Mechanical Engineering Consulting Firm Solves Truck Axle Failure

By | 2017-11-12T00:03:08+00:00 October 26th, 2017|Engineering Consulting, Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Consulting|

Mechanical Engineering Consulting Firm Solves an Axle Failure Attorney Requested Mechanical Engineering Consulting and Litigation Support Glew Engineering provides mechanical engineering consulting to high technology and industry.  As is often the case, an attorney asked us to provide an independent 3rd party review of the cause of repeated torsion axle failures on a semi-truck trailer that his client experienced.  We obtained the failure information and photographs from the client and researched the trailer and its axle configuration.  As mechanical design experts, we formulated an unbiased opinion on why the trailer’s axles failed multiple times despite being under the rated loads. [...]

Mechanical Engineering Consultants Use 3D CAD Software Comparison via Custom Motorcycle Frame: Creo vs Solidworks vs Inventor: Part 2

By | 2017-11-17T11:56:10+00:00 April 1st, 2017|CAD, Mechanical Engineering|

3D CAD Software Comparison Blog Series: Starting the Motorcycle Frame Design in Solidworks™  Welcome back to our 3D CAD software comparison blog series. Recall that in last week’s discussion, as Mechanical Engineering Consultants we introduced our plan to to model a motorcycle frame in three different 3D CAD software packages.  We gave a brief history of the three CAD software packages that Glew Engineering employs: Solidworks™, Creo™, and Inventor™. In this week’s blog, as Mechanical Engineering Consultants we use Solidworks™ CAD software to model a portion of the motorcycle frame, a simple tube, while comparing three modeling techniques: Extruding [...]

Mechanical Engineering Consulting Firm Evaluates 3D Software Using Motorcycle Frame – Part 1

By | 2017-11-19T13:52:33+00:00 March 24th, 2017|CAD, Engineering Consulting, Mechanical Engineering Consulting|

Fig. 1 A street bike shown in CAD mesh. Mechanical Engineering Consulting Group Evaluates 3D CAD Programs Mechanical Engineering Consulting Testing of Creo™, Solidworks™, and Inventor™ Mechanical Engineering Consulting service companies largely use one of three 3D CAD programs: Creo™, Solidworks™, and Inventor™.  At Glew Engineering, we have licensed seats of all three CAD mechanical design packages.  We reviewed the CAD workflow and feature sets of each 3D CAD program using motorcycle frame design as an example.  Also, we showed that some of the specialized commands of each 3D CAD software programs are better suited for specific tasks. Our engineers [...]

Energy Efficient Solutions for Everyday Energy Efficiency Problems

By | 2017-11-15T15:57:47+00:00 August 22nd, 2016|Energy Efficiency, Holiday, Mechanical Engineering|

As energy efficient environmentally conscious engineers, we here at Glew Engineering do what we can to save energy and resources both around home and around the office.  This might mean choosing products that are more environmentally friendly or energy efficient.  It might mean using our surroundings to our advantage, like pulling cold air through a home or office at night so the building needs less air conditioning the next day.  The most satisfying thing, though, is to employ our knowledge of mechanical engineering, materials science and thermal management to design custom hand-tooled solutions.  In the next few blog posts, I'll [...]

Wind Load CFD Modeling for Rooftop Elements Compared to ASCE 7

By | 2017-11-10T10:11:25+00:00 August 15th, 2016|Mechanical Engineering, Safety|

  Wind Load Comparison between CFD and ASCE 7 for Rooftop shapes Welcome back to our blog series on the phenomenon called Wind Load CFD Modeling and how it affects civil and mechanical engineers.  Wind Load is the force that blowing wind exerts on any device or structure that extends above ground level.  After an initial introduction to the factors that affect wind load on an object, I compared three different sets of wind load calculation methods using three simple objects, hypothetically placed on a 100-foot-tall building.  Starting with generic drag equation for the first equation, added two modification coefficients [...]

Comparing Wind Load Calculation Methods

By | 2017-11-16T13:47:34+00:00 August 3rd, 2016|Mechanical Engineering|

Wind Load Calculation Wind Load Calculation is an overview of the force that blowing wind exerts on a tall object.  A number of factors that influence the actual wind load on a real building, include the surrounding terrain, nearby structures,  trees, and typical weather patterns for the area.  Comparing wind load calculations are most complicated . Calculations try to account for as many of these external factors as possible, to the point where the wind load section in American Society for Civil Engineer’s ASCE 7 standard, spans five chapters and over 100 pages. Fig [...]

Wind Load Calculations and Modeling

By | 2016-12-15T22:24:50+00:00 July 21st, 2016|Finite Element Analysis, Mechanical Engineering|

 Part 1 of our Wind Load Series “Wind load” is a calculated value representing the total force on a structure or object cause by pressure from wind moving over it.  In this blog series, we will discuss different methods for wind load calculations, the factors that influence its magnitude, and the effects a high wind load can have on a structure.  Wind load is most commonly addressed by civil and structural engineers when designing buildings, but mechanical engineers can encounter the effect when designing tall objects like cranes, telescoping communications masts or wind turbine towers. Wind Load Essentials As a force, [...]

Flat Panel and LCD Screens, Part 2

By | 2017-11-07T14:38:27+00:00 June 24th, 2016|Materials Science, Semiconductor|

Figure 1: Unpowered Sony Ericsson S500i LCD screen at 200x magnification In our last blog post, I wrote about some of the physics and materials science principles that go into the design and manufacture of liquid-crystal display (LCD) screens.  The eponymous liquid crystals (LCs) in such a display have to be quite small in order to create a seamless image; as I mentioned in the last entry, the subpixels (the red, green and blue elements comprising a pixel, visible in Figure 1) can be smaller than a red blood cell.  Each of these subpixels needs its own [...]

Flat Panel and LCD Screens: Part 1

By | 2017-11-10T17:15:40+00:00 June 16th, 2016|Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering|

Figure 1: Powered LCD screen of a Sony Ericsson S500i at 200x magnification. Liquid crystal display (LCD) screens are omnipresent in our technologically saturated lives.  Having largely displaced the older CRT screens, LCDs make up a large portion of the digital imaging we see all around us.  They are present in everything from our ubiquitous smartphones and computer screens to digital billboards, wristwatches and vehicle and aircraft instrumentation.  How do flat panel LCD screens work? One can often find videos and articles documenting eager teardowns of new devices, but few delve beyond the hardware and into the materials and design behind [...]

Layered Composite Heaters for Semiconductor Processing

By | 2017-11-07T14:56:05+00:00 April 15th, 2016|Materials Science, Semiconductor, Thermal Management|

Figure 1: Composite layered heater from patent  US 9,224,626 B2 Alexander Glew, Ph.D., P.E. recently contributed to a new patent on an advanced thin-film electric heaters, layered composite heaters, for CVD semiconductor processing and related technologies titled “Composite substrate for layered heaters”.  Watlow Electric, based in St. Louis, hired Glew Engineering and Dr. Glew to help develop this heater technology due to his experience in the Silicon Valley’s semiconductor industry.  As a semiconductor equipment expert and materials engineering consultant, Dr. Glew’s familiarity with semiconductor manufacturing meant he understood both the limitations of common semiconductor chuck heating methods and the techniques that [...]

Window Energy Efficiency: Solar Heat Gain and Visible Transmittance

By | 2017-11-21T12:51:26+00:00 April 4th, 2016|Mechanical Engineering, Thermal Management|

Conduction and Radiation of Thermal Energy In my last blog post, I wrote about the conduction and radiation of thermal energy through windows and the thermal transmittance value, called the U-Factor, that characterizes that heat transfer.  The U-factor is useful in evaluating window performance and making wise decisions when specifying components for a building, but it is only one piece of the puzzle.  The National Fenestration Research Council (NFRC) mandates a second value alongside U-factor in its certification process, called the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC).  SHGC represents the ability of a window to resist [...]

Window Energy Efficiency: Thermal Transmittance

By | 2017-11-07T15:14:36+00:00 March 30th, 2016|Mechanical Engineering, Thermal Management|

Figure 1: Windows catching sunlight By Magda S [FreeImages.com Content License] In our last blog post, I wrote about the thermal resistance (R-value) and transmittance (U-factor) of insulation and windows.  The R-value represents how well a material prevents heat transfer through its thickness, and U-factor is its inverse, representing how much heat a material will conduct through.  These values are fairly simple to calculate for most building materials materials like the bricks and panels in Figure 1, as they primarily experience only conductive heat transfer.  Windows are a more challenging proposition, however, since the heat transfer through them [...]

Energy Efficiency in Building Materials, Insulation and Windows

By | 2017-11-07T15:05:13+00:00 March 24th, 2016|Mechanical Engineering, Thermal Management|

Figure 1: FLIR image of two houses showing energy loss. Colors towards red on the scale indicate warmer surfaces and more energy loss. The basic principle behind thermal insulation is simple to understand.  The harder it is for heat to travel through a material, the better insulator that material will make.  In this blog, I’m going to take a look at how that effectiveness is quantified, after a brief review of the three methods of heat transfer.  The building and construction industry use a ratio called the R-factor to indicate how well a building material can insulate a space.  [...]

Italian Masters: Leonardo da Vinci – Artist, Engineer, Scientist

By | 2017-11-10T09:24:25+00:00 March 22nd, 2016|Mechanical Engineering|

Figure 1: Leonardo da Vinci, by Francesco Melzi Over the course of this blog series, I have written about a number of Italian Masters of science and engineering, from astronomers like Galileo and Cassini to physicists like Torricelli and Venturi.  I’ve saved the best for last, however: Leonardo da Vinci.  He is the quintessential renaissance man who fits both our running definition of “Italian Master” as well as being included in the standard list of Masters with Rafael, Donatello and Michelangelo  Leonardo’s incredibly broad array of talents and interests have long been the subjects of movies, books, TV shows, and, of late, [...]

Thermal Expansion in a Glass and Aluminum Window: Part 2

By | 2017-08-12T16:31:30+00:00 March 17th, 2016|Finite Element Analysis, Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, Thermal Management|

Figure 1: Simplified model of an aluminum-glass window   In last week’s blog, Thermal Expansion in a Glass and Aluminum Window: Part 1, we introduced the basic concept of thermal expansion in solid materials.  Since CTE mismatch can impose extremely high stress, during mechanical engineering design one must consider the temperature exposure and expansion or contraction of a material.  In order to help the read gain insight, we used a simplified aluminum-framed window to demonstrate that a hot summer day would be enough to shatter glass if the window wasn’t equipped with a flexible gasket between [...]

Italian Masters: Volta Jump-Starts Electrical Engineering

By | 2017-04-21T13:25:42+00:00 March 14th, 2016|Mechanical Engineering|

Italian Masters: Volta Jump-Starts Electrical EngineeringFigure 1: Girolamo Cardano (1501-1576) Welcome back to our series on Italian Masters of math and science.  Last week I wrote about Galileo’s extensive accomplishments both in the field of astronomy and beyond.  This week, I’ll take a look at another renaissance polymath who dabbled in astronomy, along with his work in mathematics, medicine, biology, chemistry, philosophy, and gambling (yes, seriously): Girolamo Cardano.  Cardano is a less well-known figure than Galileo or some of the other scientists I’ve written about who have famous equations or units of measurement named after them, like Volta or Torricelli.  He [...]

Thermal Expansion in a Glass and Aluminum Window: Part 1

By | 2017-11-08T15:17:20+00:00 March 12th, 2016|Finite Element Analysis, Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering|

Equipment designers must accommodate thermal expansion (CTE)of dissimilar materials, especially when they are subject to large temperature changes.  This problem is often called "CTE mismatch."  In this blog, we give the fundamentals of thermal expansion calculations used in thermo-mechanical analysis. These calculations are simple but useful, and easy enough to perform by hand or with a spread sheet. For more complicated shapes, one must use computer modeling.  As an example, we perform a finite element analysis (FEA) in a later blog //glewengineering.com/thermal-expansion-in-a-glass-and-aluminum-window-part-2/, of a glass and aluminum window and frame to show where the stress is [...]

Italian Masters: Galileo’s Stellar Science and Engineering

By | 2017-11-07T16:47:54+00:00 March 10th, 2016|Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering|

Portrait of Galileo Galilei Justus Sustermans [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons I’d like to return to our previous series on the Italian Masters, focused not on the usual masters or painting and sculpture but on the masters or science, mathematics, and engineering.  So far in the series I’ve written about the accomplishments of Volta, Cassini, Venturi and Torricelli.  Today, I’d like to look at one of the greats: Galileo Galilei.  Galileo is most famous today for standing up for heliocentrism against the Catholic Church and spending the last years of his life under house arrest as [...]

Italian Masters: Volta Jump-Starts Electrical Engineering

By | 2017-11-07T16:51:43+00:00 February 25th, 2016|Electrical Engineering, Materials Science|

Figure 1: Allesandro Volta We’ve been taking a break from hard-hitting mechanical engineering and materials science blogs with some pieces on the Italian masters of science, mathematics and engineering in the 16-19th centuries.  I’ve previously explored the lives and contributions of Evangelista Torricelli, Giovanni Venturi and Giovanni Cassini.  For this blog, I’m focusing on Alessandro Volta, who helped revolutionize our understanding of electricity and electrochemstry it in the late 18th century.  […]

12 Years a Martian: Mechanical Engineering on Mars, The Red Planet

By | 2017-11-08T15:31:06+00:00 February 22nd, 2016|Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering|

Figure 1: Mars Exploration Rover mobility testing By NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons I’ve been writing a short blog series celebrating Mars Exploration Rover B (MER-B) Opportunity’s 12th anniversary of its landing on Mars.  Opportunity has exceeded its original three-month design lifetime by 48 times, and is still operating every day.  In previously entries I’ve covered the hazardsOpportunity faces on hostile surface of the red planet as well as some of the advanced materials science technologies that it uses to survive.  In this entry, I’ll look at some of themechanical engineer design choices that have [...]