A start-up company in New York has developed a new vibration-proof fastening system that offers interesting opportunities for plastics molding. The company, called Permanent Technologies, uses a patented system in which the nut has one or more tines that work in conjunction with longitudinal bolt thread channels to prevent counter rotation and loosening. Months-long testing on U.S. Navy Hovercrafts proved the concept. Engineers are often loathe to try new designs, but this is worth a look—particularly if you’re experiencing failures due to vibration. Some cool design ideas are possible. Take a pump assembly for example. Permanent Technologies can produce a cut-out underneath the pump cover and put a hexagon-shaped tine in the hole located in the body of the assembly. Then put the cover on and put a bolt through the cover. The bolt would then click through the tines just as if they were on top of a nut. You get vibration-proof blind hole fastening. And that translates well into injection molding, where undercuts can be mass produced at high speeds with tool action.
BMW has already incorporated more than 10,000 3D-printed parts in the Rolls-Royce Phantom and intends to expand the use of 3D printing in its cars even more in the future. Meanwhile, Daimler has started using additive manufacturing for producing spare parts in Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
SABIC's lightweighting polycarbonate glazing materials have appeared for the first time in a production car: the rear quarter window of Toyota's special edition 86 GRMN sports car, where they're saving 50% of its weight compared to conventional glass.
Design engineers play a big role in selecting both suppliers and materials for their designs. Our most recent Design News Materials Survey says they continue to be highly involved, in some ways even more than the last time we asked to peek inside their cubicles.
Daihatsu is one of the first carmakers to customize car exteriors using 3D printing's mass customization capabilities. Effect Skins -- small exterior bumper and fender panels in different colors and textures -- can be ordered for its Copen convertible.
Several new products in this group of new adhesives, coatings, and sealants are formulated to protect sensitive electronic components, or to seal components of commercial and military aircraft. Others are designed to operate in tough, messy, dirty oil & gas operations, or for rotary applications and motors.
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