Industry News

Electrified Aircraft Propulsion Market to reach US$ 20 Bn by 2030

The electrified aircraft propulsion market share is expected to reach US$ 6 Bn in 2021 and US$ 20 Bn by 2030, with a CAGR of 14.3% during the projected timeline. The adoption of cleaner and greener aircraft, advancements in sophisticated air mobility, and alternative energy sources are all driving the demand for electrified aircraft propulsion forward.

Owing to the announced lockdowns and government restrictions on public meetings owing to the COVID-19 epidemic, research and development in the electrified aircraft propulsion market have been impeded around the world.

The pandemic has slowed the production of components, including lithium-ion batteries and other power electronics parts. As the globe returns to normalcy, the sales of electrified aircraft propulsion will see a significant rise.

The shortage of replacement parts is hindering continued prototype research and development. Due to the current constraints, companies are unable to test their prepared prototypes, but this is expected to restart once the restrictions on aircraft propulsion are lifted.

With the growing size of the global aircraft fleet and increased airline travel, emission issues are expected to climb even more.

As a result, there is a desire for electrified aircraft, which is likely to aid in the reduction of carbon emissions. Institutions and local authorities such as the International Civil Aviation Organization, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency have called for viable aircraft fuel alternatives.

Manufacturers strive to change effectiveness by substituting hydraulically operated systems with electric systems in the electrification of aircraft.

The poor energy density of batteries is one of the most significant issues that electric aircraft manufacturers confront when it comes to long-distance flights. The watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg) unit of measurement for aircraft propulsion is commonly used.
The current lithium-ion batteries have an energy density of 250 Wh/kg, which is far lower than the 12,000 Wh/kg energy density offered by conventional jet fuel or kerosene. As a result, all-electric long-haul commercial flights are still a long way off, as fossil fuels are 14 times more energy-dense than battery-powered alternatives.

Some of the major factors driving the growth of the global aircraft electrification market are an increase in global government concerns about environmental pollution, stringent rules regarding carbon emissions through airplanes by the aircraft industry to reduce aircraft noise, and low operational costs.

Electric aircraft’s restricted range and capacity, on the other hand, are projected to hinder market expansion. On the other hand, advancements in superior power electronics components and Lithium-ion battery technology are expected to open up the attractive potential for the electrified aircraft propulsion market.

Key Takeaways

  • With a market dominance of 24.3 percent in 2021, the battery sector is anticipated to drive the electrified aircraft propulsion market over the projected period.
  • According to technology, the hybrid electric aircraft segment of the aircraft electrification market is expected to grow at the fastest rate during the forecast period.
  • From 2021 through 2030, the North American market is expected to contribute the most. The increasing demand for new airplanes in North America is one of the main reasons for the region’s leadership in the electrified aircraft propulsion market.
  • Turbogenerators for powering electric motors and batteries, electric actuators, and fly-by-wire are among the latest innovative technologies in the aviation electrification business.

Competitive Landscape

To consolidate their power in the electrified aircraft propulsion market, key players have used a variety of organic and inorganic techniques.

Safran, Thales Group, Raytheon Technologies, and GE Aviation have used a number of strategies to expand their market position, including acquisitions, contracts, new product launches, collaborations, and agreements.

Recent Developments

GE Aviation chose Boeing in February 2022 to assist flying tests of their hybrid-electric propulsion system on a modified Saab 340B aircraft with CT7-9B turboprop engines.

GE Aviation will get airplane modification, system integration, and flight-testing services from Boeing and its affiliate Aurora Flight Sciences.

MagniX and DESAER, a Brazilian aviation business, established cooperation in February 2022 to develop the ATL-100H, a hybrid-electric version of the ATL-100 regional aircraft.

Depending on the range of operation, the ATL-100H is predicted to save 25-40% of gasoline, which is a considerable reduction in carbon emissions. The hybrid-electric aircraft ATL-100H’s revolutionary design is the first step toward DESAER’s goal of developing an all-electric aircraft, addressing the world’s growing recognition of the need to advance sustainable aviation practices.

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Tauber-Arons Announces Addition Of Philanthropic Opportunity To Auctions

Los Angeles, CA (05/09/22) – Tauber-Arons, Inc, Industrial Auctioneers & Liquidators, the nation’s most established and experienced industrial auction company for more than a century, is pleased to announce the addition of “TA Gives Back” – a unique new philanthropy component available to all its auctions. This new option to give back to the community will add a welcome opportunity for businesses who are consolidating or closing to leave a lasting legacy in the communities where they did business. Coming on the heels of Earth Day, the option to recycle otherwise unsaleable assets and then donate the proceeds is the brainchild of Avery Arons, who, through her 501c3 nonprofit “DonationDrivers.org” will serve as the Nonprofit Liaison/Philanthropic Coordinator of this new division of Tauber-Arons. 

“So often when we review a client’s assets for auction, we find a number of items that have no resale value and are likely to end up being disposed of,” said Tony Arons, President of Tauber-Arons, Inc. “With the intro duction of ‘TA Gives Back’ we are able to take many of the assets that can’t be auctioned, recycle them, and then donate the proceeds to charity on behalf of the client,” Arons added. 

Arons went on to give an example of how this option can work. “We are currently prepping an auction for a Craft Brewery,” Arons shared. “They have 15 pallets of aluminum cans that have no resale value and would likely be trashed. By using DonationDrivers.org to recycle the cans,” Arons added, “the proceeds can be donated to a charity of the client’s choosing.” 

Avery Arons was enthusiastic about the potential breadth and benefits of this program. “In just about every auction we do, there are recyclables such as glass, aluminum and other materials that end up in landfills,” she noted, “so this is a great opportunity for us to help to reduce greenhouse gas emission.” But the benefits for the auction clients, she points out, are also important. “Many clients often feel bad about having to shut down a business or a division or a plant,” she said. “But knowing that in the end they can take some part of their inventory and help others by recycling it and donating the proceeds to charity,” she continued, “that’s really turning a negative into a positive.” 

Tauber-Arons is currently celebrating its 130th year as a family owned business. The appointment of Avery Arons to head up “TA Gives Back” not only highlights TA’s commitment to environmentalism and philanthropy, but it marks the arrival of a 4th generation professional to this venerable family enterprise. 

For more information, please visit us online at http://www.tauberaronsinc.com 

About Tauber-Arons, Inc. 

Tauber-Arons has been owned and operated by the same family for 4 generations. We build relationships with our clients, guiding them and partnering with them through each step of the process. It’s the only way we do business – and we’ve been doing it for 115 years – building our impeccable reputation in the auction industry.

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Hypermiling for your electric motor

It’s the middle of Summer and you are sitting in traffic. It’s so hot that the tarmac is melting on the road. The traffic begins to roll, and you start to pull away. But how do you stay cool, turn the air-con on or open the window? Here Claudia Jarrett, US country manager at replacement, reconditioned and obsolete automation parts supplier EU Automation, answers this question and explains why the answer can also teach you how to hypermile your electric motor.  

Hypermiling, or the technique of driving your car in such a way that you use as little fuel as possible, has never been more popular. The massive increases in the wholesale price of crude oil over the last few years, combined with the war in the Ukraine and the lasting impact of COVID-19 on the global supply chain, means that forecourt petrol prices have reached new levels. 

However, it’s not only your car that is more expensive to run due to rocketing energy costs. It’s predicted that the 20p per kilowatt hour (kWh) price that a typical SME manufacturer has used as its benchmark for negotiation over the last year or so will soon reach a shocking 60p per kWh. 

Energy saving in manufacturing has never been more important; in fact, it’s no exaggeration to say that for many businesses it could be the difference between life and death. I’ve already heard anecdotal reports of ceramics companies calculating that it simply isn’t worth them firing up their kilns until energy becomes less expensive. 

What can you do?

It’s generally understood that electric motors and pumps, including those in general industry, compressors and ventilation, use nearly half of the world’s electricity. In 2016, the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) estimated that this number was 45 per cent. Meanwhile the late pump pioneer, Professor Bernd Stoffel, estimated the global figure to be between 43 and 46 per cent in his influential paper, The Role of Pumps for Energy Consumption and Energy Saving.  

There is no question that more efficient electric motor use can be an effective way of saving energy. Moreover, making the motor itself last for as long as possible, while running efficiently, can both save energy, reduce capital expenditure on replacement motors and, as a result, reduce the carbon emitted during manufacture and decrease demand for the rare earth materials. This includes neodymium and dysprosium used in production. 

Fit an inverter or soft start

The best way of making anything run more efficiently is to use it less. For example, if you have a variable speed application, controlling motor speed is the best way to hypermile your electric motor. The alternative is the equivalent of trying to use less petrol by putting your foot on the accelerator and controlling your speed with a brake. The motor will wear out quickly and the energy usage will be sky high. 

Use lubricant 

The worst thing you can do to your motor is increase heat and friction above necessary levels, so lubricant will always be your friend. Select the right viscosity, ensure it is free of dirt and contaminant and change it when required. This will reduce bearing wear and lengthen the motor’s effective lifespan. 

Check voltage, temperature, and vibration

Ensure that the application is properly ventilated, so the motor’s temperature doesn’t raise unnecessarily. This should be double checked during regular cleaning and maintenance. 

A systems integrator or machine builder will rarely build an application without sufficient venting, but it’s very common for that venting to become inadequate during use — because debris, dust and dirt builds up and clogs the device. If you doubt this, check the outlet for the fan in your office toilet. I guarantee it will be full of fluff. 

Excess voltage can turn your motor into an oven, running the risk of costly downtime. Instead, use an oscilloscope to check for voltage imbalance and variation and use a power quality or harmonics analyser to check for harmful harmonics. Megger, Fluke and Chauvin Arnoux, amongst many others, manufacture these and they are easily available, often on next day delivery. 

Power filters and surge suppression can also be used, to reduce the damage to circuitry and equipment. However, something that is less well known is that frequency attenuation can be an effective alternative, or complement to, voltage actuated surge protection to reduce damage caused by transients.  

This type of protection actively tracks and follows the sinewave form very closely, allowing the protection device to react much faster and more effectively to remove unwanted energy. The entire sinewave form is fully protected, rather than just protecting above the extreme levels encountered in surge protection. 

How to stay cool

As well as increased temperature, increased vibration through the motor mounting can create significant problems and reduce the device’s useful lifespan. Excessive vibration leads easily to increased bearing wear and improper load distribution. To avoid this, check for misaligned mounting and ensure the fixings are tight and secure.

If you actively combine these measures, you will find that your carbon emissions, electricity bills, capital equipment costs and downtime are all reduced to much more manageable levels. 

And, if you just wanted to find out whether to turn the air-con on or open the window in your car, the answer is all to do with drag. Once you get above about thirty miles an hour, the drag created by the open window will cause you to use more fuel than the air condition consumes in running. So, under 30mph crack the window, over 30mph, turn on the air con.

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World Class Automotive Injection Molding and Chrome Plating Facility Goes to Auction

World Class Automotive Injection Molding and Chrome Plating Facility Goes to Auction – COVID Disruption of Supply Chains Creates Opportunity for Acquiring Late Model Plastic Injection Molding Equipment in Queretaro, Mexico

Northbrook, IL  (May 2, 2022) —  An entire plant full of machinery and equipment featuring injection molding and chrome plating machinery is being auctioned via webcast on May 12 in Colon, Queretaro, Mexico. Most of the equipment is new as of 2017, 2018 and 2019.  

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for the right buyer or buyers to obtain late model injection molding equipment, and chrome plating equipment including Stainless Steel Tanks, Rectifiers, Programmable Hoists, Filters and a huge quantity of copper and nickel scrap metal,” said Sam Suchowiecky of Hilco Global Mexico.   The auction will be conducted jointly by Hilco Global Mexico, Machinery Network Auctions and PPL Group.  

“COVID 19 supply chain disruptions have created this opportunity at the exact time when global automotive companies are looking for ways to shorten the supply chain from Asia to North America,” said Gary Treisman of Machinery Network Auctions.  “This particular plant was a victim of timing as they recently purchased millions of dollars of new manufacturing equipment just before the economy shut down.” 

The auction includes twelve Toshiba and Haitian single and dual shot injection molding machines from 240 Ton machines up to 1430 Tons and as late as 2019, with robotics and a huge assortment of support equipment.  In addition, there is a complete Chrome Plating system with water treatment equipment and over 20 tons of copper and 20 tons of nickel.  The facility was set up at a cost of more than $20 million in 2017.  

“It’s exciting to see equipment this new available at auction,” said Gary Treisman.  “With supply chains disrupted and lead times extending many months for new equipment, this is an opportunity for manufacturers to acquire equipment today.” There are rigging and transportation companies on-site who can provide quotes to dismantle and deliver various pieces of equipment throughout North America. 

All of the injection molding, chrome plating, drying, testing and other equipment will be auctioned at a webcast auction on Thursday, May 12 at 10:00 am local time. Equipment including components of the Chrome Plating line may be available to be sold before the Auction.  Interested parties can contact Fernando Zuniga (ZFernando@HilcoGlobal.mx / 52 (55) 5980-8226) and Seth Geller (Seth@MachineryNetwork.com / 818-465-6700).   Onsite inspection is available on May 9-11 from 9 am to 4 pm and otherwise by appointment only.  Appointments must be scheduled 48 hours in advance.  

Machinery Network Auctions (MNA) has more information on the auction at its website, www.machinerynetworkauctions.com .  Auction details including how to register to bid are also available at PPL’s site at www.pplgroupllc.com and Hilco Global at https://www.subastashilcoacetec.mx/proyecto/72

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High-Precision Manufacturing Equipment – May 4 Online Auction

FAIRFIELD, New Jersey (4/26/2022)—A May 4 online auction by Tiger Group and partner Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales features equipment from a closed Fairfield plant that’s surplus to the ongoing operations of a manufacturer of metal components and assemblies for the aerospace, defense, oil and gas, and industrial sectors. 

The timed, online auction of assets from the 56,000-square-foot plant closes on Wednesday, May 4, at 10:30 a.m. (EDT). Bidding opens April 27th at SoldTiger.com. 

“This is an opportunity for machining and fabricating companies to purchase high quality CNC machining equipment to quickly increase production capacity,” said Chad Farrell, Managing Director, Tiger Commercial & Industrial. “This facility features a number of Makino machining cells and turning centers, along with a wide selection of machine tools. The scale and quality of this equipment makes this auction a unique opportunity for buyers.”

With brands such as Makino, Takumi, Tongil, Mori Seiki, Haas and Doosan, the auction features CNC mills, CNC turning centers, machining cells, vertical lathes, grinders, screw machines, horizontal and vertical machining centers, wire EDM and gun-drilling machines, to name a few. Select shop and office equipment also is available. 

Highlights of the online auction include:

  • Makino A-88E / A-81 machining cell
  • Makino A66 CNC horizontal machining center
  • Takumi V-22N CNC vertical machining centers
  • Leblond Makino A55 CNC horizontal machining center

For asset photos, descriptions, and other information, visit
https://soldtiger.com/sales/major-aerospace-component-manufacturer/

Inspections are available on Tuesday, May 3rd. To arrange an inspection or obtain other information, email: auctions@tigergroup.com or call (805) 497-4999.

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Six Robotics Pioneers Win 2022 Engelberger Awards

ANN ARBOR, Michigan—April 25, 2022. The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) today announced six winners of the 2022 Engelberger Robotics Awards, the world’s most prestigious robotics honor. At a special dinner in conjunction with the Automate 2022 Show and Conference in Detroit on June 8, Michael P. Jacobs of Applied Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) will be honored for his leadership in automation while Oussama Khatib of Stanford University will be awarded for education and Marc Raibert of Boston Dynamics for technology.

Three of the winners will be honored at Automate in Detroit on June 8: Michael P. Jacobs of Applied Manufacturing Technologies (AMT), Oussama Khatib of Stanford University and Marc Raibert of Boston Dynamics.

Three more winners will also be celebrated at Automatica in Munich on June 20:

Bertil Thorvaldsson of ABB for leadership
Bruno Siciliano of the University of Naples for education
Melonee Wise of Zebra Technologies for technology

The Engelberger Robotics Award is named after the late Joseph F. Engelberger, known throughout the world as the founding force behind industrial robotics. Since its inception in 1977, the Engelberger Robotics Awards have been presented to 134 robotics leaders from 17 different nations for excellence in technology development, application, education and leadership. Each winner receives a $5,000 honorarium and commemorative medallion.

“As the robotics industry grows, so does our list of extremely talented nominees deserving of this coveted Engelberger Award,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of A3. “In their unique ways, each of these six remarkable individuals have played prominent roles in shaping the robotics industry we’re a part of today, from educating future roboticists to advancing the role of mobile, industrial and collaborative robotics in manufacturing facilities and warehouses alike. We expect more great things from this year’s winners and look forward to celebrating them at Automate and Automatica.”

2022 Engelberger Robotics Awards Winners

The six honorees were selected by the Past Chairs of the A3 Technology Strategy Board. Khatib, a roboticist and a professor of computer science at Stanford University, is credited with seminal work in areas ranging from robot motion planning and control, human-friendly robot design, to haptic interaction and human motion synthesis.

“Joe Engelberger’s farsighted vision of people and robots working together over the simplest or most complex of tasks is now within reach, and the potential of these emerging robots is being anticipated throughout the world’s societies,” Khatib said. “Receipt of this award for my robotics work toward his vision — an award bearing his name — is a profound honor.

Wise, previously the CEO of Fetch Robotics until its acquisition by Zebra Technologies in 2021, now serves as the vice president and general manager of Robotics Automation for Zebra. For nearly 20 years, Wise has been designing, building, and programming robotic hardware and software. She was the second employee at Willow Garage, a research and development laboratory specializing in robotics, where she led a team of engineers developing next-generation robot hardware and software. In 2014, she and other members of Willow Garage founded Fetch Robotics, which is best known for its autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for warehouses.

“I’m truly honored to receive the Joseph Engelberger award for Technology,” Wise said. “Just as Engelberger forged the path of industrial robots in manufacturing automation, the Fetch Robotics team has followed in his footsteps to bring AMRs to the forefront of manufacturing and logistics automation. I am deeply inspired by Engelberger’s work, and with Zebra, I hope to continue to push the boundaries of robotics technology to enable the adoption of robotics in new industries and applications.”

Jacobs, the founder and CEO of AMT, is an expert in the robotic automation industry. Prior to AMT, at GMF Robotics (now FANUC), he pioneered the product development and market introduction of robot simulation and offline programming systems.

“Recognition by industry leaders with an award that bears the name of Joseph Engelberger is a highlight of my career,” Jacobs said. “I am truly honored and deeply humbled.”

The other Engelberger winners have led or been involved in advancing the automation industry in myriad ways:

Marc Raibert is the founder, former CEO and now chairman of Boston Dynamics, a robotics company known for creating BigDog, Atlas, Spot and Handle.

Thorvaldsson is the global product manager at ABB Robotics, a global leader in power and automation technologies. He joined the company in 1976

Siciliano, an Italian engineer, academic and scientific popularizer, is a professor of Automatic Control at the University of Naples Federico II, Director of the ICAROS Center, and Coordinator of the PRISMA Lab at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology.

Award Dinner

The award dinner at Automate will be held June 8 from 5:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at the Huntington Place Convention Center. Tickets for the event, which includes a cocktail reception and dinner, may be purchased when registering for the Automate 2022 Show and Conference. Produced by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), Automate returns to Detroit after two decades in Chicago. The event will bring more than 500 companies showcasing the latest in robotics, machine vision, artificial intelligence (AI), motion control, and smart automation—and an expected 20,000 attendees—to the city’s Huntington Place center.

Reminders about Automate:

Register for Automate 2022 at https://www.automateshow.com.
Apply for a press pass at https://www.automateshow.com/form.cfm?form_id=151
Review the list of conference speakers at https://www.automateshow.com/conference/2022-conference-agenda

About Association for Advancing Automation (A3)

The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) is the leading global advocate for the benefits of automating. A3 promotes automation technologies and ideas that transform the way business is done. Members of A3 represent nearly 1,100 automation manufacturers, component suppliers, system integrators, end users, academic institutions, research groups and consulting firms from throughout the world that drive automation forward.

A3 hosts a number of industry-leading events, including Automate Preview Series (Ongoing), the Automate Show & Conference (June 6-9, 2022, in Detroit, MI), The Autonomous Mobile Robot & Logistics Week (October 10-13, 2022, in Boston, MA) and The Vision Show (October 11-13, 2022, in Boston, MA).

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How Can Carbon Fiber be Processed Fast and Well?

Currently, the carbon fiber composite materials on the market are basically composed of carbon fibers and resin matrix, there is a relatively complex relationship between them. And the phenomenon of carbon fiber drawing or de-filamentation often occurs during processing. Due to the high hardness and anisotropy of carbon fiber composites, the requirements for processing equipment are relatively high, so a new processing method needs to be sought.

In response to market demand, Mitsubishi Electric has launched two new “CV series” CO2 3D laser processing machines by using the laser processing technology and development experience accumulated over many years, which are specially used for processing light-weight, high-strength carbon fiber reinforcement used in automobiles and so on. Composite materials (referred to as CFRP). The realization of high-speed and high-precision processing of CFRP products will contribute to the mass production of CFRP products that are difficult to achieve by traditional processing methods.

 

Products Features

Equipped with a three-axis orthogonal carbon dioxide laser oscillator of the Integrated-MOPA method, the oscillator and the amplifier are integrated into the same frame, and the laser light suitable for CFRP processing is emitted through a simple structure, which solves the problems of high-quality precision machining for CFRP that has been difficult to achieve so far.

The melting temperature of carbon fiber and resin is different, cutting CFRP requires a laser processing machine with steep pulse waveform and high power output, and the CV series products can meet these two requirements at the same time, achieving a faster level of processing speed, the speed is about 6 times faster than existing processing methods such as machining and water jet machining, contributing to increased productivity.

The equipped processing head can perform high-speed unidirectional (single-path) processing, so the production efficiency is higher than the laser processing method that irradiates on the same path multiple times.

The side gas nozzle mounted on the processing head can effectively remove the high-temperature material vapor generated during processing, suppress the thermal influence on the material, and realize the precise processing of three-dimensional shapes.

Compared with existing processing methods, non-contact laser processing can reduce the consumption of tools, etc., and the generation of waste contributes to reducing operating costs and help the realization of a sustainable society.

The control device is equipped with a dedicated CAM for path editing, and the processing path can be corrected on the processing machine, which improves the work efficiency.

A protective cover is standard around the processing machine to reduce the impact of dust on the working environment.

Conclusion

CFRP can meet safety requirements. The industry application side hopes to reduce material costs, increase processing speed, and achieve mass production. However, CFRP material manufacturers hope to use it in multiple industries, increase the amount of use, reduce prices, improve processing efficiency and pass product quality.

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What Tools Need to Be Tensile Tested to Be Handyman Approved?

The Handyman approval is considered to be one of the best certifications for DIY-focused consumer goods in the market right now. To be Handyman Approved means that the tool can take on any job and is recommended by experienced professionals in the market right now.

Of course, the Handyman approval is never given. It is earned. To be worthy of such approval, a tool has to undergo several tests. One of these tests is the universal Tensile Strength test. This does beg the question: what tools need to be tensile tested so they have a shot at being Handyman approved?

To answer that, there are a few fundamentals we have to set first.

What’s a Tensile Test?

The Tensile Strength Test is a universally-applied materials testing procedure that primarily measures a material’s ability to withstand stress before breaking. In this test, a machine will pull at a sample material until it starts to deform and then break.

As the name would imply, the test measures an object’s tensile strength. This is an inherent quality to withstand stress before breaking. The tensile test has seen a lot of use in various industries as it helps manufacturers, product designers, and even inventors determine which materials to use for their projects, depending on how they behave when subjected to a certain kind of stress.

But even with the universal application, the Tensile Test is not meant for every known tool, material, or 3-dimensional object out there. The reason is rather simple: not every object is meant to handle tensile stress. Not every object was meant to be highly durable.

The material used for that object will not even matter in this regard. For instance, a plastic button will not undergo the same tensile stress as a rope even if they share the same polymers, thus not needing to undergo tensile testing.

To answer as to which tools need to be tensile tested to get the Handyman approval, you only need to consider several pointers:

  • That tool is meant to withstand high tensile stress.
  • That tool is meant to maintain its shape even after heavy, repeated use.
  • That tool is meant to withstand impact, force, pressure, compression, and other deformity-causing factors.
  • That tool is comprised of more than one part or features a mechanism.

To summarize, a tool needs tensile testing if it was designed to be durable for as long as possible.

Tools That Need Tensile Testing

A tool is simply any man-made implement that aids a person in performing a specific task. By their basic definition alone, almost every handyman’s tool needs some form of material testing to pass quality check. Below are some of the tools that you will commonly find in a shed that will most definitely benefit from some form of tensile testing.

Hoses and Ropes

This gardening tool is made from either rubber, vinyl, or polyurethane and must be able to hold a considerable amount of compression to be useful for a long period. A rope, on the other hand, is made from the same polymers as most plastic products, but in the form of small fibers. And by design, they are required to hold a lot of tensile stress for a long period.

Tensile testing hoses and ropes are pretty straightforward and would generally yield accurate information. The trick here is to prepare a sample with the proper length as it can be hard to predict the exact point of failure when it comes to hoses for these tools.

Pliers, Priers, and Hammers

It might sound odd that tools essentially made of thick components need tensile testing. Their overall profile would ensure that they retain structural integrity, right? The answer is no.

Aside from inherent tensile strength, a tensile test can also look into the structural composition of any tool and determine what kind of force is needed to inflict a fracture so fatal to cause failure in these tools. For instance, a crowbar might be made out of carbon steel but there is a chance that it might bend if enough resistance is applied to it. The same goes for wrenches, pliers, and other tools with a solid metal/carbon component.

Also, these tools can be subjected to creep testing where they are exposed to stress over a prolonged period. This test will determine the approximate usefulness lifespan of these tools before they need to be replaced.

Rotating Tools

Tools like screwdrivers, drills, buffers, and saws feature a central rotating component powered either manually or through a built-in motor. From their design, these tools have a common point of failure, which is their rotating shaft. Thus, a manufacturer needs to make sure that these shafts can withstand intense tensile stress to qualify for several quality certifications.

Also, tools like drills and saws have components that would require their separate tensile strength tests. The general rule is that any motor-powered and multi-component tool will have to be comprised of several durable components. After all, if one part breaks down, then the entire tool will be rendered useless.

Lifters

Lifting implements like the manually operated or hydraulic car jack are designed to lift tremendous amounts of weight from a car and hold that position for as long as possible. These tools, aside from being comprised of several mechanical components, have a common point of failure at the lifting jack. 

A tensile test on these tools will help a manufacturer decide which material is best for the jack’s most crucial components. Ancillary non-destructive tests can also be conducted to determine if the jack’s components have the right structural strength to withstand the stress being inflicted on them.

To Conclude

When it comes to consumer tools, the goal of tensile testing has always been to determine if these implements are “fit for use”. That means that they will function as advertised and have a consistent rate of performance throughout multiple uses. 

Their recommended lifespans notwithstanding, any handyman’s tool is expected to be in their best possible state whenever their owners need them. With a tensile test, the certainty of these tools being made from the best possible components and materials will be rather high.

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To the Moon and Beyond with Additive Manufacturing

On the afternoon of December 19, 1972, Apollo 17’s command and service module CSM-114 “America” splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, bringing its crew and cargo safely home. The event marked the end of NASA’s eleven-year lunar program and humankind’s final visit to the Moon. Thanks in part to Los Angeles, Calif.-based Aerojet Rocketdyne—a manufacturer with a proud heritage in spaceflight and rocket propulsion—we’ll be going back soon, this time to stay.

Meet Apollo’s sister

In Greek mythology, Apollo was one of the twelve Olympians, gods of the sea, sun, and sky. It’s therefore only fitting that NASA has named its next lunar expedition after the deity’s twin sister and goddess of the Moon, Artemis. And while those many Apollo missions were hugely successful and crucial to the continuation of the United States space program, Artemis’ goals are much more ambitious.

Beginning in 2022, NASA will place unmanned Orion spacecraft into lunar orbit, followed by crewed landings, construction of lunar habitats and supporting infrastructure, and ultimately, preparation for a visit to Mars. According to NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, the space agency and its partners will accomplish this by the end of this decade and do so with half the buying power it had back in 1964, when Apollo development was at its peak.

One of the technologies that enables such ambitious plans? Additive manufacturing (AM), better known as 3D printing. “As with any complex endeavor, the more affordable you can make it, the greater the chance that you will ensure its completion, and the moon is no different,” said James Horton, aerospace engineer and mission architect at Aerojet Rocketdyne. “Metal AM plays a key role in achieving these goals.”

Building on a legacy

Aerojet Rocketdyne has a long history in metal AM. For more than two decades, the company has invested extensive time and resources into leveraging this important technology, focusing most of its energies on laser powder bed fusion (LPBF). It’s due to these efforts that the aerospace manufacturer has been able to successfully design and integrate 3D-printed end-use components for a variety of projects, among them the massive RS-25 engines that will carry the Artemis mission into space.

Horton has been there for much of it. Since 2008, he’s held lead roles in rocket engine design, development, and test flight operations for NASA and the DOD. His advanced propulsion team at Aerojet Rocketdyne is currently working on chemical, electric, and nuclear propulsion to support NASA’s deep space exploration efforts, the Artemis project included.

He’ll tell you that metal AM, when used in conjunction with advanced design and simulation software, gives today’s aerospace engineers “an entire buffet of solutions that were completely unavailable to their predecessors, providing the unparalleled ability to innovate without compromise.” Because of this, Aerojet Rocketdyne has been able to drive down propulsion costs, speed up time to market, and improve the performance of its products like never before.

Case in point

One recent example of this is a critical subsystem that Apollo engineers knew as a “quad” reaction control system (RCS). The Apollo RCS included four individual R-4D bipropellant thrusters, originally designed by Marquardt Corp., that used hypergolic (spontaneously igniting) nitrogen tetroxide and hydrazine as propellants. Every lunar lander and service module had four quads, each of which generated more than 100 pounds of thrust to control the spacecraft’s roll, pitch, and yaw during flight. Following a series of acquisitions, Aerojet Rocketdyne eventually took ownership of the R4-D, intending to use what is now called the “reaction control system” (RCS) on the future spacecraft.

Given that the original RCS design is more than 60 years old, Horton and his team recognized an improvement opportunity and began what would become one of the many internal research and development (IRAD) projects intended to optimize the systems required for the Artemis program and other commercial lunar projects. In the case of the RCS, they looked for ways to reduce the number of engine parts, increase its reliability, and make assembly and serviceability easier, all of which would decrease project costs while enhancing spacecraft performance. Metal AM checked all these boxes.

“During the entire Apollo program, NASA produced more than 650 thrusters to support six Moon landings,” said Horton. “It was a huge number, which led us to believe we were onto something big—we knew that, if we could bring affordability to the RCS, we could make a positive impact on any this and future programs.”

They also wanted to take advantage of rocket fuel advancements. As Horton explained, propulsion engineers had learned over the years that adding 25% nitric oxide to the fuel oxidizer mentioned previously—nitrogen tetroxide—would reduce its freezing point from −9 °C (16 °F) to −55 °C (−67 °F). Since this reduces the mass and power consumption of the heating systems needed to prevent frozen fuel lines in space, it presented Aerojet Rocketdyne with a significant opportunity. There was just one problem: the MON-25 fuel just described is unstable, a condition that Horton suggested is a “bad thing to have in rocketry.”

Proving the concept

Here again, metal AM was the answer, as it allowed the team to print special injector geometries that could burn the fuel in a stable manner. They soon designed and built a concept model from the nickel-based superalloy Inconel 718, but unfortunately, ran into limitations with their metal 3D printer.

“We had to build the RCS injector body at a 45-degree angle, due to overhang concerns, and also add in a series of large support structures to prevent thermal warping during the build process,” Horton said. “The supports would need to be machined away afterward, adding cost to the product, while the orientation angle created less than desirable surface quality. There was definitely room for improvement.”

At the same time, they realized there was room for substantial lightweighting and topology optimization. Horton noted that they’d eliminated “large chunks” of unnecessary material during the redesign, but it was far from perfect. “Every single pound of material you can remove from a spacecraft saves money on launch costs,” he said. “That’s why we turned to nTopology for help with optimizing the design, and then Velo3D to build it for us.”

Shell, fill, and print again

Technicians from New York-based engineering and design software company nTopology were quickly able to “shell out” the injector body’s blocky structure, leaving consistent wall thicknesses around the complex fluid ports and channels while eliminating stress concentration areas. They then filled the resultant void with a thin lattice structure, increasing its strength and stiffness while adding only minimal weight; because of its “implicit modeling” capabilities, nTopology was able to cut the quad injector’s mass in half.

The Aerojet Rocketdyne team sent the optimized part file to Velo3D’s facility in Campbell, Calif. It was there that the metal AM solution provider gave Horton some good news. Due to the company’s mastery of 3D-printed titanium—a metal favored throughout the aerospace industry for its strength and light weight—the RCS injector body would weigh much less than its Inconel counterpart. And as Velo3D technical sales engineer Gene Miller noted, there’d be no need to build it at an angle or use the big, blocky supports as in the first iteration.

“Our proprietary, pre-print software is intuitive enough to recognize different geometric features and apply specific laser parameters to those areas so that they print as efficiently as possible and without the need for added support material,” Miller said. “In addition, we’re one of the few metal AM system providers that can successfully print large complex titanium parts without cracking. We have a unique solution to mitigate accumulated internal stress within the printed material, and can avoid cracking more so than other printers on the market.”

The final result? Aerojet Rocketdyne now has an RCS thruster that is 1/5 the mass, 1/2 the size, and 1/3 the cost of a conventionally manufactured version. And since it contains far fewer components, it’s also easier to assemble, with much less chance of failure during operation. Said Horton, “We’ve shown that by leveraging additive manufacturing and advanced software technology, we’re able to interject affordability, reduce lead times, and greatly improve upon system performance compared to the way we built parts in the past. Our next step is to demo this proof of concept, bringing it into actual field testing and, hopefully, final qualification. From there, it’s headed into space.”

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