All posts by thomasnet

Hot press forging

Did you know that fasteners can be fabricated through hot press forging? This blog will cover what exactly that is and why the process is used.

Forging is one of the oldest known metalworking processes. Originally done by a smith using a hammer and anvil, we have thankfully moved to more modern techniques. Today, industrial forging is done with presses. There are two types of presses, mechanical and hydraulic. Mechanical presses use cams, cranks and toggles to produce a fastener. Mechanical presses are faster than hydraulic ones. Hydraulic presses use fluid pressure and a piston to generate force. Hydraulic machinery, while slower, do offer greater flexibility and capacity.

The main advantage of producing a fastener through press forging is that the piece will be stronger than if it was machined or cast. This is because when a piece is forged, the internal grain deforms to follow the shape of the part. This creates a continuous grain, improving the piece’s strength.

Press forging applies a slow, uninterrupted force on a piece, differing from the quick impact of drop-hammer forging. This method is advantageous because it has the ability to deform the completed piece. While this method does take longer, the strength benefits outweigh the length of time needed. Press forging is also more economical than hammer forging, while also creating closer tolerances.

Press forging is especially useful when dealing with very large diameter fasteners. There is no limit to the size created, because there is no limit to the size of the press forging machinery. New techniques have led to a higher degree of mechanical integrity. And by limiting the oxidation to the outer layers of the fastener, micro cracking is reduced.

Please contact us today for any and all of your fastener needs.

Making Cement More Green

Cement is a material that is all around us and one that we hardly notice. It is the main ingredient in concrete, which is in the bridges we cross, the sidewalks we step on and the buildings we work in. Cement is the second most consumed material on Earth, only behind water. More surprising than the amount we consume is the amount of CO2 that cement produces. This single industry can make up anywhere between 5% to 10% of global emissions.

The main substance in cement is limestone that is heated to 1400C and then ground down to create a lumpy, yet solid substance known as clinker. Clinker is them combined with gypsum to form cement. The amount of heat needed to produce cement makes its energy and emission consumption very high. The heating of limestone creates CO2 as does the burning of fossil fuels to heat the kiln. The most common cement used for construction is Portland cement, which is the cheapest and consequently has the most environmental concerns.

Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne (EFPL) in Switzerland believe they have found a more efficient way to create cement. Their cement is produced by materials that are widely used and available- calcined clay and ground limestone. By mixing in their cement, known as LC3, with Portland cement, they believe they can bring down global CO2 emissions by several percent. It is not enough to just cut emissions, the new cement must also be strong and durable enough to be used as current cement is.

The EFPL just received a round of funding to further their research and we here at Coburn-Myers are looking forward to what they come up with.

The Metric System

Fotosearch_k10972075The metric system dates back to the 1700’s, when it was first created. As you can imagine, doing business would be difficult with every neighboring town using a different system. The system set a standard for making both weights and measurements uniform. But it wasn’t until a century later when the system was adopted within the European Union. At this point it began to rapidly spread.

Now fast forward to the modern day and age, and we have the majority of the world using the metric system. It is the default measuring scale used for global trade transactions and agreements. However, three countries still abstain from using the system fully which are the United States, Liberia and Myanmar. The U.S. officially adopted the system in 1975, although it hasn’t been successfully launched. Let’s take a look at the system and what advantages have placed it as the main way to measure our world and conduct business.

Greater Accuracy

The metric system has a central unit of 10’s which can be converted amongst the 7 measuring units in the system. The 7 units are as follows:

Unit for length is the meter
Unit for mass is the kilogram
Unit for time is the second
Unit for electric current is the ampere
Unit for thermodynamic temperature is the kelvin
Unit for amount of substance is the mole
Unit for luminous intensity is the candela

It is Widely Used

Because this system is so widely used, it is beneficial to be prepared to do business on its terms. With 95% of countries using this system of measurements, it is a must for international business.

Base Units

It is easier to follow a system that is interconnected and makes sense. In place of remembering various different conversions, the following base units can be used:

10 millimeters is 1 centimeter

10 centimeters is 1 decimeter is 100 millimeters

10 decimeters is 1 meter is 1,000 millimeters

10 meters is 1 decameter

10 decameters is 1 hectometer is 100 meters

10 hectometers is 1 kilometer is 1,000 meters

Once you have these memorized, you will be equipped to do business with any country in the world.

A New Type of Concrete May Last Over a Century

A team of engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have a developed a new type of concrete that can last over 120 years. Known as Superhydrophobic Engineered Cementitious Composite (SECC), this water-repellent concrete is comprised of superstrong fibers that will leave bridges and roads without cracks for many years. Using superhydrophobic additives, mixed with superfine powders, the team was able to create a minute spiky surface within the concrete that was nearly impenetrable to water. An addition of unwoven polyvinyl alcohol fibers allows the concrete to bend without becoming brittle and breaking. The water repellent nature of SECC prevents the absorption of water, which is what leads normal porous concrete to crack. This new concrete is also more pliable, which means that if cracks do form, they will not grow and ultimately cause failure.

According to a list by the Government Finance Officers Association, typical concrete roadways can last up to 30 years and concrete bridges may last as long as 40 years. SECC, however, should be able to last four times as long on roads and three times as long on bridges. While this new concrete would cost more than traditional concrete, the decrease in maintenance costs over the life of SECC would more than make the cost worthwhile.

To test their new concrete, the engineers laid a 4-by-15- foot slab of SECC in a university parking garage. They implanted sensors within the concrete so they can monitor the moisture, stress and load levels. This will allow them to analyze the concrete in the real-world and hopefully prove the findings that they saw in the lab.