Wood that can be used for solid floorboards, for example, has far higher value than that which suffers from damage such as heart rot or cavities and which can only be used as veneer wood. 3D imaging of freshly cut tree trunks provides a cost-effective contribution to the evaluation and classification of the wood.
Based in Veldhoven in the heart the Dutch technology belt, subcontractor Van Riet Metalworks specialises in the prototype and series production of steel and non-ferrous mechanical parts. In this market, accuracy is paramount and so the company invested in a Mazak Variaxis 5 axis machine tool with an automated pallet system which allows it to reduce the amount of human handling and so increase accuracy and reduce defects. As well as streamlining its production processes, Van Riet is also able to cut labour costs and increase production by running the Variaxis unattended for 18 to 20 hours per day.
Micro-indentation is a popular approach for determining the mechanical properties of a range of materials. At the Department of Osteology and Biomechanics, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany), Dr. Björn Busse and his research group are employing this technique to investigate the mechanical properties of bone.
Our previous article (published in QMT September/October) outlined the advice NPL gives to measurement professionals who are preparing to take a measurement. In this issue we progress to the next stage of the process and examine the questions to ask when performing the measurement.
The Centre for X-ray Tomography at Ghent University in Belgium (UGCT) is using in-situ testing stages and accessories supplied by Deben for tensile and compressive strength tests on geo-materials. Professor Veerle Cnudde leads the Centre’s PProGRess team (Pore-scale Processes in Geomaterials Research), which combines conventional research techniques such as optical microscopy and SEM-EDX with non-destructive techniques such as high resolution X-ray Computed Tomography. Areas studied by the team include dynamic processes in geomaterials, related to areas such as fluid flow behaviour; fracture nucleation and propagation in rocks; carbonatation; dissolution, precipitation and crystallization processes in porous stones.
With initiatives like Factory of the Future and Industry 4.0, manufacturing industry is striving towards right-first-time production with increased production rates and tighter tolerances. Traditional fixed-base inspection is being replaced by more embedded in-process and on-machine metrology using portable optical measurement systems.
Imagine putting together a jigsaw puzzle of more than 30 million pieces. The instructions say to group these pieces into about 80 individual blocks, which will weigh up to 800 tonnes. Those blocks must be precisely placed together, offering passengers a safe and pleasant journey aboard a tremendous cruise liner.
Headquartered in Higher Denham, some 30 miles north-west of London, Martin- Baker is the world’s longest established and most experienced manufacturer of aircraft ejection seats and related survival equipment. Given the safety critical nature of Martin-Baker’s products, they are manufactured to the highest standards of quality and reliability. Although numerous modern inspection and testing aids are used to ensure ‘as-designed’ performance, the mainstay of Martin-Baker’s inspection functions is its collection of Mitutoyo CNC Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs).
The UK’s only producer of hotsaw blades, Sheffield Industrial Saws, relies on a Bowers TH174 portable hardness tester to accurately measure circular saw blades. Sheffield Industrial Saws uses the handheld device to measure the hardness of the tooth tips of its hot and friction saw blades, which are made from carbon steel. The Bowers metal hardness tester is one of the only products on the market that can fulfil these hardness testing requirements and still be portable.
The extraordinary strength to weight ratio of composite materials has enabled F1 and other series engineers to design cars that use semi-monocoque chassis, wings, spoilers, and other parts, made from these materials that are significantly lighter and stronger. This results in cars that are both faster and safer.
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