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April 22, 2014Volume 10 Issue 16


Image - Molded Nylon Special Standard Round Spacers
Molded Nylon Special Standard Round Spacers
Micro Plastics announces a new product line of Special Standard Round Spacers. The new line of molded nylon round spacers includes over 250 sizes, with diameters of 1/8" through 1 1/2" and lengths from 1/8" to 2 3/4". These tough, resilient spacers can be used in a variety of assemblies. Useful in electronic and electrical applications, they may also be used as bushings, bearings, rollers, gliders, and bumpers. They are resistant to vibration, abrasion, and corrosion; are electrically insulating; and have a high strength-to-weight ratio.
Click here to learn more.

In this issue of Designfax

  • NASA researchers tackle sonic boom
  • 3D-printing material simulates polypropylene
  • Turn any smartphone into powerful microscope
  • Wheels: Midsize SUV overlap front crash test
  • Mike Likes: Monitor engine oil condition
  • Engineer's Toolbox: Wind turbine gasket design
  • Smalley's makes 'invisible' parts easy to find
  • Self-clinching fasteners for ultra-thin stainless
  • Cageless and high-peak torque motors
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • Fly using Rockwell Collins head-up display
    • High-altitude wind turbine goes for world record
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Navy model plane flies on seawater
    • Army tests improved coatings for howitzer spindles
    • A new twist produces better steel
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: The Lockheed Martin future supersonic advanced concept [Image Credit: NASA/Lockheed Martin]

News

Lockheed Martin researchers claim breakthrough in robotics for space exploration

NASA marks major program milestone for spaceport of the future

Navy's laser weapon is ready for summer deployment

Nanoparticle-based coating for aircraft engines may triple service life and reduce fuel consumption



Feature articles

Image - NASA researchers team up to tackle sonic boom
NASA researchers team up to tackle sonic boom
Since the Concorde's final landing at London's Heathrow Airport nearly a decade ago, commercial supersonic air travel has been as elusive as a piece of lost luggage. However, this hasn't stopped NASA from continuing the quest to develop solutions that will help get supersonic passenger travel off the ground once more.
Read the full article.

Image - 3D-printing material simulates polypropylene
3D-printing material simulates polypropylene
3D-printing heavyweight Stratasys has made a new additive manufacturing material available, and it may prove to be a real boon for engineers who prototype household appliances, consumer goods, automotive parts, and lab equipment.
Read the full article.

Image - Simple lens turns any smartphone into a powerful portable microscope
Simple lens turns any smartphone into a powerful portable microscope
The Micro Phone Lens, developed by University of Washington mechanical engineering alumnus Thomas Larson ('13), can turn any smartphone or tablet computer into a hand-held microscope. The soft, pliable lens sticks to a device's camera without any adhesive or glue and makes it possible to see things magnified dozens of times on the screen.
Read the full article.

Image - Wheels: <br>Small overlap front crash test proves big challenge for midsize SUVs
Wheels:
Small overlap front crash test proves big challenge for midsize SUVs

The Chevrolet Equinox and its twin, the GMC Terrain, are the only midsize SUVs out of nine evaluated to earn a good rating in the IIHS small overlap front crash test, which continues to challenge manufacturers more than a year and a half after its introduction.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>Monitor engine oil condition in all kinds of machinery
Mike Likes:
Monitor engine oil condition in all kinds of machinery

Make interval oil changes a thing of the past using the new STAUFF Oil Quality Sensor (OQS). This unit monitors oil condition and can be permanently mounted within any lubrication system on nearly any type of machine, including: diesel and gas engines, compressors, industrial gear reducers, wind turbines, generator sets, hydraulic systems, and more. OQS measures the energy loss component of oil permittivity. All contaminants such as metallic particles, soot, water, oxidization, glycol, and particularly burnt fuel dilution increase this measured value. Data can be displayed on your existing system or on the STAUFF Oil Quality Display (OQD). This is an excellent way to build extra, billable value into your designs.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>Freudenberg puts FEA seal of approval on wind turbine gasket design using SIMULIA
Engineer's Toolbox:
Freudenberg puts FEA seal of approval on wind turbine gasket design using SIMULIA

How are gaskets designed to ensure long-term performance? For the extreme conditions that wind turbine components must endure, including operating in desert sandstorms and in frigid, corrosive salt water, the goal is shifted from creating an optimal part -- one that performs excellently under a very limited set of nominal conditions -- to making a robust one that works acceptably under a wider, pre-specified range of circumstances.
Read the full article.

Image - Smalley's new website makes 'invisible' parts easy to find
Smalley's new website makes 'invisible' parts easy to find
What do the Mars Lander and high-performance athletic shoes have in common? You could stare at them all day and never come up with the right answer. That's because what they share isn't visible to the naked eye. Each contains an internal component from the Smalley Steel Ring Company, the world leader in the manufacturing and development of Spirolox® Retaining Rings, Constant Section Rings, and Wave Springs. While invisibility is a huge advantage for some technology, when it comes to the Internet, engineering design professionals and other consumers need to be able to sight what they're after quickly and easily. That's why Smalley has just launched a full redesign of their website, www.smalley.com, which features improved navigation, new functionality, and updated content that reflects the cutting-edge solutions the company offers.
Check out the new Smalley website.

Image - Self-clinching standoffs for ultra-thin stainless steel assemblies
Self-clinching standoffs for ultra-thin stainless steel assemblies
New PEM Type TSO4 self-clinching stainless steel standoffs from PennEngineering provide ideal fastener solutions for stacking or spacing components to (or from) ultra-thin stainless steel panels. These specially hardened stainless fasteners install reliably and permanently into stainless steel sheets as thin as .025 in./0.63 mm with only a single mating screw required for final component attachment. They ultimately enable lighter designs by minimizing hardware count and offer the added benefit of excellent corrosion resistance for an assembly.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Cageless and high-peak torque motors
Cageless and high-peak torque motors
When an application does not require a motor to be in a caged structure, the TML and TMM cageless and high-peak torque motors from ETEL are lighter, lower-cost alternatives to ETEL's better known TMB model, yet still provide a direct-drive technology option. These motors can provide an ideal solution for applications that have less-demanding continuous-torque requirements. They are able to provide the same peak torque as the famous TMB range with up to 5,000 Nm and reach speeds to 2,100 rpm. The TML/TMM both come in multiple standard sizes that vary in diameter, length, and power, and each model offers different types of coil winding providing more performance variations.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue

Image - Wheels (and wings): <br>U.S. Navy flies scale-model WWII plane on seawater fuel
Wheels (and wings):
U.S. Navy flies scale-model WWII plane on seawater fuel

Navy researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Materials Science and Technology Division, have demonstrated a proof-of-concept technology by flying a radio-controlled scale-model airplane with liquid hydrocarbon fuel derived from seawater.
Read the full article.

Image - Army tests improved coatings for howitzer spindles
Army tests improved coatings for howitzer spindles
Efforts by U.S. Army engineers at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, to implement an improved coating for howitzer breech spindles aim to provide several benefits: easing the logistical burden on Soldiers, reducing hazardous waste, and saving millions of dollars. The engineers evaluated 12 material formulations in small samples and then down-selected to three based on performance and cost.
Read the full article.

Image - A new twist produces better steel
A new twist produces better steel
In steel making, two desirable qualities -- strength and ductility -- tend to be at odds: Stronger steel is less ductile, and more ductile steel is not as strong. Engineers at Brown University, three Chinese universities, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have shown that when cylinders of steel are twisted, their strength is improved without sacrificing ductility.
Read the full article.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
Fly using Rockwell Collins head-up display
Rockwell Collins' Senior Manager of Head-up Guidance Systems (HGS) Flight Operations, Dean Schwab, demonstrates how easy and intuitive it is to operate HGS. The demonstration was completed in the company's Portland, OR-based simulator. The simulated approach was into the mountainous region of Innsbruck, Austria, demonstrating how synthetic vision greatly enhances situational awareness. Rockwell Collins is the only company that has certified synthetic vision on a head-up display. The company has a newer video about this technology, featuring the EVS-3000 enhanced vision sensor along with the capability to display both synthetic vision and enhanced vision in a head-up display, but this video does the best job of explaining using the technology. Remember, keep the little circle inside the slightly bigger circle ...
View the video.

Video Image
High-altitude wind turbine aims to break world record in Alaska
Altaeros Energies, a wind energy company formed out of MIT, says that its demonstration project south of Fairbanks, Alaska, is set to break the world record for the highest wind turbine ever deployed. The $1.3 million, 18-month project will send the Altaeros BAT to a height 1,000 ft above ground -- over 275 ft taller than the current record-holding ground-based wind turbine. The BAT (Buoyant Airborne Turbine) project, partially financed by the Alaska Energy Authority's Emerging Energy Technology Fund, will also be the first long-term demonstration of an airborne wind turbine. The BAT uses a helium-filled, inflatable shell to lift to high altitudes where winds are stronger and more consistent than those reached by traditional tower-mounted turbines. These high-altitude winds help generate twice the power of ground-based systems, according to Altaeros engineers.
View the video.

Video Image

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