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May 20, 2014Volume 10 Issue 19


Image - Protomold Demo Mold
Protomold Demo Mold
Our Demo Mold is an instructive plastic model that shows the injection-molding mechanics behind the production of parts. See how the A and B sides of a mold interact with ejector pins, side-actions, gates, runners and other design features to create the prototypes that product designers and engineers see every day.
Order a free Demo Mold now.

In this issue of Designfax

  • 6 reasons to use plastic spherical bearings
  • Micro Solutions: Redundancy in stepper motors
  • Thermal chips may kill the flashlight
  • Stealth technology gets a new edge
  • Mike Likes: Wavo -- The new spring in town
  • Engineer's Toolbox: Seamless, morphing plane wings
  • New locknut design
  • Hydraulic couplings for rugged applications
  • Pumps and compressors with options
  • Expanded line of TPEs for overmolding
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • Designing welded structures made easy
    • Giant 3D printer makes walls for houses
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Smaller tails on jet airliners
    • Metal injection molding (MIM) in firearms
    • Wheels: Low-cost, hydrogen-powered forklifts
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion, Special: Materials
    Cover Image: Metamaterials redefine antenna design [Image: BAE Systems]

News

Safer, easier-to-recycle all-carbon lithium battery developed by Rensselaer researchers

Boeing showcases interior upgrades for next-generation 737s

New laser technology aims to divert lightning strikes

New class of industrial polymers discovered by IBM Research



Image - A Robot Coming Out of its Cage
A Robot Coming Out of its Cage
Universal Robots has reinvented industrial robotics with lightweight and flexible robot arms. The Danish-designed robots automate production in all industries -- even in SMBs that regard automation as prohibitively expensive, cumbersome, and difficult to integrate. Based on risk assessment, the robot arms can operate with no safety guarding and are easily moved around to complete the most detailed tasks. Programming is done through an intuitive touch screen, eliminating the need for skilled programmers. Sold in over 50 countries worldwide, the average ROI of a UR robot is three to eight months.

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Feature articles

Image - 6 reasons to use plastic spherical bearings
6 reasons to use plastic spherical bearings
When starting work on a new project that requires motion control, one of the most important considerations is what bearings to use. You might be more inclined to stick with bulky, robust steel or bronze bearings without thinking about the upsides of plastic bearings. However, in most applications, plastic spherical bearings deliver a better performance than their metal counterparts.
Read the full article.

Image - Micro Solutions: <br>Implementing redundancy in stepper motors
Micro Solutions:
Implementing redundancy in stepper motors

Some of the recent research activities in the area of electric motor drives for safety-critical applications (such as aerospace and nuclear power plants) are focused on looking at various fault-tolerant motor and drive topologies. After discussing different solutions, this article focuses on a miniature permanent magnet (PM) stepper motor design that provides increased redundancy.
Read the full article.

Image - Raytheon thermal chips may just kill the flashlight
Raytheon thermal chips may just kill the flashlight
New, low-cost chips for sensing thermal energy could lead to a raft of new night-vision products, engineers say, ushering in everything from smarter cars to handheld devices for spelunking. A new technology used by Raytheon, called "wafer-level packaging," dramatically reduces the cost of making these thermal sensors.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels (and wings): <br>Stealth technology gets a new edge from a flat antenna lens that thinks it's curved
Wheels (and wings):
Stealth technology gets a new edge from a flat antenna lens that thinks it's curved

UK scientists from BAE Systems and Queen Mary University (London) have seemingly defied the laws of physics by creating a novel composite material that has been used to manufacture a new type of antenna lens.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>Wavo -- The new spring in town
Mike Likes:
Wavo -- The new spring in town

Wavo Springs are produced from round-section wire to provide higher loads while maintaining the accurate loading found in wave springs. As an alternative to Belleville Springs, the Wavo provides similar loads but with an accurate, predictable spring rate. Available from stock in 1/2" to 6" diameters.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>Seamless, morphing plane wing technology introduced by FlexSys
Engineer's Toolbox:
Seamless, morphing plane wing technology introduced by FlexSys

A Michigan company called FlexSys demonstrated its FlexFoil seamless morphing-wing control technology at the AIAA convention in Washington, DC, earlier this year. The creation of a variable-geometry airfoil has been a long-sought target chased by the defense and commercial aviation industries and researchers for several decades.
Read the full article.

Image - New locknut design
New locknut design
Advanced Machine & Engineering (AME), has introduced the new Spieth Type MSF Locknut designed for limited-space applications. The geometry for the mechanism of the locknut is based on Spieth's diaphragm principle, in which the load and locking parts are constructed from one piece. The locknuts are produced with common pitches and are available in metric sizes ranging from M25 to M100. The "vise-like" locking feature also allows the locknut to remain locked without additional components such as pins and keys to hold it in place.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Hydraulic couplings built for rugged, high-pressure applications
Hydraulic couplings built for rugged, high-pressure applications
Kurt Hydraulics' line of 6W couplings combined with high-pressure braided hose are ideally suited for applications that require high-pressure capabilities and temperature ranges from -40 deg F to 250 deg F for the oil, mining, and heavy off-road equipment Industry. The Kurt 6W Couplings are a one-piece, bite-the-wire crimp coupling with non-skive design to eliminate cover skiving before assembly to the hose. Available in 85 different types and popular sizes, these couplings make assembly simple and quick, and they eliminate leaks and in-field failures caused by shock and vibration. They can withstand ultra-high pressure up to 6,000 psi.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Pumps and compressors with options
Pumps and compressors with options
Thomas' line of twin piston pumps and compressors is designed to withstand the most demanding applications. Comprised of the 2660/2668 Series, these pumps and compressors feature air flows to 5.3 cfm (148.7 l/min), pressures to 160 psi (11 bar), and maximum vacuum to 990 mbar. The versatile platform design offers OEMs the ability to add custom options to meet or exceed their specific design criteria. The use of die-cast aluminum parts provides a strong, lightweight, and durable component. In addition to low vibration and reduced sound level, Thomas' oil-less WOB-L technology extends operating life.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Expanded line of TPEs for overmolding
Expanded line of TPEs for overmolding
Elastocon TPE Technologies has recently expanded its 2800 Series of performance TPEs (thermoplastic elastomers) to include five new grades for overmolding and coextruding onto polyethylene. The new grades, now offered in Shore A hardness ranges of 25, 40, 50, and 65, have an ultra-soft, rubber-like feel. Potential applications include, but are not limited to, mouthguards, clear straps, medical products, and pet toys, among many others. Additional applications include ovemolding for cap liners and grips for various polyethelene consumer packaging.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Can tiny actuators make for smaller tails on jet airliners?
Can tiny actuators make for smaller tails on jet airliners?
Israel Wygnanski's active flow control systems may well be pushing the aircraft industry to the brink of the next major shift in design. "This new tool could change the entire way we design airplanes," said Wygnanski, professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Arizona College of Engineering.
Read the full article.

Image - Metal injection molding (MIM) proving to be crucial element in booming firearms industry
Metal injection molding (MIM) proving to be crucial element in booming firearms industry
Metal injection molding (MIM) is a popular choice in the flourishing firearms market for producing relatively high precision at a low cost. MIM combines powder metal with a low-melt polymer to create a feedstock that is molded using conventional injection-molding equipment and molds. After molding, the plastic must be removed and the parts sintered. The result is a solid metal part created from powder metal to near net shape at 96 percent density of wrought metal.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Low-cost, hydrogen-powered forklifts with rapid refueling, zero emissions coming soon
Wheels:
Low-cost, hydrogen-powered forklifts with rapid refueling, zero emissions coming soon

Zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell systems soon could be powering the forklifts used in warehouses and other industrial settings at lower costs and with faster refueling times than ever before, courtesy of a partnership between Sandia National Laboratories and Hawaii Hydrogen Carriers (HHC). The goal of the project is to design a solid-state hydrogen storage system that can refuel at low pressure four to five times faster than it takes to charge a battery-powered forklift.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
Designing welded structures made easy
SolidWorks 3D CAD gives you the tools to create and edit welded structures with ease. With SolidWorks Weldments, using multiple bodies in a part file enables you to simplify the structure of your designs. This video demonstrates: section profiles, trimming, instant 3D, and much more. See SolidWorks Weldments in action.
View the video.

Video Image
Giant 3D printer makes walls for houses
A private company in Shanghai used four 3D printers to print the walls of 10 little houses in just one day. The cost-effective and environmentally friendly technology lays down a mixture of "construction waste" and cement in patterns that provide air and insulation space within the walls. A pretty nifty concept and a real glimpse into 3D printing capabilities to come.
View the video.

Video Image

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