How Do You Optimize the Structure of the World’s Largest…

How Do You Optimize the Structure of the World’s Largest…

Feb 12, 2018

“How Do You Optimize the Structure of the World’s Largest All-Composite Aircraft?” Featured in Design-2-Part Magazine Manufacturers of the Stratolaunch air-launch platform used Collier Research’s automated sizing and analysis software to inform laminate design and production, optimize the fuselage and wing structure, and reduce weight. NEWPORT NEWS, Va.—When the Stratolaunch aircraft rolled out of the Mojave, California Air and Space Port hangar last spring in preparation for ground testing, it was a clear example of how far the design and manufacturing of composite materials have progressed in recent years. In September, the first phase of engine testing on the aircraft’s six Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines was completed.   The world’s largest aircraft by wingspan (wider than a football field is long) is almost entirely fabricated from composite materials, which provide light weight, high stiffness, and strength characteristics that are increasingly in demand in aerospace, automotive, sports, medical, and industrial fields. But when you’re building the world’s largest all-composite aircraft, how do you know it can carry the load? One option is to test the materials using HyperSizer, a computer-aided engineering (CAE) software product from  Collier Research Corporation. The simulation software has already been used to test materials used in Bell’s V280 helicopter, the NASA Orion crew module, the Ares 1, the Ares 5, and many commercial rockets across the globe. And recently, engineers used HyperSizer to simulate, analyze, and optimize the composite structures that make up most of the Stratolaunch aircraft. Stratolaunch (www.stratolaunch.com) is the brainchild of Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder, and Burt Rutan, the noted aircraft designer who founded Scaled Composites. It is a 238-foot-long jet aircraft with two fuselages that are connected by a giant single wing. Designed to serve as a mobile launch pad for carrier rockets, Stratolaunch is powered by six engines that will enable it to take off from a runway carrying a payload of up to 550,000 pounds.  The plan is to fly to 35,000 feet, the cruising altitude of a commercial airliner, and release the launch vehicle’s payload, and then return to the airport for reuse. It is expected to operate in 2019. Collier Research’s HyperSizer optimization software was used extensively by Stratolaunch manufacturer Scaled Composites...

New process could make wood as strong as titanium alloys…

New process could make wood as strong as titanium alloys…

Feb 9, 2018

“New process could make wood as strong as titanium alloys but lighter and cheaper” By University of Maryland, Tech Xplore Engineers at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) have found a way to make wood more than 10 times times stronger and tougher than before, creating a natural substance that is stronger than many titanium alloys. “This new way to treat wood makes it 12 times stronger than natural wood and 10 times tougher,” said Liangbing Hu of UMD’s A. James Clark School of Engineering and the leader of the team that did the research, to be published on February 8, 2018 in the journal Nature. “This could be a competitor to steel or even titanium alloys, it is so strong and durable. It’s also comparable to carbon fiber, but much less expensive.” Hu is an associate professor of materials science and engineering and a member of the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute. “It is both strong and tough, which is a combination not usually found in nature,” said Teng Li, the co-leader of the team and Samuel P. Langley Associate Professor of mechanical engineering at UMD’s Clark School. His team measured the dense wood’s mechanical properties. “It is as strong as steel, but six times lighter. It takes 10 times more energy to fracture than natural wood. It can even be bent and molded at the beginning of the process.” The team also tested the new wood material and natural wood by shooting bullet-like projectiles at it. The projectile blew straight through the natural wood. The fully treated wood stopped the projectile partway through. “Soft woods like pine or balsa, which grow fast and are more environmentally friendly, could replace slower-growing but denser woods like teak in furniture or buildings,” Hu said. “The paper provides a highly promising route to the design of lightweight, high performance structural materials, with tremendous potential for a broad range of applications where high strength, large toughness and superior ballistic resistance are desired, ” said Huajian Gao, a professor at Brown University who was not involved in the study. “It is particularly exciting to note that the method is versatile for various species of wood and fairly easy to...

Raising the Alarm for US Manufacturing

Raising the Alarm for US Manufacturing

Feb 7, 2018

By Steve Minter, IndustryWeek Rebuild Manufacturing: The Key to American Prosperity In her latest book chronicling the state of U.S. manufacturing and the policy changes needed to shore up the sector, Michele Nash-Hoff, a contributor to IndustryWeek, notes that one of her ancestors was Paul Revere. While Nash-Hoff has not been galloping through the Massachusetts countryside warning of British troops, she has been crisscrossing the United States in recent years visiting American factories, warning of threats to domestic manufacturing and offering advice on how to rebuild the manufacturing ecosystem. Paul Revere, a celebrated silversmith who also ran a foundry after the Revolutionary War, would be proud. Rebuild Manufacturing (Coalition for a Prosperous America, 2017) starts off with a recounting of statistics that are familiar to many manufacturers but still shocking. The U.S. lost 5.86 million manufacturing jobs between 2000 and early 2010, or roughly the populations of Chicago, Houston and Indianapolis combined. During that decade, the U.S. lost 57,000 manufacturing firms. Throughout this period and for a considerable time before, educators and parents were watching (or experiencing) what was happening in manufacturing. The lesson they imparted to countless kids: Manufacturing has no future in the U.S. and neither will you if you choose a career in a factory. Thanks to a long recovery beginning in the Obama administration and continuing in the Trump presidency, manufacturing is coming back, though that journey is far from over. Activists such as Nash-Hoff have helped turn the tide against the popular belief in Washington and other centers of economic thought that the U.S. had grown out of the need for manufacturing. It is increasingly clear that a vibrant manufacturing sector is crucial to a healthy and growing U.S. economy. In Rebuild Manufacturing, Nash-Hoff offers a wealth of information and recommendations on what can be done to strengthen U.S. manufacturing. She points the finger repeatedly at the huge trade imbalance with a mercantilist China (in 2017, nearly $309 billion through October) and calls for action by Trump and Congress to fight intellectual property theft and take a much tougher stand against acquisitions of American companies by Chinese firms. “Letting Chinese corporations acquire American companies, especially energy or technology-based companies is the biggest threat...

U.S. Manufacturing Expands at Close to Quickest Pace Since…

U.S. Manufacturing Expands at Close to Quickest Pace Since…

Feb 2, 2018

“U.S. Manufacturing Expands at Close to Quickest Pace Since 2004” By Sho Chandra, Bloomberg U.S. factories expanded more than forecast in January and near the fastest pace in more than 13 years, indicating manufacturing was still powering ahead at the start of 2018, Institute for Supply Management data showed Thursday.Factory index was little changed at 59.1 (est. 58.6) from 59.3 in Dec.; readings above 50 indicate expansion Highlights of ISM Manufacturing (January) Factory index was little changed at 59.1 (est. 58.6) from 59.3 in Dec.; readings above 50 indicate expansion  Gauge remains close to Sept. reading of 60.2, which was the highest since June 2004 Measure of new orders cooled to 65.4 from an almost 14-year high of 67.4 Employment gauge fell to an eight-month low of 54.2 from 58.1   Key Takeaways The January reading, which exceeded the 57.4 average for 2017, shows manufacturing is benefiting from solid consumer spending and business investment. What’s more, a measure of exports advanced to an almost seven-year high, underscoring improving overseas markets.  The pickup in manufacturing is starting to generate inflation pressures as factories demand more raw materials including crude oil. The ISM’s measure of prices paid increased to the highest level since May 2011.  In a sign factories are challenged by elevated demand, the ISM’s measure of supplier deliveries climbed to a three-month high and its backlogs index rose to the highest level since September. The ISM report comes a day before the Labor Department’s January jobs report, which is projected to show an increase in factory payrolls helped to boost overall employment. Other Details ISM measure of prices paid jumped to 72.7 from 68.3 Index of factory inventories rose to 52.3, indicating stockpiles were expanding, from 48.5  Gauge of production fell to 64.5 from 65.2  Export orders measure advanced to 59.8, the strongest since April 2011, from 57.6 Supplier deliveries gauge rose to 59.1, indicating longer lead times, from 57.2; index of backlogs climbed to 56.2 from 54.9  — With assistance by Chris...

Trump highlights Staub Manufacturing Solutions at SOTU

Trump highlights Staub Manufacturing Solutions at SOTU

Jan 31, 2018

  Featured on Fox News   President shares company’s story during address and invites members to the White House.     Watch the latest video at...