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Mechanical Blog Posts

Stress and Fatigue in Modular Implants Used in Hip Joints

July 24, 2014

Modular orthopedic devices, common in replacement joints, allow surgeons to tailor the size, material, and design of an implant directly to a patient’s needs. This flexibility and customization is counterbalanced, however, by a need for the implant components to fit together correctly. With parts that are not ideally matched, micro-motions and stresses on mismatched surfaces can cause fretting fatigue and corrosion. Researchers at Continuum Blue Ltd. have assessed changes to femoral implant designs to quantify and prevent this damage.

Acoustic Levitation Puts a Pure Spin on Medicine Fabrication

July 16, 2014

The need for a contaminant-free space to manufacture medicine has led scientists to try many creative new approaches to improve the process. At Argonne National Lab, creating a device that floats and rotates chemical compounds in thin air was just the answer they were looking for. It meant two important changes: the amount of each chemical necessary could be implemented very precisely and the risk of outside impurities disrupting the results was minimized.

A Recipe for Success at Whirlpool Corporation

July 11, 2014

There are many factors that go into designing the ideal oven — supreme cooking capability is a must, but energy efficiency and the use of materials with reduced environmental impact is also important. How can all of these different factors be combined to create an oven that is optimized for the best performance? Engineers working at Whirlpool Corporation along with the European green energy initiative, GREENKITCHEN project, found that multiphysics simulation was vital to the success of their design process.

New Book on Topology Optimization for Electromagnetics

July 7, 2014

There’s a new book out there for those of you who work with or research electromechanical system design. It’s titled Multiphysics Simulation: Electromechanical System Applications and Optimization and is more than your average textbook. This is a reference guide on simulation and topology optimization written with both students and industry engineers in mind.

Converting the High Flux Isotope Reactor to LEU Fuel

July 3, 2014

Under an initiative by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), nuclear research reactors currently using highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel must be converted to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel with a goal to help prevent the spread of material that can be used to create nuclear weapons. Nuclear engineers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have turned to multiphysics simulation in order to precisely and accurately explore new designs for the safe conversion of the ORNL High Flux Isotope Reactor.

Studying Sonar Systems on a Component Level

June 26, 2014

Sound Navigation and Ranging (SoNaR, more commonly written in all lowercase as “sonar”) technology can be used for investigating and communicating underwater. To improve the sonar system, you need to optimize the design at a component level. A major component of sonar is the electro-acoustic transducer.

Seas of Change for Wind Turbines

June 25, 2014

Wind turbine noise is a (hotly disputed) topic that we’ve mentioned on the blog before. While research into noise production by wind farms is still being debated among researchers, one way we’ve found to overcome these noisy turbine troubles is to place turbines offshore where they can’t be heard and, conveniently, high winds with more regularity make energy production more effective. However, a question that comes to mind is: What impact do offshore wind farms have on marine life?

Portable Cordless Vaccine Storage Device

June 24, 2014

The Passive Vaccine Storage Device (PVSD) is a highly advanced container that combines ingenuity and insulation technology to empower aid workers delivering vaccines to the toughest-to-reach corners of the globe. Designed as a prototype that improves upon earlier models of vaccine transportation devices, this compact apparatus was developed with all the necessary steps: careful planning, simulation, and testing.


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