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March 30, 2009

It's officially spring, and our focus naturally turns to everything that's new. This week, take a look at the 1930's technology behind blind rivets plus recent steps toward error-proof assembly, learn a new step-by-step approach to solving fastening issues in hydraulic hoses, and see what academia and industry are doing with atmospheric plasma.

Don't forget to scroll down for new products and industry updates. And last but not least, mark your calendars for Machine Design's Energy Efficiency Web Conference & Expo May 14. Stay tuned for more details on this next month.

Jessica Shapiro


Straight facts on blind rivets
Rivets have been used to put things together since the Bronze Age, but it usually took a worker on each side of the join to set them. Then, in the mid-1930s, engineers developed blind or breakstem rivets. They let workers install fasteners from one side of a workpiece when the opposite side is inaccessible or cannot even be seen.

Blind rivets are now used to assemble everything from small electronic components in cell phones to steel beams in the world’s largest bridges.
Read the full article.


BobTail.® Huck’s next-generation lockbolt system

The advanced BobTail® lockbolt system from Huck offers quick, quiet, two-second installation for maximum productivity, with the same vibration-resistant reliability Huck is known for. Patented BobTail Swageforward® tooling, exclusive to Huck, is lightweight and ergonomically designed for ease of use. Available in a wide range of sizes and grades, BobTail fasteners and tooling are precisely matched to the application, offering lower installed costs and increased user safety for both assembly and repair.

For more information on the BobTail System, visit

Hose assemblies engineered to last
Hose assemblies simplify many issues when designing, building, and maintaining hydraulic equipment. And as machine builders continue to push the engineering envelope to meet customer demands for productivity, efficiency, and environmental compatibility, so have the requirements for hose integrity.

These include withstanding higher pressures, extreme heat and cold, and a wide range of fluids — including today’s “green” variants. And that’s not to mention the call for longer life despite abrasion, impact, and generally rough operating conditions.
Read the full article.

Cool plasmas heat up
Plasma, a mix of ionized gas molecules and free electrons, is often referred to as the fourth state of matter, and it’s nothing new. Welding arcs, fluorescent lights, and plasma televisions use it. But plasmas can also prepare surfaces for bonding and kill bacteria on delicate living tissues.

Surface-preparation plasmas can destroy organic matter on bonding surfaces. Reactive oxygen species chemically activate surfaces to prepare them for bonding. Plasmas can also enable the deposition of polymerizable precursors to form nanometer-thickness coatings.
Read the full article.

New Products

Compression latch
To obtain a 12-mm compression range, the 1-081SL compression latch uses D-Snap Technology and Design Symmetry for simple installation without hardware or tools. The latch’s components are preassembled into sandwich-type panels for easy installation from the front of the panel. Standard cam heights are 22 and 28 mm and, depending on cam length, compression range can be modified. The use of a planetary gear for actuation gives compression at extremely low torque, and a roller at the end of the cam minimizes scrape damage to panels and reduces the required closing force.

With Design Symmetry, the cam’s 180° rotation lets the same latch install on right or left-hand doors. D-Snap Technology permits blind and toolless assembly without screws or nuts and withstands vibration.
Dirak Inc.


Crystal-clear adhesive
Clear Welder is a two-part structural-methacrylate adhesive that produces a crystal-clear bond line on plastics including ABS, acrylics, FRP, PETG, PMMA, and PVC. Little or no surface preparation is necessary, and the adhesive will not discolor or craze when exposed to sunlight. The adhesive, which comes in 380-ml coaxial cartridges, is mixed as dispensed in a 10:1 ratio with a manual or pneumatic dispensing gun. Clear Welder’s mixed viscosity of 22,000 cps makes it easy to apply, and it is self-leveling. The adhesive’s working time is 4 to 6 min, fixture time is 12 to 16 min, and functional cure occurs in 2 hr at room temperature. When fully cured, the adhesive’s typical hardness is 82 Shore D, and it withstands –64 to 200°F.
ITW Devcon

Liquid-adhesive dispensing guns
Two high-speed, rapid-cycling, electric liquid-adhesive dispensing guns are said to boost efficiency and productivity while delivering consistent, high-quality bonding. The LA 825 RC guns, with elongated reduced-cavity nozzles, are for small adhesive quantities, intermittent application, and high-line speeds found in folding-carton production.

Both applicators maintain consistent bead length regardless of line speed. The applicators feature a 250-Hz continuous cycle rate, sharp adhesive cutoff, clean operation, and improved stroke adjustment.
Nordson Corp.

News from MD

Energy Efficiency Web Conference & Expo –
May 14

Do you know you can get in-depth education on energy-efficiency and all the benefits of an in-person trade show without ever leaving your desk or spending a dime?
The intelligent use of energy is making headlines. Product designers and manufacturers are striving to deliver products that consume less power, extend battery life, generate less heat, or work from alternative energy sources. Our Energy Efficiency Web Conference and Expo will educate design engineers, product developers, and managers on how to make the best use of energy-efficient product innovations and devices, and on how to arrange them in systems to lower power consumption and stay "green." This special one-day event will include sessions on such areas as:
  • Power-efficient drive techniques for lighting
  • ROI for high-efficiency capital equipment
  • Energy monitoring and energy standards
  • Designing for SEMI S23 and the Energy Act of 2007
  • Working with alternative power and battery technology
Make plans now to attend the Energy Efficiency Web Conference and Expo. The event offers a full day of live webinars and interactive booths, along with a Resource Center where visitors can download or link to additional materials.

Register Now!

Machine Design Video Spotlight

High-flex silicone flat cable
A silicone injection molding process developed by Cicoil Corp. embeds wires, coax, fiber optics, and even piping into a single highly flexible flat cable for industrial applications.

Check Out the New

Our newly redesigned web site still features the best content and information for engineers provided by engineers but with these new great features.

Multiple Path Navigation
Find content your way. Improved site navigation creates multiple ways to find the content you are looking for.

Supercharged Search
The search function has been highly improved and tested to provide the most effective results for engineers.

Highlighted Resources
Looking for CAD drawings? Find them in our CAD Library. Download whitepapers in the Whitepaper Library. Valuable educational content is featured in the eBook section. Check out the latest in editorial and sponsored video in the Video section.


Design Essentials for Plastic Gear Peformance
Sponsored by Thermotech
DATE: April 9th, 2009
TIME: 2:00pm ET/11am PT

Engineers are focused on creating cost effective, energy efficient designs that offer performance and high value to the end customer. Luckily, advancements in design, materials, manufacturing and inspection have made it possible to meet product development goals and expand plastic gear applications.
The webinar presents a unique approach to plastic gear development including:

  • Critical gear design principles
  • Performance requirements to determine optimal materials selection
  • Overview of tooling optimization technique
  • Metrology methods for plastic gears
  • Live question/answer session with presenters

  • Click here to register!

    Efficiency in Fractional HP Motors & Gearmotors
    Sponsored by Groschopp
    DATE: April 16th, 2009
    TIME: 2:00pm ET/11am PT

    Efficiency is often one of the last factors that design engineers think about when specifying for an OEM application, yet it is critical to a successful, optimized design in many ways. Join Groschopp engineers Ron Didier and Jared Birk for an overview of efficiency as it relates to other design considerations such as power source, operating cost, temperature, purchase cost and size.
    Webcast attendees will receive an early release download of the new STPe desktop design tool that allows engineers to calculate operating cost based on speed, torque and power requirements and local kwh energy costs.

    Click here learn more and to register!


    Click Here for a list of archived Machine Design webcasts.

    Industry Update

    Atlantic Fasteners chosen as Lockheed Martin STAR Supplier
    Lockheed Martin-Electronic Systems has named Atlantic Fasteners, West Springfield, Mass., a STAR Supplier. The STAR award recognizes high-performing suppliers of Lockheed's Electronic Systems unit and other business areas.

    Atlantic Fasteners met quality, delivery, and other business requirements set for at least 12 months. Companies are re-evaluated annually.
    For more information, visit Atlantic Fasteners

    Featured Links

    Engineering Calculation Toolbar
    Work through challenging conversions faster with a toolbar on your desktop to handle unit conversions, material densities, and other calculations. Learn more

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    Editorial questions:   Jessica Shapiro 216-931-9850
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