Click this link if you cannot read the issue below: Designfax - Tech for OEM Design Engineers
April 23, 2013Volume 09 Issue 16

Image - New Line of Phillips Pan Machine Screws
New Line of Phillips Pan Machine Screws
Micro Plastics has added a new line to their inventory of 250 million parts! The Phillips Pan Machine Screws are molded in tough, resilient, and corrosion-resistant Nylon 6/6 material. Thread sizes included are: 4-40, 6-32, 8-32, 10-32, 1/4-20 and 1/4-28. Available in 25 standard lengths ranging from 3/32 in. up to 3 in., Micro Plastics also offers an extensive line of machine screws, including head styles such as Binder, Binder Combination, Fillister, Hex, Pan, Round, Socket, Flat, Oval, and Thumb Screws, as well as Studs, Grubs, and Flat Head Wing Screws.

Click here for more information.

In this issue of Designfax

  • How the military navigates without GPS
  • Motors for model trains
  • Battery-free infrastructure sensors
  • Wheels: World-first plastic engine support
  • NASA/Boeing hybrid-wing project
  • Engineer's Toolbox: Sensors for wind turbines
  • Fan drive control for off-highway
  • Underwater linear actuators
  • Linear motion module with motor
  • Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
    • Festo creates dragonfly bot
    • Bolts with improved fatigue performance
  • Most Popular Last Issue
    • Nuclear fusion-powered rocket
    • Wheels: Testing big-rig rear crash guards
    • Mike Likes: No-cost NASA e-books
  • New Products
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Motion
    Cover Image: Festo BionicOpter dragonfly drone


GE, Quirky partner to inspire invention and co-branded product development

State-of-the-art 3D printers cut costs, turnaround time for U.S. Army

Ford, GM partner to develop 9- and 10-speed transmissions

Difficult sales renewals? 9 power questions to use when clients ask for a discount

Image - Great alternatives to riveting or spot welding
Great alternatives to riveting or spot welding
PEM SpotFast self-clinching fasteners enable two sheets to be joined permanently in a flush-attachment connection without protrusions on either side. These practical alternatives to riveting or spot welding provide ideal solutions to attach two metal sheets too thin to weld, fasten sheets of unequal thicknesses, join dissimilar metals, attach ultra-thin metal sections, or join metal sheets to PCB or plastic panels. Their rotational capability offers additional application advantages by allowing the fastener to act as a hardened pivot point. SpotFast fasteners install smooth with the top sheet and flush or sub-flush with the bottom sheet. Can be installed in aluminum or steel sheets as thin as .030 in./0.8 mm.

Click here for fastener types and more information.

Feature articles

Image - Extreme miniaturization: <br>7 devices in one chip navigate without GPS
Extreme miniaturization:
7 devices in one chip navigate without GPS

The U.S. military relies on the space-based Global Positioning System (GPS) to aid air, land, and sea navigation. Like the GPS units in many automobiles today, a simple receiver and some processing power is all that is needed for accurate navigation. But what if the GPS satellites suddenly became unavailable due to malfunction, enemy action, or simple interference, such as driving into a tunnel?
Read the full article.

Image - Motors for model train meet demanding requirements
Motors for model train meet demanding requirements
Building an N-gauge (1:160) model train system involves working with very small units. The 1930s-inspired BR 70 locomotive from Fleischmann is only 2.25 in. long when measured buffer to buffer. As on large locomotives, traction (and on the model, power transmission) between the wheel and the track is a crucial factor. To give the unit appropriately scaled big-train power with low vibration and noise, the folks at Fleischmann turned to customized DC motors from the FAULHABER Group.
Read the full article.

Image - Stress relief: <br>Battery-free wireless 'smart skin' sensors aim to monitor aging infrastructure
Stress relief:
Battery-free wireless 'smart skin' sensors aim to monitor aging infrastructure

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are developing a novel technology that would facilitate close monitoring of structures for strain, stress, and early formation of cracks. Their approach uses ink-jet-printable wireless sensors that are low cost, require no power, and can identify structural problems at a very early stage.
Read the full article.

Image - 20-minute webinar: <br>Getting successful parts made fast
20-minute webinar:
Getting successful parts made fast

The more you know about the injection molding process, the quicker you can achieve cost-effective results and develop superior products. This 20-minute technical webinar looks at plastic part design issues, materials, moldability, and smart ways to speed up both product development and manufacturing.

Reserve my spot!

Image - Wheels: <br>World's first plastic engine support makes debut in Mercedes GL
World's first plastic engine support makes debut in Mercedes GL

The six-cylinder diesel engine in the new GL Class Mercedes features an inconspicuous world first: a plastic engine support in place of an aluminum one.
Read the full article.

Image - NASA/Boeing hybrid-wing project completes flight research
NASA/Boeing hybrid-wing project completes flight research
NASA's remotely piloted X-48C hybrid-wing-body subscale aircraft, which demonstrates technology concepts for cleaner and quieter commercial air travel, completed an eight-month flight research campaign on April 9.
Read the full article.

Image - Engineer's Toolbox: <br>The force behind sensors for wind turbines
Engineer's Toolbox:
The force behind sensors for wind turbines

Pressure sensors have played a major role in increasing the efficiency of wind turbines, boosting the growth of an industry that has the proven ability to offer stable, sustainable energy supplies and cut our carbon emissions.
Read the full article.

Image - Product Spotlight: <br>Fan drive control with reversing and zero-speed capability
Product Spotlight:
Fan drive control with reversing and zero-speed capability

Sauer-Danfoss has introduced the PLUS+1 Compliant Fan Drive Control (FDC) for the H1 family of piston pumps. FDC for H1 pumps utilizes proven closed-circuit technology to meet urgent customer demand for more efficient and robust hydraulic cooling fan systems in Tier 4-compliant, mobile off-highway equipment applications. Ideal for meeting cooling system fan power requirements in machines above 20 kw (27 hp), FDC for H1 pumps offers proportional forward control with reversing and zero-speed capability, a maximum-displacement full-forward speed fault position that reduces development costs and accelerates time to market.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Product Spotlight: <br>Underwater linear actuators
Product Spotlight:
Underwater linear actuators

Ultra Motion has developed new linear actuators that are sealed and rated for operation under water. These actuators can operate at depths up to 20,000 ft (pressure to 10,000 psi). The actuators are filled with an inert oil and are pressure compensated for deep undersea operation.
Click here to learn more.

Image - Product Spotlight: <br>Compact linear motion module with motor
Product Spotlight:
Compact linear motion module with motor

The new CKL Compact Module with linear motor from Rexroth delivers high force density in a compact package. This unit integrates an ironless linear direct-drive motor with a ball rail system for precise positioning. The CKL Compact Module supports high load ratings and high rigidity. By integrating the ironless linear motor into the module, no mechanical drive elements are required to execute movement, making for a wear-free and zero-backlash drive that enables ultra-precise positioning and long service life. It has been designed for easy configuration and installation, with pre-configured connections for power, measuring systems, and hall sensor adaptors. Available in a variety of pre-configured lengths up to 5,500 mm, with travel velocities up to 5 m/sec and acceleration up to 150 m/sec.
Click here to learn more.

Most popular last issue
Rocket powered by nuclear fusion could send humans to Mars
University of Washington researchers and scientists at a Redmond-based space-propulsion company called MSNW are building components of a fusion-powered rocket aimed to clear many of the hurdles that block deep space travel, including long times in transit, exorbitant costs, and health risks.
Read the full article.
Testing big-rig rear crash guards

Crash guards on modern semitrailers do a good job of keeping passenger vehicles from sliding underneath them, greatly increasing the chances of surviving a crash into the back of a large truck, according to recent tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). But in crashes involving only a small portion of the truck's rear, most trailers fail to prevent potentially deadly underride. That's about to change.
Read the full article.

Image - Mike Likes: <br>No-cost NASA e-books
Mike Likes:
No-cost NASA e-books

If you haven't taken a tour of the latest no-cost e-book offerings from NASA, now's the time to fill up on summer reading material. "Coming Home: Re-entry and Recovery from Space" is one of my new faves. It's 300+ pages of in-depth NASA history about re-entry aerodynamics, thermal protection, guidance and control, stability, propulsion, and landing systems. "Dressing for Altitude - U.S. Aviation Pressure Suits" is another good choice, chronicling an "indispensible part of a small fragment of the aviation world" and providing loads of historical perspective along the way. And after reading "Hubble Space Telescope: Discoveries," an interactive picture book made for all ages, you may never look at the July night sky the same way again. All titles are available in mobile and pdf formats.
Check out the NASA e-books page.

Videos+: Technologies and inspiration in action
Festo creation inspired by dragonfly flight
After tackling accurate (and mesmerizing) robotic bird flight in 2010, the mechatronics experts at Festo have turned their substantial creative talents to modeling the dragonfly at a technical level. The 175-g "BionicOpter" is a 63-cm-wide ultralight carbon-fiber/foil bot that can fly in all directions and execute complicated flight maneuvers -- all controlled by smartphone. It can move each of its wings independently, so it can slow down, turn abruptly, accelerate swiftly, and even fly backwards. Sensors, actuators, and mechanical components, as well as open- and closed-loop control systems, are all installed in a very tight space. The flapping frequency, amplitude, and angle of incidence are controlled by software and electronics, so piloting the dragonfly is quite simple. Intelligent kinematics correct any vibrations during flight and ensure flight stability. In order to stabilize the bot, data on the position and the twisting of the wings is continuously recorded and evaluated in real time during flight.
View the video.

Video Image
Bolts with improved fatigue performance
Because the Huck 360 was designed with shallow, low-notch-factor bolt threads (the grooves aren't rolled as deep as a conventional bolt), the effective diameter of the fastener itself is widened by as much as 18 percent, increasing tensile and fatigue strength. According to maker Alcoa Fastening Systems, the Huck 360 thread delivers five times the fatigue life of a standard thread bolt, and finite element analysis (FEA) reveals that the shallow thread form of the Huck 360 concentrates 27 percent less axial stress in the root than conventional bolt threads. This stress concentration is the primary contributing factor leading to stress corrosion cracks (SCC) and fatigue failures.
View the video.

Video Image

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