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Designer's Corner

Designer's Corner

High purity alloys

In response to the aerospace industry's demand for premium-grade specialty alloys, Carpenter Technology has inaugurated a state-of-the-art melting facility. Its cornerstone: a 20-metric-ton (44,000-lb) vacuum induction degassing and pouring furnace.

Built by ALD Vacuum Technologies, Erlensee, Germany, the furnace features a crucible and vacuum chamber that tilt as a unit. Metallurgical and operational advantages:

  • Smaller vacuum volume and shorter vacuum pump cycles for precise process control.

  • Faster crucible changeout for more productivity.

  • A pouring launder to screen impurities.

  • Accessible power cables and hose to facilitate maintenance.

Tilting vacuum chamber is 10 times smaller than similar-capacity static chamber.

Carpenter Technology Corp., Box 14662, Reading, PA 19612-4662, (610) 208-2524.

Space-based cable manager

Spanning 200 ft when fully extended, the ABLE Deployable Articulating mast, part of NASA JPL's 1999 Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), stows in a 10-ft canister. Four cable harnesses weighing 459 lbs run along the mast to an outboard antenna.

Since most of the canister is devoted to storing the retracted mast, space is at a premium. That's where the cable-carrier makes a difference. The System's Plastitrak(R)-style carrier, molded from low-friction, UV-resistant Delrin, performs all the tasks specified by AEC-Able Engineering:

It operates in the vacuum and zero gravity of space; it protects the cables from damage while taking up little volume; and it bends in one direction only. The latter allows predictable and controllable movement.

AEC-ABLE Engineering Co., Inc., 93 Castilian Dr., Goleta, CA 93117-3091, (805) 685-2262.
Stephan Achs, Kabelschlepp America , 7100 West Marcia Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53223-3363, (414) 354-1994.

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