November 28, 2017 Volume 13 Issue 44

Mechanical News & Products

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Build-to-order knobs and hand hardware

Rogan Corp.'s innovative use of two-shot plastic injection and insert molding has been providing customers with high-quality plastic clamping knobs, levers, and control knobs for almost 90 years. Rogan offers concurrent engineering, product design, and assistance in material selection to ensure customer satisfaction for standard or customized parts, with a focus on cost optimization and on-time delivery. Custom colors, markings, decorative inlays, or engineered materials to meet special requirements, such as adding extra strength or utilizing flame-retardant material, are all offered.
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Slewing ring bearing made of wood and plastic

The PRT-02-30-WPC slewing ring bearing is another step forward by igus toward integrating renewable raw materials into industrial production. Made of 50% wood and 50% high-performance plastics, the cost-effective and lubrication-free slewing ring bearing balances strength and durability with a proven low CO2 footprint. The materials incorporate solid lubricants, making the new slewing ring bearing smooth running and maintenance-free.
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Flex Locators for quick fixture changeover

Flex Locators from Fixtureworks are designed for quick changeover of small and large fixtures, automation components, and more. They are ideal for applications that require frequent disassembly, providing excellent repeatability for locating and clamping in a single operation. Manual and pneumatic versions are available. Just turn the handle, knob, or screw!
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Copper foam -- so many advantages

Copper foam from Goodfellow combines the outstanding thermal conductivity of copper with the structural benefits of a metal foam. These features are of particular interest to design engineers working in the fields of medical products and devices, defense systems and manned flight, power generation, and the manufacture of semiconductor devices. This product has a true skeletal structure with no voids, inclusions, or entrapments. A perennial favorite of Designfax readers.
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New torque inserts provide design flexibility

Reell's TI-330 torque insert completes the gap in torque range between the TI-320 and TI-340 models in the TI-300 series, providing enhanced design flexibility for a wider range of applications. With torque options ranging from 1.0 to 2.5 Nm, the TI-330 features a powdered metal package configuration designed to be press-fit into round holes for quick and easy installation. Mounting profile options include exposed knurled shaft end and a knurled zinc adapter for installation into plastics.
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Superior fastening solution for securing rotating components to a shaft

SDP/SI Shaftloc® fasteners offer distinct advantages over other fastening methods when securing rotating components to a shaft. The key to this compact, efficient design is its asymmetric thread geometry that produces a greater clamping force -- outperforming other fastening methods. Shaftloc is a patented fastening system manufactured by SDP/SI.
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Great design: Handle with integrated lighting/signaling

Signaling and indicator lights, switches, and buttons -- elements that hardly any machine can do without. The new JW Winco cabinet U-handle EN 6284 integrates all these functions into a single, compact element. The new U-handle is designed to enhance the operation of systems and machines. It features an integrated button and a large, colored, backlit area on the back of the handle. These elements can be used individually or in combination, providing a versatile tool for system control and process monitoring that can be seen from across the room.
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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.
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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.


How to float your coffee creamer: Study explains how droplets can 'levitate' on liquid surfaces

By Jennifer Chu, MIT

A drop or two of cold cream in hot coffee can go a long way toward improving one's morning. But what if the two liquids didn't mix?

MIT scientists have now explained why, under certain conditions, a droplet of liquid should not coalesce with the liquid surface below. If the droplet is very cold, and the bath sufficiently hot, then the droplet should "levitate" on the bath's surface, as a result of the flows induced by the temperature difference.

The team's results, published in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, offer a detailed, mathematical understanding of drop coalescence, which can be observed in everday phenomena, from milk poured in coffee to raindrops skittering across puddles, and sprays created in surf zones.

The results may help researchers understand how biological or chemical substances are spread by rain or other sprays in nature. They could also serve as a guide for droplet-based designs, such as in microfluidic chips, in which droplets carrying various reagents can be designed to mix only in certain locations in a chip, at certain temperatures. With this new understanding, researchers could also engineer droplets to act as mechanical ball bearings in zero-gravity environments.

VIDEO: This video shows that a temperature difference between a droplet and a bath can help levitate droplets without any direct contact.

"Based on our new theory, engineers can determine what is the initial critical temperature difference they need to maintain two drops separately, and what is the maximum weight that a bearing constructed from these levitating drops would be able to sustain," says Michela Geri, a graduate student in MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering and the study's lead author. "If you have a fundamental understanding, you can start designing things the way you want them to work."

Geri's co-authors are Bavand Keshavarz, a lecturer in mechanical engineering, John Bush, professor of applied mathematics in MIT's Department of Mathematics, and Gareth McKinley, the School of Engineering Professor of Teaching Innovation.

An uplifting experiment
The team's results grew out of a question that Bush posed in his graduate course 18.357 (Interfacial Phenomena): Why should a temperature difference play a role in a droplet's coalescence, or mixing?

Geri, who was taking the course at the time, took on the challenge, first by carrying out a series of experiments in McKinley's lab.

She built a small box, about the size of an espresso cup, with acrylic walls and a metal floor, which she placed on a hot/cold plate. She filled the cube with a bath of silicone oil, and just above the surface of the bath she set a syringe through which she pumped droplets of silicone oil of the same viscosity. In each series of experiments, she set the temperature of the hot/cold plate, and measured the temperatures of the oil pumped through the syringe and at the surface of the bath.

Geri used a high-speed camera to record each droplet, at 2,000 frames per second, from the time it was released from the syringe to the time at which it mixed thoroughly with the bath. She performed this experiment using silicone oils with a range of viscosities, from water-like to 500 times thicker.

She found that droplets appeared to levitate on a bath's surface as the temperature gradient between the two fluids increased. She was able to levitate a droplet, delaying its coalescence, by as long as 10 seconds, by maintaining a temperature difference of up to 30 deg C, or 86 deg F, comparable to the difference between a drop of cold milk on a bath of hot black coffee.

Geri plotted the data and observed that the droplet's residence time on the bath's surface seemed to depend on the initial temperature difference between the two fluids, raised to the power of two-thirds. She also noticed that there exists a critical temperature difference at which a droplet of a given viscosity will not mix but instead levitate on a liquid surface.

"We saw this relationship clearly in the lab and then tried to develop a theory in hopes of rationalizing that dependence," Geri says.

A cushion's character
The team first looked to characterize the layer of air separating the droplet from the bath. The researchers hypothesized that a temperature difference between the two fluids may influence this air cushion, which may in turn act to keep a droplet afloat.

To investigate this idea mathematically, the researchers performed a calculation, referred to in fluid mechanics as a lubrication analysis, in which they appropriately simplified the complex equations describing fluid motion, to describe the flow of air between the droplet and the bath.

Through these equations, they found that temperature differences between the fluid drop and the fluid bath create convection, or circulating currents in the intervening layer of air. The greater the temperature difference, the stronger the air currents, and the greater the pressure that pushes against the droplet's weight, preventing it from sinking and making contact with the bath.

"We found the force coming from the droplet's weight and the force coming from the recirculation of the air layer will balance at a point, and to get that balance, you need a minimum, or critical temperature difference, in order for the droplet to levitate," Geri says.

Inside a single drop
Next, the team looked for a mathematical explanation for why they observed the 2:3 relationship between the amount of time a droplet levitates on a liquid surface and the initial temperature difference between the two fluids.

"For that, we had to think about how the temperature of the drop changes over time and approaches the temperature of the bath," Geri says.

"With a temperature difference, you generate a flow inside the drop, drawing up heat from the bath, which circulates around until the droplet temperature is the same as the bath and you don't levitate anymore," Bush adds. "We were able to describe that process mathematically."

To do so, the researchers adapted another set of equations, which describe the mixing of two fluids. They used the equations to model a warm parcel of liquid within the droplet that has been warmed by the bath below. They were able to characterize how that parcel of liquid mixed with the colder portions of the droplet, warming the entire droplet over time.

Through this modeling, they could observe how the temperature difference between fluids decreased over time, to the point at which a droplet stopped levitating and ultimately mixed with the rest of the bath.

"If you study that process mathematically, you can show the way in which temperature is changing in the droplet over time is exactly with this power law of 2/3 that we observed in our experiments," Geri says.

Bush says that their results can be used to characterize the spread of certain chemical and biological agents that are transferred through raindrops and sprays.

"There are a lot of biological and chemical mixing events that involve droplet interactions, including in the surf zone, with waves breaking and small drops flying everywhere, and in hot tubs, with bubbles bursting and releasing droplets that skitter along the surface," Bush says. "The rate at which these agents mix will depend on how long drops stay afloat before coalescing. Now we know that depends on temperature, and we can say exactly how."

This research was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation and MIT Energy Initiative through the Energy Fellowship Program.

Published November 2017

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