March 19, 2019 Volume 15 Issue 11

Mechanical News & Products

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New 3D-printing resin creates static-dissipative parts

The new xESD resin from Nexa3D, a leading maker of ultrafast professional and industrial polymer 3D printers, is a rigid photoplastic material with a stable carbon nanotube dispersion that delivers optimal static-dissipative performance and isotropic mechanical properties, which are required by the electronics manufacturing industry. The xESD resin allows users to create custom jigs, fixtures, grippers, assembly aides, and enclosures in hours without the risk of ESD damage to high-value electronic components. Available for NXE Pro series printers and the XiP desktop 3D printer.
View the video and learn what else is new from Nexa3D.


Test your knowledge: High-temp adhesives

Put your knowledge to the test by trying to answer these key questions on how to choose the right high temperature-resistant adhesive. The technical experts from Master Bond cover critical information necessary for the selection process, including questions on glass transition temperature and service temperature range. Some of the answers may surprise even the savviest of engineers.
Take the quiz.


Next-gen controlled pneumatics from Festo

Festo's controlled pneumatics combines proportional technology, sensors, and control algorithms to form a control loop. These are mechatronic pneumatic systems with innovative valve and communication technologies that enable digital influence in conjunction with closed-loop control based on a sensor variable. This creates new areas of application, especially for pressure and flow control. Learn about digitized pneumatics in tire manufacturing and how piezo technology increases valve life in wafer manufacturing.
Read the full Festo applications article.


Standard parts in hygienic design from JW Wico

JW Winco has developed a complete product family of special standard parts that combine minimal contamination tendency with optimum cleaning ability to meet the highest sanitary standards. The new GN 6226 spacers, which avoid duplicate mounting surfaces, join the existing range of knobs, U-handles, hand levers, indexing plungers, latches, cover sleeves, leveling feet, and screws. In all cases, stainless steel with vibratory finished or polished surfaces is used as the material.
Learn more.


Small valves prevent big blowups

Smart Products USA says their best example of a true relief valve can be found in Models #103 and #109. Available as a 1/8" Male NPT style, these valves are easily placed into plastic, metal, or other materials with absolutely no tubing involved. While the majority of the company's valves function as both a check and pressure-relief flow control option, Models #103 and #109 are more suited to only relieve pressure. When pressure builds to a designated PSI level, this spring-loaded valve responds and allows flow of liquids/gasses slowly to prevent blowups or damage.
Learn more.


Great Resources: EXAIR Case Study Library

Learn how EXAIR compressed air-operated products improved production rates, lowered defects, increased safety, and provided quick ROI. Each of the more than 40 studies includes an application goal, the process problems before EXAIR, and the final improvements achieved. EXAIR's real-world gains include dollars saved, SCFM saved, decibels lowered, quality improvements, and more.
Check out the case study library.


New igus polymer spherical ball strengthens food safety

To make food-processing facilities and machinery even safer, igus, the Germany-based manufacturer of motion plastics, has launched a new standard in the form of the high-performance plastic iglide A181 as a spherical ball material for the igubal Food Contact (FC) joint system. Moving on stainless steel shafts, the spherical cap is three times more wear resistant than the previous version made from iglide FC180. It also costs 25% less and is self-lubricating, maintenance-free, and FDA and EU 10/2011 compliant.
Learn more.


Photo-chemical etching: What design engineers need to know

Dr. Angel Lopez, director of Business Development at micrometal GmbH, one of Europe's leading photo-chemical etching providers, discusses what considerations design engineers need to bear in mind when working with this versatile and sophisticated metal machining technology that produces complex and feature-rich metal parts and components that are burr and stress free.
Read the full article.


Honing a life-saver for aerospace component maker

Fuse pins are designed to hold a jet engine on a wing, but to break away in emergency situations, allowing the engine to separate from the wing to prevent catastrophic structural failure and fires. Learn how Sonic Industries relies on Sunnen's SV-1000 honing system to produce the 5- to 7-micron ID tolerance and proprietary finish critical to this part's performance. The CNC-controlled SV-1000 allowed Sonic to meet ramped-up customer demand when it replaced a manual honing system, decreasing cycle times dramatically and increasing part production.
Read the Sunnen case study.


Adhesives for titanium: Lap shear strength tests

When it comes to bonding titanium to itself or to other substrates, Master Bond has formulated a range of reliable, high-strength adhesives that yielded excellent results when tested for their lap shear strength using titanium substrates. Titanium is known for its high strength, corrosion resistance, and heat transfer properties. See the results of which epoxies performed the best when also considering different processing and operation conditions.
Read the Master Bond results.


One Touch Fasteners slash set-up times

Quick-release One Touch Fasteners from Fixtureworks provide quick and easy locking and unlocking for fixture plates, covers, machine components, and more. These quarter-turn clamping fasteners have clearly visible ON and OFF markings and are ideal for fast-changeover applications and frequent disassembly, providing reliable hold up to 100 lb. Lots of versions available, including standard, retractable, heavy duty, and knob- and button-locking pins.
Learn more and see case study examples.


Desktop Metal qualifies nickel alloy Inconel 625 for 3D printing on Studio System 2

3D-printer maker Desktop Metal has qualified the use of the nickel alloy Inconel 625 (IN625) for its Studio System, an office-friendly metal additive manufacturing system that prints high-performance metal parts in low volumes for pre-production and end-use applications. IN625 is a high-performance alloy known for high levels of strength, temperature resistance, and corrosion resistance.
Read the full article.


6 advanced FDM 3D-printing tips when adding metal parts to your build

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D-printing machines use thermoplastic resins and strong, tough materials for real applications. Learn from the experts at TriMech how to prepare for incorporating metal parts such as bushings, hex nuts, roller chain, and rods into FDM builds to create complicated parts that need to stand up to repeated use.
View the TriMech video.


Electromagnetic interference O-rings case study

Specialty Silicone Products (SSP) recently supplied hot vulcanized EMI (electromag-netic interference) O-rings to a company that needed to replace EMI gaskets that had failed EMC testing. EMI O-rings made of electrically conductive silicones combine reliable environmental sealing and broad temperature resistance with proven levels of shielding against EMI. Learn how hot vulcanizing with a conductive adhesive, the joining process that SSP uses, eliminates EMI leakage and a "hard spot" where ends are joined using a non-conductive adhesive.
Read this informative SSP case study.


5 new manufacturing options from Xometry

Get the parts you need made fast and at a great price. Xometry has added five new manufacturing options to their quoting engine: Die Casting, Metal Extrusion, Metal Stamping, Laser Tube Cutting, and Tube Bending. Experts will manually quote these options and work closely with you to ensure the best outcome and success. Get your quote today, and get started on your next metal production order.
Learn more.


Hydrogel-based solar-powered moisture harvester collects and cleans water from air

Access to clean water remains one of the biggest challenges facing humankind. A breakthrough by engineers at The University of Texas at Austin may offer a new solution through solar-powered technology that absorbs moisture from the air and returns it as clean, usable water.

The breakthrough, described in a recent issue of the journal Advanced Materials, could be used in disaster situations, water crises, or poverty-stricken areas and developing countries. The technology relies on hydrogels, gel-polymer hybrid materials designed to be "super sponges" that can retain large amounts of water.

A research team led by Guihua Yu in UT Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering combined hydrogels that are both highly water absorbent and can release water upon heating. This unique combination has been successfully proved to work in humid and dry weather conditions and is crucial to enabling the production of clean, safe drinking water from the air.

With an estimated 50,000 cubic kilometers of water contained in the atmosphere, this new system could tap into those reserves and potentially lead to small, inexpensive, and portable filtration systems.

"We have developed a completely passive system where all you need to do is leave the hydrogel outside and it will collect water," said Fei Zhao, a postdoctoral researcher on Yu's team and co-author of the study. "The collected water will remain stored in the hydrogel until you expose it to sunlight. After about five minutes under natural sunlight, the water releases."


VIDEO: A research team led by Guihua Yu in UT Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering combined hydrogels that are both highly water absorbent and can release water upon heating. This unique combination has been successfully proven to work in humid and dry weather conditions and is crucial to enabling the production of clean, safe drinking water from the air.

This technology builds upon a 2018 breakthrough made by Yu and Zhao in which they developed a solar-powered water purification innovation using hydrogels that cleans water from any source using only solar energy. The team's new innovation takes that work a step further by using the water that already exists in the atmosphere. For both hydrogel-based technologies, Yu and his research team developed a way to combine materials that possess both hygroscopic (water-absorbing) qualities and thermal-responsive hydrophilicity (the ability to release water upon simple heating).

"The new material is designed to both harvest moisture from the air and produce clean water under sunlight, avoiding intensive energy consumption," said Yu, an associate professor of materials science and mechanical engineering.

Harvesting water from moisture is not exactly a new concept. Most refrigerators keep things cool through a vapor condensation process. However, the common fridge requires lots of energy to perform that action. The UT team's technology requires only solar power, is compact, and can still produce enough water to meet the daily needs of an average household. Prototype tests showed daily water production of up to 50 liters per kilogram of hydrogel.

Representing a novel strategy to improve upon atmospheric water harvesting techniques being used today, the technology could also replace core components in existing solar-powered water purification systems or other moisture-absorbing technologies.

Yu and his team have filed a patent, and Yu is working with UT's Office of Technology Commercialization on the licensing and commercialization of this innovative class of hydrogels. The research was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.

Source: Cockrell School of Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

Published March 2019

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