John Mitchell

What is Parylene coating and when should you use it?

Deciding on the ideal coating for your engineering application is always a very difficult task, you need to decide on chemical, process, mechanical and component compatibility. Some coatings are not ideal for specific applications. There are many different types of coatings for a vast array of applications, however this post will focus on an advanced …

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plane panel

Metrology – a mechanical engineer’s guide

The act of measuring has become an important part of our everyday lives. The need to measure and standardise has developed into the science of metrology. It has become an indispensable tool in the advancement of technology. In this article we’ll look at its importance and how it relates to mechanical engineering. First of all, …

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HALT testing

HALT Testing (Highly Accelerated Life Testing)

Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) refers to a reliability testing technique that aims to expose the weaknesses of a product. The main objective is to expose the product to incremental stresses, in order to discover flaws and defects. A HALT test must be conducted during the early stages of the product design process. HALT was …

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EDM Machines

EDM Machine – types & working principles

EDM stands for Electrical Discharge Machining. An EDM machine is the piece of equipment used to carry out this manufacturing process. The principle behind EDM was first observed in 1770 by Joseph Priestley, who was experimenting with electrical discharges. He noticed that the sparks had eroded some of the electrode material. Almost 200 years later …

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pascals-for-boneheads

Pascals explained: A simplified guide for boneheads

Have you come across Pascals as a unit of pressure and not quite sure what it is? Pressure can be a bit confusing. There are a few different units of pressure that are still in common use, depending on which country you’re in and the industry of application. Pressure units include Pounds per Square Inch …

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induction heater

Induction heater – how it works

Different heating methodologies have historically been used for both domestic and commercial purposes. Conduction, convection and radiation are the main types of heat transfer, with more complex thermodynamics based on these three basic principles. Several heat transfer methods are implemented in manufacturing industries to change the electrical resistivity, magnetic, and physical properties of metals by …

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Resonant Frequency Equation

Resonant Frequency Equation: mechanical, electrical and acoustic

Resonant frequency can apply to many areas of the physical sciences or engineering. Thus, there is more than one resonant frequency equation, depending on the field you happen to be studying – electrical, acoustic, or mechanical engineering for example. In this article, we’re going to start by looking at what resonant frequency actually is, before …

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7075-T6 aluminium

7075-T6 aluminium: overview & properties

Have you ever wondered what the ‘perfect’ choice of aluminium for your project is? Aluminium is the most widely used non-ferrous metal, and there are dozens of commercial options available, which greatly vary in properties based on their alloy composition and temper. The 7075-T6 aluminium offers an excellent balance of properties that make it a …

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316 Stainless Steel Properties - chemical reactor

316 Stainless Steel Properties and Applications

Grade 316 stainless steel is a highly corrosion resistant type of standard grade stainless steel.  Have you ever wondered why this alloy fits in such a wide range of applications including heat exchangers, boat fittings, and threaded fasteners among many others? Stainless steel is generally suitable for many processing and related industries, but 316 stainless …

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MMPDS logo

MMPDS – A Guide to “Metallic Materials Properties Development Standardization”

Farmers have The Old Farmer’s Almanac and parents have the famous book Baby and Childcare. Have you ever wondered what the ‘Bible’ of aircraft engineering is? For more than six decades, a guide has been the essential design and maintenance guide for aircraft engineers – the MMPDS. These initials stand for Metallic Materials Properties Development …

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Yield Strength of Plastics – basic principles, the tensile test and material property table

Yield strength is one of the most important material properties to be aware of. It’s something that every mechanical engineer should know about. Why do some plastics break cleanly and others deform and elongate prior to break?  This is a common question and an important phenomenon to understand. The yield strength of plastics holds the …

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columbia debris engineering bodges

5 Engineering Bodges that Ended in Disaster

Seriously, you won’t believe some of these mechanical engineering bodges. You’ll be intrigued, flabbergasted and horrified in equal measures at these bodges that ended in catastrophe. 1. Titanic (1912) Everyone knows that the maiden voyage of the Titanic didn’t go quite as planned. The captain was blamed for poor navigation and traveling at a speed …

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industrial design intellectual property

The mechanical engineer’s guide to industrial design

What does the future of industrial design look like? How has the role of designers changed in the last half century? Many mechanical engineering professionals and students have asked such questions at some point. Five decades ago, the sole role of the designer was to sketch on a paper. Everything revolved around improving functionality, aesthetics …

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lift equation

Lift Equation – fully explained and simplified for beginners

It has been observed that most aircraft accidents occur during the take-off or landing phase of the flight. Lift is a major part of takeoff. Before getting technical and diving right into the, let’s understand what lift is in simple terms. This will make it easier to grasp the concepts involved in the equation itself. …

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density of wood

Density of wood in kg/m3, g/cm3, lb/ft3 – the ultimate guide

Wood is a natural resource that comes from trees, and has been used for centuries in a vast amount of different applications from furniture and decorative items, through to structures and framework. But how do the different properties affect the applications? As you would expect, wood has both physical and chemical properties. Physical properties comprise …

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10 Commandments of Mechanical Design

The 10 Commandments of Mechanical Design

Whether you’re a seasoned engineer or a wet-behind-the-ears novice, there are some immutable laws that must be followed to produce a good mechanical design. If you don’t follow them, you’ll be sentenced to eternal hellfire and damnation. Either that, or you’ll find yourself having to do lots of redesigning and pulling out of hair. So, …

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rebar sizes

A Guide to Rebar Sizes – an overview of steel reinforcement bars

Steel reinforcing bar, or rebar, is used to reinforce concrete in building work. It can be a complicated area of construction to navigate if you’re unfamiliar with it. Rebar sizes vary greatly and choosing the right ones for the job requires a certain amount of knowledge and skill. As well as the size of rebar, …

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Gauge-Symmetry-for-boneheads

Gauge Symmetry for Boneheads – a brief explanation of the fundamentals.

Have you ever wondered why gauge symmetry is synonymous with electromagnetism equations? Anytime the topic comes up, it reminds us of Maxwell’s electrodynamics. Gauge field theories are the characteristic of gauge symmetries. Interestingly, you were most probably taught about these theories if you went through a physics class, albeit unknowingly. In this guide, we will …

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how much does abaqus cost

How much does Abaqus cost? Your 2018 guide to Abaqus pricing

As engineering designs increase in complexity we rely more and more on finite element analysis (FEA) packages to solve the problems encountered in these designs. Finding information on which software is best suited for your application is often a confusing and frustrating exercise. Furthermore, the cost structures of these software packages are often a labyrinth …

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Top 5 Engineering Forums

Engineering forums are amazingly helpful to engineers. Engineering is a very complex practice. Not only does it encompass an immense range of fields or specialisations, but it requires the application of many different disciplines like science, mathematics, and economics. Basically, all practical and technical knowledge can be capitalised by engineering. It involves the invention, innovation, …

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