Stronger than steel and able to stop a speeding bullet? Maybe Superman was made of Kevlar. No word on it’s resistance to kryptonite, but the material that is used in bullet proof vests does seem to have super strength- a high tensile-strength-to-weight ratio which is five times that of steel. The combination of this kind of strength along with its flexibility make Kevlar one of the most ideal materials for cables, cords and ropes. And when it comes to Kevlar rope, the possibilities and applications are nearly endless. There is even a market for Kevlar survival cord, which is thread-thin and is a suggested item for “survival geeks.” The ad definitely takes a humorous approach, but highlights the many ways in which Kevlar cord offers superior performance and durability(even in the harshest of post-apocalyptic environments). Of course, Kevlar rope is used most often in industrial applications for those same reasons. Let’s take a look at some of those applications and why Kevlar rope is ideal for each specific role.
Tempered glass is relied in many applications where safety is a key concern. Some of these applications include vehicle passenger windows, rear windshields, phone booths, guard booth windows, patio furniture, decorative railing glass, basketball hoop backboards, racket ball court glass, and more. Not only is tempered glass four to six times stronger than annealed glass, but if it does break, it will fracture into small, less dangerous pieces while annealed glass has a tendency to shatter into large jagged shards. There two ways to temper glass: thermal tempering and chemical tempering. Thermal tempering uses an oven to heat the glass (usually to around 6200º Celsius) and then cooled quickly with evenly spaced high pressure blowers. This fast cooling causes high surface compression. The chemical tempering process, on the other hand, combines heat and a molten potassium salt bath, which causes atoms to exchanges places, making the chemical structure of the glass more crowded and thus, compressed. The compressed state, rather than high tension state, is what offers the desired strength of the glass.
Perforation is a common practice for metal across industries. The same could be said about the use of metal tubes. Almost anywhere you look you are able to see a metal tube of some kind. However, can you name a place where a perforated tube is present in an object or stands alone as a tool? When initially thinking about perforated tubes it may be hard to pinpoint exactly when and where they would be used, but after further thought we use something everyday that has perforated tubes in its construction. That “something” is our automobiles, motorcycles and cars alike. Not only our automobiles, but machinery in the workplace has exhausts systems as well that use these tubes. The perforated tube is located inside of the muffler.
Some industrial processes have been around for centuries. While many processes cease for a newer method others evolve with new technology, but keep the same basic principles. One industry that has kept these principles is open die forging. This process is still sometimes referred to as smith forging. The reason this method has stood the test of time is because of its numerous benefits. To start, open die forging can be done hot or cold, it is easier to modify large pieces of metal, all while increasing the strength of the product and reducing porosity. There are three processes that make up this style of forging and those are cogging, fullering and edging. Each process fabricates the metal in a different way for diverse applications.
As life continues to become increasingly complex, the methods we use to create products must also improve. Gone are the days where many were content in simple, small homes, brick roads and buildings that were only a few floors tall. Now, we find ourselves in an age where everything is complex, with the mansion sized homes, bridges stretching over rough rivers and buildings reaching up into the clouds. With progress such as this, simple wood and brick building methods can no longer cut it. So we have turned to strong and durable metals, one in particular that can be useful, is galvanized steel.
Architects and building contractors are often faced with many challenging decisions when choosing the right materials for a job. Different types of metals, materials and fabrication methods affect the performance of a structure or facility hugely, and structural sheet metal is no exception. While perforated metals and expanded metals are similar and have some overlapping applications, engineers understand that their capabilities are very different. Not only are perforated and expanded metals separated by their application industries, but by their fabrication methods and cost as well. Perforated metal seems to be the industry standard for architectural applications such as building facades, fences and partitions. Because perforated metals are punched and cut, dies can be designed to cut patterned shapes into sheet metal for a variety of purposes, both decorative and functional. The shape of metal perforations can determine a material’s usefulness for blocking microwaves, sound waves or light; perforated metals are used in all these industries. Next time you warm up some leftovers, take a look at your microwave door. See that filter in the glass? That’s a piece of perforated metal blocking microwaves from coming through the door.