Engineers at TBS Engineering presented researchers at C4 Carbides (Cambridge, England) with a problem: Design an efficient gripping system for a new type of premium grade battery where lead cells are encased in a glass fiber compound. The lead plates weigh up to 15 kg and cannot be out of alignment during the production process or the battery will malfunction or fail. The C4 Carbides solution: A process where tungsten grit is metalurgically bonded with a nickel braze to almost any steel alloy substrate, achieving a coefficient of friction greater than 1.6. "Tungsten grit not only gives us the grip we require, without deforming the lead cells, but is also easy to keep clean as the lead oxide--a dirty and sticky substance--doesn't adhere to the surface," says Chris Barge, engineering manager at TBS. Tungsten grit is a rising star among precision gripping, grabbing, and clamping operations. Other applications include a cable clamp for submarine fiber optics and gripping clamps for the oil industry to protect the stainless steel pipes used in the extrusion of copper pipes. Phone Bob Nicolson at +44 (0) 1223-506406 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
One way to keep a Formula One racing team moving at breakneck speed in the pit and at the test facility is to bring CAD drawings of the racing vehicleís parts down to the test facility and even out to the track.
Most of us would just as soon step on a cockroach rather than study it, but thatís just what researchers at UC Berkeley did in the pursuit of building small, nimble robots suitable for disaster-recovery and search-and-rescue missions.
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