Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering

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Review on the progress of ultra-precision machining technologies
Julong YUAN, Binghai LYU, Wei HANG, Qianfa DENG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (2): 158-180.
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Ultra-precision machining technologies are the essential methods, to obtain the highest form accuracy and surface quality. As more research findings are published, such technologies now involve complicated systems engineering and been widely used in the production of components in various aerospace, national defense, optics, mechanics, electronics, and other high-tech applications. The conception, applications and history of ultra-precision machining are introduced in this article, and the developments of ultra-precision machining technologies, especially ultra-precision grinding, ultra-precision cutting and polishing are also reviewed. The current state and problems of this field in China are analyzed. Finally, the development trends of this field and the coping strategies employed in China to keep up with the trends are discussed.

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Advances in molecular dynamics simulation of ultra-precision machining of hard and brittle materials
Xiaoguang GUO,Qiang LI,Tao LIU,Renke KANG,Zhuji JIN,Dongming GUO
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (1): 89-98.
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Hard and brittle materials, such as silicon, SiC, and optical glasses, are widely used in aerospace, military, integrated circuit, and other fields because of their excellent physical and chemical properties. However, these materials display poor machinability because of their hard and brittle properties. Damages such as surface micro-crack and subsurface damage often occur during machining of hard and brittle materials. Ultra-precision machining is widely used in processing hard and brittle materials to obtain nanoscale machining quality. However, the theoretical mechanism underlying this method remains unclear. This paper provides a review of present research on the molecular dynamics simulation of ultra-precision machining of hard and brittle materials. The future trends in this field are also discussed.

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Special issue: Ultra-precision machining
Zhuangde JIANG,Dongming GUO
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (1): 1-2.
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Recent advancements in optical microstructure fabrication through glass molding process
Tianfeng ZHOU,Xiaohua LIU,Zhiqiang LIANG,Yang LIU,Jiaqing XIE,Xibin WANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (1): 46-65.
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Optical microstructures are increasingly applied in several fields, such as optical systems, precision measurement, and microfluid chips. Microstructures include microgrooves, microprisms, and microlenses. This paper presents an overview of optical microstructure fabrication through glass molding and highlights the applications of optical microstructures in mold fabrication and glass molding. The glass-mold interface friction and adhesion are also discussed. Moreover, the latest advancements in glass molding technologies are detailed, including new mold materials and their fabrication methods, viscoelastic constitutive modeling of glass, and microstructure molding process, as well as ultrasonic vibration-assisted molding technology.

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Three-dimensional numerical simulation for plastic injection-compression molding
Yun ZHANG, Wenjie YU, Junjie LIANG, Jianlin LANG, Dequn LI
Front. Mech. Eng.    2018, 13 (1): 74-84.
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Compared with conventional injection molding, injection-compression molding can mold optical parts with higher precision and lower flow residual stress. However, the melt flow process in a closed cavity becomes more complex because of the moving cavity boundary during compression and the nonlinear problems caused by non-Newtonian polymer melt. In this study, a 3D simulation method was developed for injection-compression molding. In this method, arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian was introduced to model the moving-boundary flow problem in the compression stage. The non-Newtonian characteristics and compressibility of the polymer melt were considered. The melt flow and pressure distribution in the cavity were investigated by using the proposed simulation method and compared with those of injection molding. Results reveal that the fountain flow effect becomes significant when the cavity thickness increases during compression. The back flow also plays an important role in the flow pattern and redistribution of cavity pressure. The discrepancy in pressures at different points along the flow path is complicated rather than monotonically decreased in injection molding.

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Review of small aspheric glass lens molding technologies
Shaohui YIN,Hongpeng JIA,Guanhua ZHANG,Fengjun CHEN,Kejun ZHU
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (1): 66-76.
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Aspheric lens can eliminate spherical aberrations, coma, astigmatism, field distortions, and other adverse factors. This type of lens can also reduce the loss of light energy and obtain high-quality images and optical characteristics. The demand for aspheric lens has increased in recent years because of its advantageous use in the electronics industry, particularly for compact, portable devices and high-performance products. As an advanced manufacturing technology, the glass lens molding process has been recognized as a low-cost and high-efficiency manufacturing technology for machining small-diameter aspheric lens for industrial production. However, the residual stress and profile deviation of the glass lens are greatly affected by various key technologies for glass lens molding, including glass and mold-die material forming, mold-die machining, and lens molding. These key technical factors, which affect the quality of the glass lens molding process, are systematically discussed and reviewed to solve the existing technical bottlenecks and problems, as well as to predict the potential applicability of glass lens molding in the future.

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Comprehensive analysis of the influence of structural and dynamic parameters on the accuracy of nano-precision positioning stages
Chengyuan LIANG, Fang YUAN, Xuedong CHEN, Wei JIANG, Lizhan ZENG, Xin LUO
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 255-272.
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Nano-precision positioning stages are characterized by rigid-flexible coupling systems. The complex dynamic characteristics of mechanical structure of a stage, which are determined by structural and dynamic parameters, exert a serious influence on the accuracy of its motion and measurement. Systematic evaluation of such influence is essential for the design and improvement of stages. A systematic approach to modeling the dynamic accuracy of a nano-precision positioning stage is developed in this work by integrating a multi-rigid-body dynamic model of the mechanical system and measurement system models. The influence of structural and dynamic parameters, including aerostatic bearing configurations, motion plane errors, foundation vibrations, and positions of the acting points of driving forces, on dynamic accuracy is investigated by adopting the H-type configured stage as an example. The approach is programmed and integrated into a software framework that supports the dynamic design of nano-precision positioning stages. The software framework is then applied to the design of a nano-precision positioning stage used in a packaging lithography machine.

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Smart manufacturing systems for Industry 4.0: Conceptual framework, scenarios, and future perspectives
Pai ZHENG, Honghui WANG, Zhiqian SANG, Ray Y. ZHONG, Yongkui LIU, Chao LIU, Khamdi MUBAROK, Shiqiang YU, Xun XU
Front. Mech. Eng.    2018, 13 (2): 137-150.
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Information and communication technology is undergoing rapid development, and many disruptive technologies, such as cloud computing, Internet of Things, big data, and artificial intelligence, have emerged. These technologies are permeating the manufacturing industry and enable the fusion of physical and virtual worlds through cyber-physical systems (CPS), which mark the advent of the fourth stage of industrial production (i.e., Industry 4.0). The widespread application of CPS in manufacturing environments renders manufacturing systems increasingly smart. To advance research on the implementation of Industry 4.0, this study examines smart manufacturing systems for Industry 4.0. First, a conceptual framework of smart manufacturing systems for Industry 4.0 is presented. Second, demonstrative scenarios that pertain to smart design, smart machining, smart control, smart monitoring, and smart scheduling, are presented. Key technologies and their possible applications to Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing systems are reviewed based on these demonstrative scenarios. Finally, challenges and future perspectives are identified and discussed.

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A review of the scalable nano-manufacturing technology for flexible devices
Wenbin HUANG,Xingtao YU,Yanhua LIU,Wen QIAO,Linsen CHEN
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (1): 99-109.
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Recent advances in electronic and photonic devices, such as artificial skin, wearable systems, organic and inorganic light-emitting diodes, have gained considerable commercial and scientific interest in the academe and in industries. However, low-cost and high-throughput nano-manufacturing is difficult to realize with the use of traditional photolithographic processes. In this review, we summarize the status and the limitations of current nano-patterning techniques for scalable and flexible functional devices in terms of working principle, resolution, and processing speed. Finally, several remaining unsolved problems in nano-manufacturing are discussed, and future research directions are highlighted.

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Precision glass molding: Toward an optimal fabrication of optical lenses
Liangchi ZHANG,Weidong LIU
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (1): 3-17.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (608KB)

It is costly and time consuming to use machining processes, such as grinding, polishing and lapping, to produce optical glass lenses with complex features. Precision glass molding (PGM) has thus been developed to realize an efficient manufacture of such optical components in a single step. However, PGM faces various technical challenges. For example, a PGM process must be carried out within the super-cooled region of optical glass above its glass transition temperature, in which the material has an unstable non-equilibrium structure. Within a narrow window of allowable temperature variation, the glass viscosity can change from 105 to 1012 Pa·s due to the kinetic fragility of the super-cooled liquid. This makes a PGM process sensitive to its molding temperature. In addition, because of the structural relaxation in this temperature window, the atomic structure that governs the material properties is strongly dependent on time and thermal history. Such complexity often leads to residual stresses and shape distortion in a lens molded, causing unexpected changes in density and refractive index. This review will discuss some of the central issues in PGM processes and provide a method based on a manufacturing chain consideration from mold material selection, property and deformation characterization of optical glass to process optimization. The realization of such optimization is a necessary step for the Industry 4.0 of PGM.

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Recent advances in micro- and nano-machining technologies
Shang GAO, Han HUANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (1): 18-32.
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Device miniaturization is an emerging advanced technology in the 21st century. The miniaturization of devices in different fields requires production of micro- and nano-scale components. The features of these components range from the sub-micron to a few hundred microns with high tolerance to many engineering materials. These fields mainly include optics, electronics, medicine, bio-technology, communications, and avionics. This paper reviewed the recent advances in micro- and nano-machining technologies, including micro-cutting, micro-electrical-discharge machining, laser micro-machining, and focused ion beam machining. The four machining technologies were also compared in terms of machining efficiency, workpiece materials being machined, minimum feature size, maximum aspect ratio, and surface finish.

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Power fluctuation and power loss of wind turbines due to wind shear and tower shadow
Binrong WEN, Sha WEI, Kexiang WEI, Wenxian YANG, Zhike PENG, Fulei CHU
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (3): 321-332.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (465KB)

The magnitude and stability of power output are two key indices of wind turbines. This study investigates the effects of wind shear and tower shadow on power output in terms of power fluctuation and power loss to estimate the capacity and quality of the power generated by a wind turbine. First, wind speed models, particularly the wind shear model and the tower shadow model, are described in detail. The widely accepted tower shadow model is modified in view of the cone-shaped towers of modern large-scale wind turbines. Power fluctuation and power loss due to wind shear and tower shadow are analyzed by performing theoretical calculations and case analysis within the framework of a modified version of blade element momentum theory. Results indicate that power fluctuation is mainly caused by tower shadow, whereas power loss is primarily induced by wind shear. Under steady wind conditions, power loss can be divided into wind farm loss and rotor loss. Wind farm loss is constant at 3α(3α−1)R2/(8H2). By contrast, rotor loss is strongly influenced by the wind turbine control strategies and wind speed. That is, when the wind speed is measured in a region where a variable-speed controller works, the rotor loss stabilizes around zero, but when the wind speed is measured in a region where the blade pitch controller works, the rotor loss increases as the wind speed intensifies. The results of this study can serve as a reference for accurate power estimation and strategy development to mitigate the fluctuations in aerodynamic loads and power output due to wind shear and tower shadow.

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Research progress on ultra-precision machining technologies for soft-brittle crystal materials
Hang GAO,Xu WANG,Dongming GUO,Yuchuan CHEN
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (1): 77-88.
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Soft-brittle crystal materials are widely used in many fields, especially optics and microelectronics. However, these materials are difficult to machine through traditional machining methods because of their brittle, soft, and anisotropic nature. In this article, the characteristics and machining difficulties of soft-brittle and crystals are presented. Moreover, the latest research progress of novel machining technologies and their applications for soft-brittle crystals are introduced by using some representative materials (e.g., potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP), cadmium zinc telluride (CZT)) as examples. This article reviews the research progress of soft-brittle crystals processing.

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Multiple fault separation and detection by joint subspace learning for the health assessment of wind turbine gearboxes
Zhaohui DU, Xuefeng CHEN, Han ZHANG, Yanyang ZI, Ruqiang YAN
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (3): 333-347.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1034KB)

The gearbox of a wind turbine (WT) has dominant failure rates and highest downtime loss among all WT subsystems. Thus, gearbox health assessment for maintenance cost reduction is of paramount importance. The concurrence of multiple faults in gearbox components is a common phenomenon due to fault induction mechanism. This problem should be considered before planning to replace the components of the WT gearbox. Therefore, the key fault patterns should be reliably identified from noisy observation data for the development of an effective maintenance strategy. However, most of the existing studies focusing on multiple fault diagnosis always suffer from inappropriate division of fault information in order to satisfy various rigorous decomposition principles or statistical assumptions, such as the smooth envelope principle of ensemble empirical mode decomposition and the mutual independence assumption of independent component analysis. Thus, this paper presents a joint subspace learning-based multiple fault detection (JSL-MFD) technique to construct different subspaces adaptively for different fault patterns. Its main advantage is its capability to learn multiple fault subspaces directly from the observation signal itself. It can also sparsely concentrate the feature information into a few dominant subspace coefficients. Furthermore, it can eliminate noise by simply performing coefficient shrinkage operations. Consequently, multiple fault patterns are reliably identified by utilizing the maximum fault information criterion. The superiority of JSL-MFD in multiple fault separation and detection is comprehensively investigated and verified by the analysis of a data set of a 750 kW WT gearbox. Results show that JSL-MFD is superior to a state-of-the-art technique in detecting hidden fault patterns and enhancing detection accuracy.

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Mesoscale fabrication of a complex surface for integral impeller blades
Xibin WANG,Tianfeng ZHOU,Lijing XIE,Li JIAO,Zhibing LIU,Zhiqiang LIANG,Pei YAN
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (1): 116-131.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (791KB)

Integral impeller is the most important component of a mini-engine. However, the machining of a mesoscale impeller with a complex integral surface is difficult because of its compact size and high accuracy requirement. A mesoscale component is usually manufactured by milling. However, a conventional milling tool cannot meet the machining requirements because of its size and stiffness. For the fabrication of a complex integral impeller, a micro-ball-end mill is designed in accordance with the non-instantaneous-pole envelope principle and manufactured by grinding based on the profile model of the helical groove and the mathematical model of the cutting edge curve. Subsequently, fractal theory is applied to characterize the surface quality of the integral impeller. The fractal theory-based characterization shows that the completed mesoscale integral impeller exhibits a favorable performance in terms of mechanical properties and morphological accuracy.

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Model-based nonlinear control of hydraulic servo systems: Challenges, developments and perspectives
Jianyong YAO
Front. Mech. Eng.    2018, 13 (2): 179-210.
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Hydraulic servo system plays a significant role in industries, and usually acts as a core point in control and power transmission. Although linear theory-based control methods have been well established, advanced controller design methods for hydraulic servo system to achieve high performance is still an unending pursuit along with the development of modern industry. Essential nonlinearity is a unique feature and makes model-based nonlinear control more attractive, due to benefit from prior knowledge of the servo valve controlled hydraulic system. In this paper, a discussion for challenges in model-based nonlinear control, latest developments and brief perspectives of hydraulic servo systems are presented: Modelling uncertainty in hydraulic system is a major challenge, which includes parametric uncertainty and time-varying disturbance; some specific requirements also arise ad hoc difficulties such as nonlinear friction during low velocity tracking, severe disturbance, periodic disturbance, etc.; to handle various challenges, nonlinear solutions including parameter adaptation, nonlinear robust control, state and disturbance observation, backstepping design and so on, are proposed and integrated, theoretical analysis and lots of applications reveal their powerful capability to solve pertinent problems; and at the end, some perspectives and associated research topics (measurement noise, constraints, inner valve dynamics, input nonlinearity, etc.) in nonlinear hydraulic servo control are briefly explored and discussed.

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Non-stationary signal analysis based on general parameterized time--frequency transform and its application in the feature extraction of a rotary machine
Peng ZHOU, Zhike PENG, Shiqian CHEN, Yang YANG, Wenming ZHANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2018, 13 (2): 292-300.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (442KB)

With the development of large rotary machines for faster and more integrated performance, the condition monitoring and fault diagnosis for them are becoming more challenging. Since the time-frequency (TF) pattern of the vibration signal from the rotary machine often contains condition information and fault feature, the methods based on TF analysis have been widely-used to solve these two problems in the industrial community. This article introduces an effective non-stationary signal analysis method based on the general parameterized time–frequency transform (GPTFT). The GPTFT is achieved by inserting a rotation operator and a shift operator in the short-time Fourier transform. This method can produce a high-concentrated TF pattern with a general kernel. A multi-component instantaneous frequency (IF) extraction method is proposed based on it. The estimation for the IF of every component is accomplished by defining a spectrum concentration index (SCI). Moreover, such an IF estimation process is iteratively operated until all the components are extracted. The tests on three simulation examples and a real vibration signal demonstrate the effectiveness and superiority of our method.

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Fault feature extraction of planet gear in wind turbine gearbox based on spectral kurtosis and time wavelet energy spectrum
Yun KONG, Tianyang WANG, Zheng LI, Fulei CHU
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (3): 406-419.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (832KB)

Planetary transmission plays a vital role in wind turbine drivetrains, and its fault diagnosis has been an important and challenging issue. Owing to the complicated and coupled vibration source, time-variant vibration transfer path, and heavy background noise masking effect, the vibration signal of planet gear in wind turbine gearboxes exhibits several unique characteristics: Complex frequency components, low signal-to-noise ratio, and weak fault feature. In this sense, the periodic impulsive components induced by a localized defect are hard to extract, and the fault detection of planet gear in wind turbines remains to be a challenging research work. Aiming to extract the fault feature of planet gear effectively, we propose a novel feature extraction method based on spectral kurtosis and time wavelet energy spectrum (SK-TWES) in the paper. Firstly, the spectral kurtosis (SK) and kurtogram of raw vibration signals are computed and exploited to select the optimal filtering parameter for the subsequent band-pass filtering. Then, the band-pass filtering is applied to extrude periodic transient impulses using the optimal frequency band in which the corresponding SK value is maximal. Finally, the time wavelet energy spectrum analysis is performed on the filtered signal, selecting Morlet wavelet as the mother wavelet which possesses a high similarity to the impulsive components. The experimental signals collected from the wind turbine gearbox test rig demonstrate that the proposed method is effective at the feature extraction and fault diagnosis for the planet gear with a localized defect.

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Multi-time scale dynamics in power electronics-dominated power systems
Xiaoming YUAN, Jiabing HU, Shijie CHENG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (3): 303-311.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (332KB)

Electric power infrastructure has recently undergone a comprehensive transformation from electromagnetics to semiconductors. Such a development is attributed to the rapid growth of power electronic converter applications in the load side to realize energy conservation and on the supply side for renewable generations and power transmissions using high voltage direct current transmission. This transformation has altered the fundamental mechanism of power system dynamics, which demands the establishment of a new theory for power system control and protection. This paper presents thoughts on a theoretical framework for the coming semiconducting power systems.

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An adaptive data-driven method for accurate prediction of remaining useful life of rolling bearings
Yanfeng PENG, Junsheng CHENG, Yanfei LIU, Xuejun LI, Zhihua PENG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2018, 13 (2): 301-310.
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A novel data-driven method based on Gaussian mixture model (GMM) and distance evaluation technique (DET) is proposed to predict the remaining useful life (RUL) of rolling bearings. The data sets are clustered by GMM to divide all data sets into several health states adaptively and reasonably. The number of clusters is determined by the minimum description length principle. Thus, either the health state of the data sets or the number of the states is obtained automatically. Meanwhile, the abnormal data sets can be recognized during the clustering process and removed from the training data sets. After obtaining the health states, appropriate features are selected by DET for increasing the classification and prediction accuracy. In the prediction process, each vibration signal is decomposed into several components by empirical mode decomposition. Some common statistical parameters of the components are calculated first and then the features are clustered using GMM to divide the data sets into several health states and remove the abnormal data sets. Thereafter, appropriate statistical parameters of the generated components are selected using DET. Finally, least squares support vector machine is utilized to predict the RUL of rolling bearings. Experimental results indicate that the proposed method reliably predicts the RUL of rolling bearings.

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Full-band error control and crack-free surface fabrication techniques for ultra-precision fly cutting of large-aperture KDP crystals
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (2): 193-202.
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Large-aperture potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP) crystals are widely used in the laser path of inertial confinement fusion (ICF) systems. The most common method of manufacturing half-meter KDP crystals is ultra-precision fly cutting. When processing KDP crystals by ultra-precision fly cutting, the dynamic characteristics of the fly cutting machine and fluctuations in the fly cutting environment are translated into surface errors at different spatial frequency bands. These machining errors should be suppressed effectively to guarantee that KDP crystals meet the full-band machining accuracy specified in the evaluation index. In this study, the anisotropic machinability of KDP crystals and the causes of typical surface errors in ultra-precision fly cutting of the material are investigated. The structures of the fly cutting machine and existing processing parameters are optimized to improve the machined surface quality. The findings are theoretically and practically important in the development of high-energy laser systems in China.

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Progress in terahertz nondestructive testing: A review
Shuncong ZHONG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 273-281.
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Terahertz (THz) waves, whose frequencies range between microwave and infrared, are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. A gap exists in THz literature because investigating THz waves is difficult due to the weak characteristics of the waves and the lack of suitable THz sources and detectors. Recently, THz nondestructive testing (NDT) technology has become an interesting topic. This review outlines several typical THz devices and systems and engineering applications of THz NDT techniques in composite materials, thermal barrier coatings, car paint films, marine protective coatings, and pharmaceutical tablet coatings. THz imaging has higher resolution but lower penetration than ultrasound imaging. This review presents the significance and advantages provided by the emerging THz NDT technique.

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Precision forging technology for aluminum alloy
Lei DENG, Xinyun WANG, Junsong JIN, Juchen XIA
Front. Mech. Eng.    2018, 13 (1): 25-36.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (424KB)

Aluminum alloy is a preferred metal material for lightweight part manufacturing in aerospace, automobile, and weapon industries due to its good physical properties, such as low density, high specific strength, and good corrosion resistance. However, during forging processes, underfilling, folding, broken streamline, crack, coarse grain, and other macro- or microdefects are easily generated because of the deformation characteristics of aluminum alloys, including narrow forgeable temperature region, fast heat dissipation to dies, strong adhesion, high strain rate sensitivity, and large flow resistance. Thus, it is seriously restricted for the forged part to obtain precision shape and enhanced property. In this paper, progresses in precision forging technologies of aluminum alloy parts were reviewed. Several advanced precision forging technologies have been developed, including closed die forging, isothermal die forging, local loading forging, metal flow forging with relief cavity, auxiliary force or vibration loading, casting-forging hybrid forming, and stamping-forging hybrid forming. High-precision aluminum alloy parts can be realized by controlling the forging processes and parameters or combining precision forging technologies with other forming technologies. The development of these technologies is beneficial to promote the application of aluminum alloys in manufacturing of lightweight parts.

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Motion control of multi-actuator hydraulic systems for mobile machineries: Recent advancements and future trends
Bing XU, Min CHENG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2018, 13 (2): 151-166.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (800KB)

This paper presents a survey of recent advancements and upcoming trends in motion control technologies employed in designing multi-actuator hydraulic systems for mobile machineries. Hydraulic systems have been extensively used in mobile machineries due to their superior power density and robustness. However, motion control technologies of multi-actuator hydraulic systems have faced increasing challenges due to stringent emission regulations. In this study, an overview of the evolution of existing throttling control technologies is presented, including open-center and load sensing controls. Recent advancements in energy-saving hydraulic technologies, such as individual metering, displacement, and hybrid controls, are briefly summarized. The impact of energy-saving hydraulic technologies on dynamic performance and control solutions are also discussed. Then, the advanced operation methods of multi-actuator mobile machineries are reviewed, including coordinated and haptic controls. Finally, challenges and opportunities of advanced motion control technologies are presented by providing an overall consideration of energy efficiency, controllability, cost, reliability, and other aspects.

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Recent advances in ultrasonic-assisted machining for the fabrication of micro/nano-textured surfaces
Shaolin XU,Tsunemoto KURIYAGAWA,Keita SHIMADA,Masayoshi MIZUTANI
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (1): 33-45.
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In this paper, the state of art of ultrasonic-assisted machining technologies used for fabrication of micro/nano-textured surfaces is reviewed. Diamond machining is the most widely used method in industry for manufacturing precision parts. For fabrication of fine structures on surfaces, conventional diamond machining methods are competitive by considering the precision of structures, but have limitations at machinable structures and machining efficiency, which have been proved to be partly solved by the integration of ultrasonic vibration motion. In this paper, existing ultrasonic-assisted machining methods for fabricating fine surface structures are reviewed and classified, and a rotary ultrasonic texturing (RUT) technology is mainly introduced by presenting the construction of vibration spindles, the texturing principles, and the applications of textured surfaces. Some new ideas and experimental results are presented. Finally, the challenges in using the RUT method to fabricate micro/nano-textured surfaces are discussed with respect to texturing strategies, machinable structures, and tool wear.

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Fabrication of scaffolds in tissue engineering: A review
Peng ZHAO, Haibing GU, Haoyang MI, Chengchen RAO, Jianzhong FU, Lih-sheng TURNG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2018, 13 (1): 107-119.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (539KB)

Tissue engineering (TE) is an integrated discipline that involves engineering and natural science in the development of biological materials to replace, repair, and improve the function of diseased or missing tissues. Traditional medical and surgical treatments have been reported to have side effects on patients caused by organ necrosis and tissue loss. However, engineered tissues and organs provide a new way to cure specific diseases. Scaffold fabrication is an important step in the TE process. This paper summarizes and reviews the widely used scaffold fabrication methods, including conventional methods, electrospinning, three-dimensional printing, and a combination of molding techniques. Furthermore, the differences among the properties of tissues, such as pore size and distribution, porosity, structure, and mechanical properties, are elucidated and critically reviewed. Some studies that combine two or more methods are also reviewed. Finally, this paper provides some guidance and suggestions for the future of scaffold fabrication.

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3D finite element prediction of chip flow, burr formation, and cutting forces in micro end-milling of aluminum 6061-T6
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (2): 203-214.
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Predictive models for machining operations have been significantly improved through numerous methods in recent decades. This study proposed a 3D finite element modeling (3D FEM) approach for the micro end-milling of Al6061-T6. Finite element (FE) simulations were performed under different cutting conditions to obtain realistic numerical predictions of chip flow, burr formation, and cutting forces. FE modeling displayed notable advantages, such as capability to easily handle any type of tool geometry and any side effect on chip formation, including thermal aspect and material property changes. The proposed 3D FE model considers the effects of mill helix angle and cutting edge radius on the chip. The prediction capability of the FE model was validated by comparing numerical model and experimental test results. Burr dimension trends were correlated with force profile shapes. However, the FE predictions overestimated the real force magnitude. This overestimation indicates that the model requires further development.

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Similitude design for the vibration problems of plates and shells: A review
Yunpeng ZHU, You WANG, Zhong LUO, Qingkai HAN, Deyou WANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (2): 253-264.
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Similitude design plays a vital role in the analysis of vibration and shock problems encountered in large engineering equipment. Similitude design, including dimensional analysis and governing equation method, is founded on the dynamic similitude theory. This study reviews the application of similitude design methods in engineering practice and summarizes the major achievements of the dynamic similitude theory in structural vibration and shock problems in different fields, including marine structures, civil engineering structures, and large power equipment. This study also reviews the dynamic similitude design methods for thin-walled and composite material plates and shells, including the most recent work published by the authors. Structure sensitivity analysis is used to evaluate the scaling factors to attain accurate distorted scaling laws. Finally, this study discusses the existing problems and the potential of the dynamic similitude theory for the analysis of vibration and shock problems of structures.

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Review of self-referenced measurement algorithms: Bridging lateral shearing interferometry and multi-probe error separation
Dede ZHAI, Shanyong CHEN, Ziqiang YIN, Shengyi LI
Front. Mech. Eng.    2017, 12 (2): 143-157.
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With the development of new materials and ultra-precision processing technology, the sizes of measured objects increase, and the requirements for machining accuracy and surface quality become more exacting. The traditional measurement method based on reference datum is inadequate for measuring a high-precision object when the quality of the reference datum is approximately within the same order as that of the object. Self-referenced measurement techniques provide an effective means when the direct reference-based method cannot satisfy the required measurement or calibration accuracy. This paper discusses the reconstruction algorithms for self-referenced measurement and connects lateral shearing interferometry and multi-probe error separation. In lateral shearing interferometry, the reconstruction algorithms are generally categorized into modal or zonal methods. The multi-probe error separation techniques for straightness measurement are broadly divided into two-point and three-point methods. The common features of the lateral shearing interferometry method and the multi-probe error separation method are identified. We conclude that the reconstruction principle in lateral shearing interferometry is similar to the two-point method in error separation on the condition that no yaw error exists. This similarity may provide a basis or inspiration for the development of both classes of methods.

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Cited: Crossref(1)
Creative design inspired by biological knowledge: Technologies and methods
Runhua TAN, Wei LIU, Guozhong CAO, Yuan SHI
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (1): 1-14.
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Biological knowledge is becoming an important source of inspiration for developing creative solutions to engineering design problems and even has a huge potential in formulating ideas that can help firms compete successfully in a dynamic market. To identify the technologies and methods that can facilitate the development of biologically inspired creative designs, this research briefly reviews the existing biological-knowledge-based theories and methods and examines the application of biological-knowledge-inspired designs in various fields. Afterward, this research thoroughly examines the four dimensions of key technologies that underlie the biologically inspired design (BID) process. This research then discusses the future development trends of the BID process before presenting the conclusions.

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