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December 09, 2014Volume 10 Issue 46


Image - Completely Updated New Full Line Catalog: <br>Full of New Fasteners
Completely Updated New Full Line Catalog:
Full of New Fasteners

Micro Plastics introduces its new 300-page catalog #40 containing thousands of fastening solutions for engineers and product designers. Find hundreds of new problem-solving products, including Spacers, Washers, Clips, Clamps, Ties, Bushings, Screws, Nuts, Rivets, and Plugs. Micro Plastics specializes in Nylon threaded fasteners, but the company also offers extensive product lines for wire management and circuit board hardware. FREE samples are available upon request.

Click here for more information.


In this issue of Designfax

  • UAVs, Apache helicopters collaborate
  • Wings: NASA tests shape-changing aircraft flap
  • Blu-ray improves solar cell performance
  • Wheels: Integrated exterior plastic panels
  • Mike Likes: High-hardness 3D-printing materials
  • Mobile Machines: Options for driving hydraulic pumps
  • Product: Xmas Tree-type fasteners
  • Product: Push pin heat sinks in 100,000 configurations
  • Product: High speed, no backlash, zero cogging!
  • Product: New software for battery modeling
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • 'I felt overwhelmed and didn't know what to do'
    • NASA launches Orion spacecraft for test
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Robots with guns: Army addresses challenges
    • NASA saucer named 'Best of What's New'
    • Wheels: English Racing 3D prints custom parts
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: Airbumps are first-time extensive use of TPUs in car exterior panels [Photo: PSA Peugeot Citroen/BASF SE]

News

Engineers make sound 'loud' enough to bend light on a computer chip; sound waves may become information carriers for quantum computing

Partnership aims to develop world's first commercial 3D concrete printing robot

It's TWEELy happening: Michelin opens world's first manufacturing plant to build airless radial tires

DuPont Microcircuit Materials introduces stretchable inks for wearable electronics



Feature articles

Image - Unmanned aircraft get new capabilities for teaming with Apache helicopters
Unmanned aircraft get new capabilities for teaming with Apache helicopters
The Gray Eagle and Shadow unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS -- both popular with Soldiers for the reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities they bring to the battlefield -- have proven themselves up to the challenge in a series of manned-unmanned teaming tests with the Army's newest Apache, the AH-64 "E" model. The successful tests took the two unmanned aircraft systems into the realm of true interoperability between multiple Army aviation systems.
Read the full article.

Image - Wings:<br> NASA tests shape-changing aircraft flap for first time
Wings:
NASA tests shape-changing aircraft flap for first time

This past summer, NASA, Air Force, and small-business researchers replaced an airplane's conventional aluminum flaps with advanced, shape-changing assemblies that form seamless bendable and twistable surfaces. Flight testing has begun to determine whether flexible trailing-edge wing flaps are a viable approach to improve aerodynamic efficiency and reduce noise generated during takeoffs and landings.
Read the full article.

Image - How a Blu-ray disc can improve solar cell performance
How a Blu-ray disc can improve solar cell performance
Who knew Blu-ray discs were so useful? Already one of the best ways to store high-definition movies and television shows because of their high-density data storage, Blu-ray discs also improve the performance of solar cells -- suggesting a second use for unwanted discs (as solar cell templates) -- according to new research from Northwestern University.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Integrated exterior plastic panels aim to add style and protection
Wheels:
Integrated exterior plastic panels aim to add style and protection

BASF has successfully optimized thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) so that it can be applied extensively and unpainted on a car's exterior. The automotive manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroen uses the new TPU grade Elastollan AC 55D10 HPM (High Performance Material) for cladding the Citroen C4 Cactus crossover vehicle, which has just become available for purchase in Europe. The exterior panels, called Airbumps, are full of large, air-filled cushioning bumpers.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>NanoSteel demonstrates breakthrough in high-hardness 3D-printing materials
Mike Likes:
NanoSteel demonstrates breakthrough in high-hardness 3D-printing materials

If your vision of the future is 3D printing your own high-hardness steel bearings right at your location on demand, your wish has been granted. A new development from the NanoSteel Company supports the market need for on-demand, on-site wear parts while addressing the current challenges in 3D printing of high-hardness parts. NanoSteel's powder alloy overcomes one of the major hurdles to achieving a high-hardness metallic part through additive manufacturing: the tendency to develop cracks during part builds. The company worked with a global process development partner to optimize processing of a proprietary NanoSteel alloy with a high volume fraction of borocarbide phases. This successfully produced a fully dense (99.9 percent) crack-free part with hardness values over 1000 HV, wear resistance comparable to conventionally manufactured M2 tool steels, and a uniform microstructure.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox - Mobile Machines: <br>Options for driving hydraulic pumps
Engineer's Toolbox - Mobile Machines:
Options for driving hydraulic pumps

Manufacturers of both on- and off-highway equipment must consider the desired functionality of the machine while evaluating the best approach to transfer the engine power to the desired function. The pump drive is a key decision in the layout of the machine and overall performance for the OEM.
Read the full article.

Image - Product: Xmas Tree-type fasteners
Product: Xmas Tree-type fasteners
Micro Plastics has expanded its line of Xmas Tree-type fasteners to include over 50 new standard sizes and 20 new metric sizes. These unique fastening snap-in clips feature a ribbed shank for easy installation and are molded in black nylon for corrosion, abrasion, and vibration resistance. The standard line fits holes 1/8 in. to 3/8 in. in panels .061 in. to 2 in. The metric line fits holes 3 mm to 6 mm in panels 1.6 mm to 50 mm. For free samples and Catalog #40, please visit Micro Plastics online.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Product: Push pin heat sinks in 100,000+ configurations
Product: Push pin heat sinks in 100,000+ configurations
With 108,000 possible configurations, Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc. (ATS) provides the widest choice of push pin-mounted heat sinks for cooling BGAs and other hot components. More than 200 ATS heat sinks are available with convenient push pin mounting. The lightweight aluminum heat sinks include straight fin, cross-cut, and ATS maxiFLOW spread fin geometries. More than 100 fine-pitch heat sinks are available for effective cooling in high-velocity airflows. For low-airflow conditions, another 100 sinks are available with coarse-pitch fins and wide fin spacing. The full range of heat sinks is sized for cooling components in lengths from 25 mm to 70 mm. Push pins are available in both durable plastic and brass.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Product: High speed, no backlash, and zero cogging!
Product: High speed, no backlash, and zero cogging!
MotiCont's DDLMs (Direct Drive Linear Motors) eliminate backlash and provide an economical solution for users requiring high acceleration, high speed, and long life. They are available in three popular off-the-shelf models. The smallest is only 0.75 in. in diameter and 1.75 in long. It has a stroke of 0.46 in. and features 11 oz of continuous force and 34.8 oz peak. For higher-force applications, the largest is 1.5 in. in diameter and 2 in. long and has a stroke of 0.375 in., with a continuous force of 3.1 lb and 9.9 lb peak. Custom DDLMs are easily fabricated. Typical DDLM applications include: automated assembly, component insertion, fluid dispensing, pick and place, robotics, and more.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Product: New software tool for battery modeling
Product: New software tool for battery modeling
The add-on MapleSim Battery Library allows engineers to incorporate physics-based predictive models of battery cells into their multidomain models so they can take battery behavior into account early in the design process. With this information, engineers can optimize battery and system performance, and reduce the risk of undesirable effects such as battery overheating. The MapleSim Battery Library supports both equivalent circuit and electrochemical battery models. It can be used in any modeling project that involves batteries, including consumer electronics, electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, power electronics, and energy storage in power-generation applications.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Robots with guns: Army researchers address challenges of remote lethality
Robots with guns: Army researchers address challenges of remote lethality
In popular culture, the idea of robots that perform human-like functions has a special hold on the imagination, based on real-life examples like space exploration and unmanned aerial drones, and stoked by futuristic scenarios in movies like the "Terminator" series. However, when it comes to the U.S. military integrating lethality, such as a weapon capable of firing 10 rounds per second onto an unmanned ground vehicle, issues arise such as safety, effectiveness, and reliability, as well as military doctrine on how much human involvement is required.
Read the full article.

Image - NASA saucer named 'Best of What's New'
NASA saucer named 'Best of What's New'
NASA's "flying saucer" (aka Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator project, or LDSD for short) has earned recognition from Popular Science magazine as an innovation worthy of the publication's "Best of What's New" Award in the aerospace category.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>English Racing 3D prints custom metal parts
Wheels:
English Racing 3D prints custom metal parts

When English Racing came to Metal Technologies Inc. with a challenging design for an oil pump pulley, the answer was clear: use the ProX 300 Direct Metal 3D printer by 3D Systems. See how MTI used the ProX 300 to make end-use custom parts faster than ever before and put English Racing on the winner's stand.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
'I felt overwhelmed and didn't know what to do'
This was the initial reaction from the machinist at precision engineering firm Inertia Switch in New York as he saw the Universal Robot arrive on the production floor. Watch what happens as he starts working with the user-friendly, flexible robot.
View the video.

Video Image
NASA launches Orion spacecraft for test
NASA's newest spacecraft, Orion, launched into space for the first time on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, on a flight that took it farther than any spacecraft built to carry humans has gone in more than 40 years -- and through temperatures twice as hot as molten lava to put its critical systems to the test. Learn what this vehicle and mission are all about.
View the video.

Video Image

New products

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