant weight increase. They can also double thermal conductivity and push the electrical conductivity of plastics into the anti-static and static-dissipative ranges.
Learn more.


New ultra-thin camera design creates images without lenses

By Robert Perkins, Caltech

Traditional cameras -- even those on the thinnest of cell phones -- cannot be truly flat due to their optics: lenses that require a certain shape and size in order to function. At Caltech, engineers have developed a new camera design that replaces the lenses with an ultra-thin optical phased array (OPA). The OPA does computationally what lenses do using large pieces of glass: It manipulates incoming light to capture an image.

The OPA chip placed on a penny for scale. [Credit: Caltech/Hajimiri Lab]

 

 

Lenses have a curve that bends the path of incoming light and focuses it onto a piece of film or, in the case of digital cameras, an image sensor. The OPA has a large array of light receivers, each of which can individually add a tightly controlled time delay (or phase shift) to the light it receives, enabling the camera to selectively look in different directions and focus on different things.

"Here, like most other things in life, timing is everything. With our new system, you can selectively look in a desired direction and at a very small part of the picture in front of you at any given time, by controlling the timing with femto-second -- quadrillionth of a second -- precision," says Ali Hajimiri, Bren Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech, and the principal investigator of a paper describing the new camera. The paper was presented at the Optical Society of America's (OSA) Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) and published online by the OSA in the OSA Technical Digest in March 2017.

"We've created a single, thin layer of integrated silicon photonics that emulates the lens and sensor of a digital camera, reducing the thickness and cost of digital cameras. It can mimic a regular lens, but can switch from a fish-eye to a telephoto lens instantaneously -- with just a simple adjustment in the way the array receives light," Hajimiri says.

Phased arrays, which are used in wireless communication and radar, are collections of individual transmitters, all sending out the same signal as waves. These waves interfere with each other constructively and destructively, amplifying the signal in one direction while canceling it out elsewhere. Thus, an array can create a tightly focused beam of signal, which can be steered in different directions by staggering the timing of transmissions made at various points across the array.

A similar principle is used in reverse in an optical phased array receiver, which is the basis for the new camera. Light waves that are received by each element across the array cancel each other from all directions, except for one. In that direction, the waves amplify each other to create a focused "gaze" that can be electronically controlled.

"What the camera does is similar to looking through a thin straw and scanning it across the field of view. We can form an image at an incredibly fast speed by manipulating the light instead of moving a mechanical object," says graduate student Reza Fatemi (MS '16), lead author of the OSA paper.

Last year, Hajimiri's team rolled out a one-dimensional version of the camera that was capable of detecting images in a line, such that it acted like a lensless barcode reader but with no mechanically moving parts. This year's advance was to build the first two-dimensional array capable of creating a full image. This first 2D lensless camera has an array composed of just 64 light receivers in an 8 by 8 grid. The resulting image has low resolution. But this system represents a proof of concept for a fundamental rethinking of camera technology, Hajimiri and his colleagues say.

The OPA chip within its larger housing. [Credit: Caltech]

 

 

"The applications are endless," says graduate student Behrooz Abiri (MS '12), coauthor of the OSA paper. "Even in today's smartphones, the camera is the component that limits how thin your phone can get. Once scaled up, this technology can make lenses and thick cameras obsolete. It may even have implications for astronomy by enabling ultra-light, ultra-thin enormous flat telescopes on the ground or in space."

"The ability to control all the optical properties of a camera electronically using a paper-thin layer of low-cost silicon photonics without any mechanical movement, lenses, or mirrors, opens a new world of imagers that could look like wallpaper, blinds, or even wearable fabric," says Hajimiri. Next, the team will work on scaling up the camera by designing chips that enable much larger receivers with higher resolution and sensitivity.

VIDEO: At Caltech, engineers have developed a new camera design that replaces the lenses with an ultra-thin optical phased array (OPA). The OPA does computationally what lenses do using large pieces of glass: It manipulates incoming light to capture an image.

The study is titled, "An 8X8 Heterodyne Lens-less OPA Camera." This research was funded by the Rothenberg Innovation Initiative (RI2), previously known as the Caltech Innovation Initiative (CI2).

Published September 2017

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