Material Scientist Ponder What to Do With Used EV Batteries As electric vehicles become mainstream, mechanical engineers and chemical engineers are trying to address the big environmental question: what do we do with the used lithium-ion batteries? The batteries used in electric cars are physically large, last 8 to 10 years, and will account for 90 per cent of the lithium-ion battery market by 2025. This will increase lithium demand fourfold, and more than double the demand for cobalt — two of their essential elements. The price of cobalt has already risen by more than 80 per cent in 2018. Most expert Material Scientists agree that a replacement hybrid car battery can range from $1,000 to more than $6,000. The [...]
A Mechanical Engineer Designs Ways to Give Your Canine Friend a Lift Up A Mechanical Engineer designs ways to give your "Best Friend" easy access to your vehicle and different higher surfaces. Read more to find out what kind of options are available for your dog. A properly sized and installed dog ramp eases a dog's boarding dilemmas. Ramps are divided into several categories: folding, telescoping, fixed, moveable and those that are stored under the back bumper of a car. This article describes the different types of dog ramps available and the engineering required to properly design them. Fig. 1 Mechanical Engineers Design Easy Car Access for Dogs Mechanical Design, Materials Science, Weight, and Ease [...]
Animal Prosthetics are a widely varying field with many different interfaces. Licensed Mechanical Engineers add immense insight into material selections, gearing, wear, and vibration response. From disease prevention (heating, ventilation, hospital room design) to surgical tools, mechanical engineering has vastly changed the art of healing sick and injured animals. A Licensed Mechanical Engineer can develop a variety of apparatus' for the Animal Kingdom to increase mobility. Animal prosthetics are a relatively new phenomenon, and their technology is improving at a rapid pace. Animal Prosthetics are Designed by Licensed Mechanical Engineers Animal Prosthetics are a widely varying field with many different interfaces. Licensed Mechanical Engineers add immense insight into material selections, gearing, wear, and vibration response. An actuated prothetic [...]
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 called "gust factor" and "exposure coefficient" for the second equation. I used the model for rooftop objects for the [...]
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, wind load is the product of pressure distributed over an area (psf times ft2 or Pa times m2). In [...]
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 control system that interacts with the data drivers along the periphery of the screen. These power and control circuit components [...]
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 could be used to construct a better heater. In this post, we review how this composite heater capitalizes on semiconductor [...]
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 the frame and the glass. For this entry, we utilize a finite element analysis (FEA) to elucidate the stress effects caused by both high and [...]
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 http://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 excessive. This points to the obvious need for a gasket to perform as a thermal interface material, in order to lessen [...]
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 punishment. However, Galileo didn’t let controversies or confinement stop him, and accomplished a great amount of research in not only [...]
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. […]
Figure 1: Mars Exploration Rover mobility testing By NASA
Figure 1: Diagram of the scientific equipment on MER-B Opportunity Mars Exploration Rover Launches Press Kit, June 2003, p. 41 [i] I mentioned in a blog last week that Mars Exploration Rover B (FIgure 1), more affectionately called Opportunity, recently celebrated the 12th anniversary (in Earth years) of its landing on Mars. 12 years without maintenance on the hostile surface of another planet is incredible, considering the original operational time was planned for only 3 months. Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity currently gets the most press, with its larger tool library and fancier cameras, but there are still scientists and engineers at JPL piloting Opportunity from one scientific site to the next. In the last blog, I mentioned [...]
12 Years a Martian: Engineering Challenges on the Red Planet GalleryCAD, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Consulting, Expert Witness, Licensed Mechanical Engineer, Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Consulting, Thermal Management
Figure 1: Mars Exploration Rover By NASA/JPL/Cornell University, Maas Digital LLC [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Depending on which Facebook pages or Twitter feeds you follow, some of you may have caught wind that Opportunity (Mars Exploration Rover B, Figure 1) recently passed its twelfth anniversary of its landing on the red planet. Opportunity’s ongoing trek across Mars represents a fantastic accomplishment in engineering. At the time I’m writing this, the rover has been in continual operation for over 4,300 Earth days (that’s about 4,185 Sols, or Martian days). Considering its original planned mission time of 92 Earth days, Opportunity has exceeded its design lifetime by 4,700%. Imagine having a car that, instead of a [...]
A close look at how 2-D phosphorus is being used in 2-Dimensional drumhead resonators, and what this means for future electronic devices.
Mechanical engineers at MIT created a new material made from polyurethane foam and wax, which may find application for "soft" robots.
Standford School of Engineering researchers are studying ways to make more efficient fuel cells.
Thin-film transistors and field emission transistors made from 2-D materials could lead to a new class of electronic devices.
UC Riverside engineering team uses silicon dioxide found in Silly Putty to improve lithium-ion batteries.
Semiconductor Industry Uses Colorful Diamonds to Measure Magnetic Fields in Semiconductors