Examples of new materials applications for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner continue to come to light. Amphenol, a large manufacturer of interconnect products, developed a high performance wiring, cable, and hydraulic tubing clamp to replace and outperform traditional P-clamps and Saddle clamps. It also wanted to reduce weight, one of the major goals of the composite-bodied Dreamliner.
Amphenol engineers designed a clamp molded from polyetheretherketone (PEEK) polymer and overmolded with a silicone rubber cushion. By using VICTREX PEEK polymer, Amphenol was able to develop a lighter and stronger clamp - one that, unlike metal, is completely non-corrosive and non-conductive for use throughout the aircraft.
Amphenol uses a proprietary silicone over-molding process to produce the high performance clamps, which are also used in a wide range of shipboard, industrial and railway applications. The advantage of Amphenol’s overmold process is that it bonds the silicone rubber cushion to the plastic in the tool. There’s another assembly aspect to the new Amphenol design: the high performance clamps are equipped with a locking feature that makes installation quick and easy. “A “lock-open” feature keeps the clamp open and a second “lock-closed” feature keeps the clamp closed.
Available in single leg (P-clamp) and double leg (Omega) configurations, the new high performance clamps are available in 36 sizes, allowing them to meet most wire bundle and application-specific load requirements. They are also compatible with tubing up to 2-inches in diameter.
A recent report sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) focuses on emerging gasification technologies for converting waste into energy and fuel on a large scale and saving it from the landfill. Some of that waste includes non-recycled plastic.
Capping a 30-year quest, GE Aviation has broken ground on the first high-volume factory for producing commercial jet engine components from ceramic matrix composites. The plant will produce high-pressure turbine shrouds for the LEAP Turbofan engine.
Seismic shifts in 3D printing materials include an optimization method that reduces the material needed to print an object by 85 percent, research designed to create new, stronger materials, and a new ASTM standard for their mechanical properties.
A recent study finds that 3D printing is both cheaper and greener than traditional factory-based mass manufacturing and distribution. At least, it's true for making consumer plastic products on open-source, low-cost RepRap printers.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.