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Mechanical Blog Posts

Researching Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic Acoustic Guitars

January 8, 2013

There are traditional acoustic guitars made of wood, and now there are also those made entirely out of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). Do these plastic guitars sound like their wooden forbearers? Guess what, you can use computer modeling to find out.

Power Transistors and Heat Transfer

January 2, 2013

Transistors are building blocks of electronic appliances, and can be found in radios, computers, and calculators, to name a few. When working with electrical systems you typically have to deal with heat transfer; electric heating is often an unwanted result of current conduction. Is a heat sink mounting necessary to keep the transistor cool, or can it manage without? Let’s have a look at power transistors from a heat transfer perspective.

Is Fracking Safe? Scientists Turn to Simulation to Investigate

December 31, 2012

Hydraulic fracturing (popularly referred to as “fracking”) is a method to increase production of oil and gas from certain types of geological formations. It has been used for decades, but recently, as the practice has increased, fracking has become a controversial topic. I will avoid taking sides in this debate, but the fact that there is a conflict implies there needs to be a deeper understanding of the process and its effects.

Modeling a Pratt Truss Bridge

December 28, 2012

The simple design of a Pratt truss bridge makes it useful to hold everything from pedestrians to trains. While this type of bridge is easy to construct, engineers must make sure that it lasts and is safe to use. A bridge needs to hold its own weight, support the load placed upon it, and withstand frequencies generated by wind and earthquakes. To determine whether a Pratt truss bridge design can handle these factors, we turn to simulation.

Modeling a Burning Candle, How Would You Do It?

December 25, 2012

This holiday season most of us will have burned our fair share of candles. The flickering light of candles can really enhance the ambiance and put you in festive spirits. This reminds me of an analysis of a burning candle developed by AltaSim Technologies back in 2010. So, in tune with the holiday cheer, here are some candle physics.

Multiphysics Simulation for Better and Faster Sonar Development

December 18, 2012

SOund NAvigation Ranging, or Sonar, has been an important part of naval warfare and since the 1950’s. Although it is a relatively simple way to locate objects, it’s the best for doing so in water, emitting sound waves and listening for echoes made by objects in the water. In today’s world of undersea warfare, the threats and the necessary responses to them are becoming more important and urgent. Sonar systems are required to detect these threats, making it necessary for […]

Ultrasonic Micro Motors, It’s all in the Shape

December 12, 2012

A while back, I wrote about permanent magnet generators and how they generate electricity upon being set in motion. When browsing the papers from our conference in Bangalore, one on the topic of ultrasonic micro motors caught my eye. These motors are electromechanical in nature and instead initiate motion with the application of an electric voltage. Furthermore, these motors are miniaturized to fit a micro-scale environment.

Simulation-Based Design of New Implantable Hearing Aids

November 29, 2012

Growing older is an inevitable part of life, and with it, our body slowly begins to show that. I recently started wearing eye glasses because my eyesight is weakening. It’s a little unnerving, but I am comforted by the ever-improving technology being produced. My hearing is still fully intact, but the same cannot be said for 17% (36 million) of American adults who report some degree of hearing loss. In most cases, regular hearing aids are sufficient in treating hearing […]