With its new 225-hp, six-cylinder Verado engine, Mercury Marine has taken the use of plastics to a whole new level in engineering design.
The engine sports a sculpted, multi-piece cowling assembly that features the world's largest injection-molded nylon cosmetic part. The cowling meets stringent structural requirements at a lower weight than conventional one-piece bucket-like engine covers made from sheet molding compound or thermoformed sheet-and costs less too.
The assembly consists of three injection-molded plastic cowls: The 33.5 x 22.9 x 16.4-inch top is made from a 33% glass-filled nylon 66 and weighs 11.3 lbs. DuPont Engineering says it's the largest injection-molded cosmetic nylon part in the world. A structural real cowl made from the same nylon mates with the top cowl and attaches to an aluminum structural member that itself attaches the engine to the boat. A smaller front cowl molded from two pieces of glass- and mineral-filled Minlon nylon completes the upper-engine housing.
Among engineering advantages of the design is weight reduction. The cowling assembly weighs 30% less than sheet molding compound. Part of the weight savings comes from the thermoplastic's specific gravity advantage vs sheet molding compound. Additionally, while sheet molding compound often requires bulked-up regions for proper molding, the plastic parts have relatively thin nominal wall thicknesses. The injection-molded parts also allow molded-in features that would be impossible with a compression-molded part. The cowling's patented integrated latching system is a case in point. It integrates what were separate hinge-mounting points, cable guides, and brackets right into the top cowl. Result: elimination of bolted-on latches.
The fuel module of the Mercury Verado engine is just one of the components made from plastic.
Lantronix Inc. has expanded its line of controllers for sensor networks with the release of a rugged controller that improves management of automation systems used in a number of industries, including manufacturing, oil and gas, and chemicals.
Inspired by the hooks a parasitic worm uses to penetrate its host's intestines, the Karp Lab has invented a flexible adhesive patch covered with microneedles that adheres well to wet, soft tissues, but doesn't cause damage when removed.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is