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Materials & Assembly

How to Machine Aerospace-Grade Composites

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: a sound idea
Ann R. Thryft   9/18/2014 12:21:48 PM
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RalphyBoy, thanks for the followup info. That makes total sense. As the Loughborough U researchers note, UAM is not new but their tweaks on it are. Re the need for shop glasses, you'd be surprised how many people have written us about that photo.
Unfortunately for the rest of us, we've had to block the use of URLs because of problems with spammers. Fortunately, we can all still Google company/product/technology names :)



Ralphy Boy
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Re: a sound idea
Ralphy Boy   9/17/2014 6:47:08 PM
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Ann, I came across this today. It is along the lines of what I was thinking.

The article I found this in states that the tool microscopically lengthens and shortens at the set frequency. This in effect creates a 'peck cycle' in multiples of a kilo-hertz range.

The video is okay but I believe that the unit they are selling only works with drilling.

EWI-AcousTech™ Machining

Sorry, can't post a url to their site because DN is blocking post with links.

 

Edit...

Actually I read closer and the article states drills and endmills both work with this tech.

 

And now that I think about it... tell that guy in the included photo to put some glasses on.

 

Later

 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: A logical derivative process – Kudos!
Ann R. Thryft   9/3/2014 1:53:51 PM
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Thanks for all those good questions, Clinton. As I mentioned to Lou below, the softening appears to be temporary and hardness is not affected after the ultrasound is removed. So I'd bet that the use of this technique for weapons would have to use a lot of sustained energy to be effective. But that's a very scary scenario, and you may be on to something.
I, too, wish the researchers had been more forthcoming about the details of their process. The answers to your questions might be in the open access article we give a link to.

CLMcDade
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Re: A logical derivative process – Kudos!
CLMcDade   9/2/2014 3:46:31 PM
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Interesting tangent that the discussion has taken, one that could probably last for a few years.  And use up a lot of pitchers of beer. 

But getting back to the article, I'm curious about the structural integrity of the area to which the ultrasonic vibration was applied.  

As Jim pointed out, ultrasonic welding can occur because of the softening of the plastic subjected to the vibration.  At least, this is how it happens when dealing with thermoplastics that can be heated and cooled multiple times with little degradation of the material properties (assuming you don't regrind them).

Most structural carbon fibre composites are not thermoplastics, however, but thermosets.  These materials undergo a one-direction hardening - they can't be softened again by heat or vibration.  So using ultra-sonic vibration to "soften" these materials must be using a different modality of softening than ultra-sonic welding uses to melt thermoplastics.

Also, the carbon fibre is usually laid down in sheet form, in very specific patterns.  If the ultrasonic vibration can locally "soften" the carrier material, can the carbon fibers move or shift while the carrier is soft?

Good engineering type questions, but my initial thought when reading the article was actually in a totally different direction - if carbon fibre reinforced composites can be softened with ultrasonic vibration, couldn't this lead to weapons capable of penetrating or softening panels on armored vehicles or airplanes, for instance?  Carbon fibre composites are being used to replace steel as structural members in so many products... could all these applications be at risk to an ultra-sonic gun (soon to be invented, of course)?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: A logical derivative process – Kudos!
Ann R. Thryft   9/2/2014 12:26:32 PM
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JimT, I agree--I don't think what we're talking about is all decisions coming from the top. I think we're talking about *uninformed* decisions made from higher up the hierarchy that don't reflect knowledge and understanding of either those lower down the hierarchy, or of information coming from outside the company. The difference between the to can clearly be illustrated by companies with people at the top who do understand their markets/customers/general economic conditions and changes in all of those. One of the most famous recent examples in the latter  category is Steve Jobs. An older one is Lee Iacocca's famous turnaround at Chrysler.



JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: A logical derivative process – Kudos!
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   8/31/2014 11:28:28 PM
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I think your point is that decisions coming from the top management are not always the best and wisest decisions.  (What happened to Detroit in the 80's:  Exactly)  To clarify my earlier comment that companies often act only on suggestions that come from the top did not mean those decisions coming were the GOOD decisions.  Too many Corporate dealings are polluted with Yes-Men following bad orders.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: A logical derivative process – Kudos!
Ann R. Thryft   8/25/2014 2:20:26 PM
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JimT, I don't think that's true all the time. But as a consumer, I do see it occurring a lot of the time. Also, I just finished a very interesting (and very long) book written back in 1989 called The Reckoning by David Halberstam. It covers the Detroit car industry and how it completely missed what was going on in the economy, the oil business, and among consumers that allowed the Japanese car industry to succeed. It's absolutely fascinating, and basically takes a deep inside look at Nissan and Ford during those years.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: A logical derivative process – Kudos!
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   8/22/2014 3:29:28 PM
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Unfortunately, I think you are right.  My direct experience with big corporate entities is that they are all very two-sided.  One face advertises openness and willingness to meet market demands, while the other face categorically rejects inputs & suggestions unless they come from the top of their management chain.  Ironic.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: A logical derivative process – Kudos!
Ann R. Thryft   8/22/2014 12:27:57 PM
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JimT, that sounds like an interesting business, and probably with its own frustrations as well. My issue is a little different--I want to give feedback about improvements to the manufacturers of products or systems already in use. I don't want to make money by designing something, I just want my user feedback received by the right people who can do something with it. There don't
seem to be any clear avenues for doing that.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: A logical derivative process – Kudos!
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   8/21/2014 12:33:58 PM
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Ann, you've just described the bottle neck that I am trying to help people with; how to get the ideas going.  Since I started an independent design consultation service, I get lots of little quirky ideas. Clients range from individual inventors, to small corporate entities and start-ups.  But the effort is the same; trying to put ideas into realistic embodiments.

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