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Forming and Fabricating Research Roundup

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


As one of the three original topic areas (with material removal and manufacturing systems) for the North American Metalworking (later Manufacturing) Research Conference (NAMRC), and as a perennial focus that continues to evolve, material forming has a solid foundation at SME. Forming and fabricating as a segment of the SME Technical Paper library is nearly 800 papers from 1951 to present. Full Article

SME Journal of Manufacturing Systems Top Downloads

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


Just announced are the top five downloaded articles published in 2014 in SME’s Journal of Manufacturing Systems (JMS). Elsevier also publishes SME’s Journal of Manufacturing Processes and Manufacturing Letters. Full Article

More of the Hole Story

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


As the saying goes, you can always build a better mousetrap. Likewise, you can make a good hole better, according to the author of SME Technical PaperTP79PUB215, in this case by ball microfinishing. SME papers cover a range of topics and developments in holemaking, such as location methods, coolant types and delivery, drill geometry, combo tools (such as the "Rotabroach"), hole quality and other techniques such as punching, oscillatory boring and helical milling. Full Article

Tech Front: New Carbon Nanotubes May Boost Battery Life

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


A team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin have discovered high-performing carbon nanotubes that may lead to the development of improved battery life for flexible electronics and also for military and industrial applications. The research team, led by materials science Associate Professor Michael Arnold and Professor Padma Gopalan, recently released their results in a paper published in the journal ACS Nano. Full Article

Part of the Hole Story

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


It couldn’t have been long after the first tools were hacked into shape that the first holes were made in some rock or tree. Fast forward many centuries and the first machine tool used by mechanically minded folks is likely a drill press. Everyone feels like an expert after making a perfect hole in something, but precision holemaking involves “many factors that must be considered regardless of how simple making holes might seem,” says the author of SME Technical Paper TP62PUB6. Full Article

NAMRC Research Event Upcoming June 8-12

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


Session schedules and activity details are taking final form for the North American Manufacturing Research Conference (NAMRC), the flagship annual event of SME’s North American Manufacturing Research Institution (NAMRI/SME). NAMRC and the Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference (MSEC) of ASME’s Manufacturing Engineering Div. are hosted together June 8-12, 2015, at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. . Full Article

Lightweighting Heavy on History

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


Maybe the desire to lose weight doesn’t go back as far as Atlas in Greek mythology, but for decades materials experts have sought lighter weight with strength and economy in the more well-known applications of autos and airplanes as well as in such products as metal cans and bicycles. Full Article

Variations of Waterjet: Robotic and Abrasive

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


No sooner had waterjet cutting gone mainstream did someone think of adding an abrasive to the water flow and integrating a robot into the system. From SME Technical Paper TP85PUB248: "High pressure waterjet machines capable of cutting relatively soft materials such as paper, cloth, wood, and fiberglass can now cut ceramics, metal composites, and tough metals such as Inconel and titanium because of a recent design innovation which induces abrasive grit into the water jet." Full Article

Tracing the Flow of Waterjet Processes

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


What’s able to cut steel, disposable diapers, composites, newsprint, titanium, ceramic tile, wood, cloth and even cake? With apologies to Superman, it’s waterjet, of course. Although “a modern waterjet system can slit a mile of newsprint in a minute using only a cup of water,” the history of using water for washing away material goes way back. Full Article

Tech Front: New Nanoscale Compounds for Better CNG Storage

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


Researchers at Rice University (Houston) have published a new study on nanoscale materials composed of metal organic frameworks (MOF) that could be used to devise more practical storage systems used with compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. Today’s CNG-powered buses and trucks typically use very bulky tanks that store natural gas at very high pressure. Full Article

Cool Info on Metalworking Fluids

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


Chilled air dispersion can lessen the risks to workers of ingesting, inhaling or absorbing cutting fluids, as addressed by V.N. Malhotra, S. Arunachalam and P. Dewson (University of East London; Dagenham, Essex, England) in their 2005 paper reporting the novel experimental technique. Full Article

Trends in Stamping Progress

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


Papers exploring the current state and future trends in a particular technology are perennially popular. Too, rediscovering such papers a few years later provides a timeline of the topic’s evolution. Such is the case with several papers on stamping, among the 95 related to this fabrication process in the SME Technical Paper library. Full Article

Extrusion and Drawing Knowledge

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


Extrusion and drawing, two related, stalwart topics in material forming, are covered from top of punch to bottom of die in more than 200 papers in the SME Technical Paper library. The range of contributors is broad, from companies like Alcoa, Westinghouse, ASEA, Western Electric and General Electric to universities in Japan, Germany and the US, as well as individual entrepreneur metalworking shops. Full Article

Tech Front: New Conductive Polymer Nanocomposites Hold Promise for Portable Devices

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


Researchers at Drexel University (Philadelphia) have developed a strong, flexible, electrically conductive nanocomposite material that could be used to power future wearable energy storage devices. The conductive MXene-polymer nanocomposite material, created by researchers in Drexel’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering in collaboration with scientists at Dalian University of Technology in China, is very flexible yet has the strength to support many times its own weight. Full Article

Forming and Fabricating Presses On

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


The collective topics of forming and fabricating are a heavyweight segment of the SME Technical Paper library, with nearly 800 papers from 1951 to present. Here’s an overview of the many areas covered in the fabrication and material forming case studies and tutorials in SME’s database. Full Article

Tech Front: Hybrid Semiconductor Phosphors Emerge for Low-Cost LED Lighting

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


A team of researchers at Rutgers University (Piscataway, NJ) have designed new materials that could change the way household light bulbs are manufactured. With the phase-out of traditional incandescent light bulbs in the US and other countries, lighting manufacturers have looked for more energy-efficient lighting alternatives in the form of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Full Article

Advanced Materials Always on the Edge

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


As materials discoveries have advanced, techniques have evolved “to accelerate the transition from materials processing in a laboratory environment to fabrication techniques in a full scale production environment” and to show how “the advent of new materials and advances in the design of mechanical and electrical components are inextricably linked.” The paper stating this describes a knowledge-based approach to hot isostatic pressing. Full Article

Tech Front: New High-Hardness Metal-Matrix Material Developed for Additive Uses

Edited by Senior Editors Ellen Kehoe and Patrick Waurzyniak


A new ferrous metal-matrix material developed by The NanoSteel Co. (Providence, RI) will soon offer manufacturers a new alternative for producing fully dense, high-hardness metal components with additive manufacturing techniques. Full Article

JIT and Other TLA’s

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


Animal, vegetable or mineral—what are TLA’s? Turns out, searching for a selection of papers on just-in-time manufacturing in the SME Tech Paper library brings up many TLA’s—Three-Letter Acronyms, not to keep you in suspense. Full Article

New Papers from RAPID 2014

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


Technical papers presented at RAPID 2014 and eligible for the 2014 Dick Aubin Distinguished Paper Award are now available online in the SME Technical Papers collection. The 13 papers cover a range of additive manufacturing topics, including several dealing with biomedical applications and one presenting a review of the current state of development of selective laser melting of refractory alloys such as those of tungsten, molybdenum and tantalum. Full Article

Quality Topics Run Deep

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


SME Technical Papers on quality have been a mainstay of the collection for decades. Several hundred papers-from "Administration of Quality Control" (1951), "Role of Quality Control in the Sales Effort" (1965), "Quality Assurance of Advanced Composite Structures" (1979) and "In-Process Quality Control for Cold Forming" (1983), through "Quality Measures Through Service Gap Analysis" (1991), "TV Screen Quality Inspection by Artificial Vision" (2003) and "Quality Inspection Planning of Oilfield Equipment" (2010)-show the durability of the topic. Full Article

Focus on the Workforce: Partnering for STEM: The National Educator's Workshop

Mel Cossette, Principal Investigator, National Resource Center for Materials


Training the future workforce is critical to our nation’s economy, especially in the areas of manufacturing and material science. Edmonds Community College (EdCC) and the National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education (MatEdU), which is housed at EdCC, are dedicated to this initiative through the annual National Educator’s Workshop (NEW) event, which is produced by MatEdU. Full Article

TechFront: Battery Breakthrough: Stable Lithium Anodes

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


A Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA) research team has developed a stable pure lithium metal anode that could lead to the design of smaller, more efficient and less-expensive batteries for use in a wide range of applications from consumer electronics to electric vehicles. Full Article

Six Sigma in the Spotlight

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


Other than lean, two of the most downloaded topics from the expansive SME Technical Paper collection are quality and Six Sigma. Zeroing in specifically on Six Sigma, which is all about “zeroing in”—on defects, that is, we find more than 15 papers directly related to the subject. Full Article

TechFront: New Laser-Like Polariton Beams Show Promise for Electronics, Medical Uses

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


Researchers at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) have developed a new laser-like beam, called a polariton, that is said to be the first polariton laser powered by electrical current instead of light. The invention, which technically isn’t a laser, also works at room temperature instead of at below-zero temperatures. Full Article

Tech Front: Research Team Develops New Ultralight, Ultrastiff Additive Materials

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


A team of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL; Livermore, CA) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge, MA) has developed a new material for additive manufacturing processes that is as dense and light as an aerogel, but has 10,000 times more stiffness. This material is described in the researchers’ paper published in a June 20 article in the journal Science. Full Article

TechFront: Ultra-Strong MRIs Show Promise for Neuroscience, Other Research

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


New ultra-strong, high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) full-body scanners under development by GE Healthcare (Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire, UK) and Tesla Engineering UK (Pulborough, West Sussex, UK) will be used by researchers to speed detection and improve therapies for Parkinson’s disease and a host of other disorders. Full Article

Tech Front: New Process Allows Nanofibers to Grow at Room Temperature

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


Researchers at North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC) have devised a safer method of growing vertically aligned carbon nanofibers (VACNF) with ambient air, rather than using toxic chemicals like ammonia at very high temperatures in a vacuum chamber. Full Article

Tech Front: Graphene-Based Light Detectors Add Thermal Vision to Contact Lenses

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


New research into graphene-based light detectors that can use the full infrared spectrum has the potential to put heat-vision technology into a contact lens or other devices. And unlike the mid- and far-infrared detectors currently on the market, the detector developed by University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) engineering researchers doesn’t require bulky cooling equipment to work. Full Article

Tech Front - New Carbon Nanotubes Outperform Copper as Electrical Conductors

Patrick Waurzyniak, Senior Editor and Ellen Kehoe, Senior Editor


Carbon nanotube-based fibers created at Rice University (Houston) show that on a pound-per-pound basis, the nanotube fibers have more capacity to conduct electrical current than copper. Although individual nanotubes can transmit nearly 1000 times more current than copper, the same tubes coalesced into a fiber using other technologies fail long before reaching that capacity. Full Article

Tech Front: Researchers Develop a Muscular Micro Material

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


Vanadium dioxide, already known for its ability to change size, shape and physical identity, could add super strength in a tiny package to its list of impressive attributes. A team of researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) recently demonstrated how a micro-sized torsional muscle motor constructed of vanadium dioxide is thousands of times stronger than a human muscle. Full Article

The Latest News About the US Manufacturing Network

Edited by Assistant Editor Katelyn DaMour


Click here for the latest news on the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. President Barack Obama announced the formation of a NNMI to strengthen US industry in March 2012 and renewed calls for it in his 2013 and 2014 State of the Union addresses. Full Article

Tech Front: Nanotube Soldering Process Creates Tiny Electrical Pathways

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


Scientists at the University of Illinois (Champaign, IL) have devised a way to heal gaps in tiny wires too small for the smallest soldering iron. A research team, led by electrical and computer engineering professor Joseph Lyding and graduate student Jae Won Do, has published its results in the journal Nano Letters. Full Article

Tech Front: Carbyne Chains Hold Promise for Creating Stronger Nanomaterials

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


Carbyne may turn out to be the strongest of a new class of microscopic materials ever, if scientists can determine an effective way to produce it in bulk. Researchers at Rice University (Houston) have studied carbyne nanorods or nanoropes that could have a host of remarkable and useful properties, which are described by Rice University theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson and his group in a paper published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano. Full Article

Tech Front: DOE Grant Funds Research to Improve Nanoscale Additive Manufacturing

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


A new three-year $660,000 grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) will fund researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta) on development of advanced additive manufacturing techniques used to create 3D nanoscale structures. Full Article

Tech Front: Researchers to Combine Computing, Materials Science with Maker Movement

Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe.


Hoping to capitalize on the current wave of interest in additive manufacturing and the maker movement, two professors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI) and Drexel University (Philadelphia) are aiming to meld recent advances in computing, additive manufacturing and materials sciences into a new discipline dubbed the "informatics of making." Full Article

Tech Front: New Welding Process Holds Potential for Medical Uses

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


Microfabrication developer Primoceler (Tampere, Finland) has created what it calls the world’s first sapphire-to-sapphire welding process that can be used in the manufacture of sensors, lenses and many other devices. Full Article

Tech Front - Getting a Better Grip with Robots

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


Industrial robots have made much progress in recent years, becoming more nimble and adding advanced technologies such as force sensing and 3D vision systems. Full Article

Tech Front: Nanotubes Hold Promise for Extending Battery Life

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


Researchers at Rice University (Houston) have invented a new way to boost the efficiency of the ubiquitous lithium-ion (li-ion) battery by using ribbons of graphene that start as carbon nanotubes. Proof-of-concept anodes—the part of the battery that stores lithium ions—built with graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) and tin oxide showed an initial capacity better than the theoretical capacity of tin oxide alone, according to Rice chemist James Tour. Full Article

Tech Front: Reliable 3D Bin-Picking Solution

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe.


Humans have it easy. We intuitively use our eyes and sense of touch to grab and move objects. The mobility of our arms and hands are unrivaled by any machine. The ultimate industrial automation challenge is to apply these natural processes to robot handling. Full Article

Tech Front: Productivity Centers with Pallet Transfer, ATC

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


The ICON-150 and ICON-250 flexible multiple-station machines from ICON Technologies, a Division of Hydromat Inc. (St. Louis), offer precision machining capability for a wide variety of workpieces from automotive to medical components. Full Article

Tech Front: Honing Technology Conquers Aerospace

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


Honing was invented more than 70 years ago to de-glaze cylinder bores in early automobiles. Since then, conventional honing has been routinely used to create crosshatch surface finish in bores to enhance oil retention to lubricate and seal sliding/mating parts like pistons, plungers and shafts. Full Article

Tech Front - Tooling Choices Lead to Thread Milling Solutions

Jim Lorincz Senior Editor Manufacturing Engineering Magazine


"When most people talk about the question of tool life, they're referencing extending the time of use of a particular tool. It can be more helpful to take a look at the big picture and examine the question of tool life from a technologilla perspective," said Jeff Dei, presdient, Carmex Precision Tools LLC (Richfield, WI). Full Article

Tech Front: Oil Field Threading Demand on the Rise

Edited by Jim Lorincz Senior Editor Manufacturing Engineering


Demand for oil field equipment technology for oil and gas industry applications like pipe and casing threaidng grew by 33% in the US in 2012 according to estimates cited by EMAG LLC Farmington Hills, MI and Leipzig, Germany). Full Article

Tech Front: ROVs Travel Deep in Subsea Energy Search

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


Remotely operated vehicles (ROV) rose to the top of public consciousness with the Gulf oil spill disaster in April 2010. Streaming video from ROVs working to staunch the flow of oil from the Macondo well was seen on television screens around the world in real time after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, burned and sank. Full Article

Tech Front: Robotic Laser Software Trims Auto Steel

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


Laser cutting has emerged as the best way to cut and trim hot-stamped steel, the light-weight, high-strength materials increasingly used in the automotive industry to reduce the overall cost and weight of cars while improving both passenger safety and fuel economy. Full Article

Tech Front: Surfaces Get Laser-Produced Textures

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


In many industries, surface texture has become an important aspect of product design. It not only provides the means to refine the physical appearance of an item, but also allows a company to influence tactile impressions of their products. Full Article

Tech Front: Hard Turning Finishes Strong with PCBN

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


Recent advances in PCBN cutting tool technology have increased the acceptance of hard turning as a finishing operation of critical surfaces, according to Seco Tools Inc. (Troy, MI). PCBN tool inserts, combined with the latest plunge turning technique, are said to produce as good or better tolerances than conventional grinding for finishing steel parts hardened to Rc 45–64.  Full Article

Tech Front: Aluminum-Alloy Pipe Lightens Drill Sting

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


An aluminum-alloy drill pipe string over a mile long is credited with significantly reducing drill string hook load and related drilling torque and drag for drilling offshore from Seria, Brunei, in a well, considered one of the most complex by Brunei Shell Petroleum Co. (BSP). Full Article

Tech Front: CDCF Grinding Regains Aerospace Nod

Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


Continuous dress creep feed (CDCF) grinding is enjoying a comeback for processing complex profiles for aerospace and other difficult-to-machine workpieces. CDCF technology uses a constantly infeeding rotary diamond dresser that dresses the wheel continuously during the grinding cycle at a preprogrammed infeed rate. Full Article

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