Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Selecting the Right Tapered Roller Bearing for Your Application

Tapered roller bearings are widely used throughout the North American market as an economical solution for friction management in machine design. While there are many standard catalog bearings available in the marketplace, demanding applications often require engineered solutions in order to optimize machine performance and minimize downtime.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Automotive, Mechanical Components
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Contacts for Hi-Rel Connectors: Comparing Technologies

Contact design is critical to the performance of any connector — especially for devices that must function in harsh environments where extremes of temperature, shock, and vibration are to be encountered. Yet there are many different contact styles, and each supplier will claim an advantage. This article aims to set out clearly and concisely the merits and drawbacks of each of the main styles.

Posted in: Articles, Products, Fastening, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components, Finite element analysis, Connectors and terminals, Connectors and terminals, Durability, Reliability, Durability, Reliability
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Products of Tomorrow: November 2017

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that innovation.

Posted in: Articles, Products, Batteries, Energy Storage, Fluid Handling, Implants & Prosthetics, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Robotics, Ultracapacitors and supercapacitors, Ultracapacitors and supercapacitors, Air pollution, Medical equipment and supplies
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Soft Robotic Gripper Manipulates Objects Without Training

An engineering team at the University of California San Diego has designed and built a gripper that can pick up and manipulate objects without needing to see them and without being trained. The gripper is unique because it brings together three different capabilities. It can twist objects, it can sense objects, and it can build models of the objects it’s manipulating. This allows the gripper to operate in low light and low visibility conditions, for example.

Posted in: INSIDER, Mechanical Components
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Plasma-Assisted Catalytic Reverse Water Gas Shift Reactor

For improving CO2 conversions for a low-temperature CO2 methanation process, a mechanism of using reverse water gas shift (RWGS) reaction as an intermediate step to generate the more reactive CO species for the methanation process was developed. The challenge was to achieve useful conversions of RWGS reaction (CO2 to CO by hydrogenation) at low temperatures (200-300 °C), which is not possible with conventional catalytic reactors. Achieving useful conversions (up to ~50%) is not possible at the desired temperature window of 200-300 °C with a conventional catalytic reactor due to equilibrium limitations of the endothermic RWGS reactor.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Folding-Tube Deployable Solar Array

Future space missions incorporating solar electric propulsion (SEP) will require large solar arrays that are an order of magnitude larger than the current state of the art for deployable arrays. This invention is a structural concept for such an array, and was designed to enable large arrays that package compactly and are exceptionally lightweight.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Vented Launch Vehicle Adapter for a Manned Spacecraft With “Pusher” Launch Abort System

A Launch Vehicle Adapter (LVA) was developed that provides a structural interface between a Commercial Crew Vehicle (CCV) Crew Module/Service Module Spacecraft (CM/SM) and an expendable launch vehicle. It also provides a means to control the exhaust plume from a pusher type launch abort system integrated into the Service Module.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Delayed Latching Mechanism

Uncontrolled and rapid movement of equipment and people through security gates has been a major problem for security personnel. In situations pertaining to facility security, it is desirable to delay the passage of a person through an entrance or an exit for a small interval of time, such as several seconds or up to a minute. Often, authorization to proceed is provided by an electronic signal to unlock the passageway. Such electronic signals are initiated remotely by a person in authority, such as a guard in a control room viewing a security camera, or a person who verifies the identity of the requester through a two-way audio connection.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Multifunctional Hot Structure (HOST) Heat Shield

Traditional heat shield design isolates the functions of the thermal protection system (TPS) from the underlying load-carrying structure. This is due to the use of brittle TPS material that cannot carry the structural loads and that ablate during planetary entry. To isolate the TPS, the traditional approach has been to either bond a strain isolation pad between the TPS and structure or to design the structure significantly thick to eliminate bending loads transferred to the TPS. Adhesive is used to bond the TPS to the pad and/or structure. These bond lines can be a source of stress concentrations and manufacturing flaws.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Feed Mechanism and Method for Feeding Minute Components

Electrical circuits such as printed wiring boards or hybrid microcircuits designed to utilize surface mount electrical components are commonly assembled by computer-controlled automated equipment. These machines typically use a vacuum nozzle to pick up and handle the components during assembly. Three methods are commonly used to feed surface mount components to automatic assembly equipment: tape reel feeders, linear or bowl-type vibratory feeders, or waffle-style packages.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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