Did You Know?

“A common bacteria that clings to the inside of water pipes stays in place with the strongest glue known to exist in nature, scientists say. The researchers found that the bacteria Caulobacter crescentus can withstand a force equivalent to five tons per square inch – the pressure exerted by three or four cars balanced atop a quarter – before it is swept from its moorings. Yves Brun, a biologist at Indiana University who is a co-author of the research, said the super adhesive the bacteria produces could theoretically be mass-produced for engineering and medical purposes. One of the applications could be a biodegradable glue to replace sutures and staples in surgery. “The challenge will be to produce large quantities of this glue without it sticking to everything that is used to produce it,” he told The Herald-Times in Bloomington.”

Source: Associated Press

A 747-400 has six million parts, half of which are fasteners

Source: Boeing Website

“The Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s latest problem can’t be blamed on the Machinists strike. Nor is it the fault of inexperienced mechanics at Boeing’s far-flung suppliers. The big glitch that now has mechanics finding and replacing thousands of fasteners on every Dreamliner was caused by a Boeing engineering error made in Everett …. The fastener in question won’t sit properly in the hole unless the top of the hole is widened to accommodate a bevel, a curved join between the head and the shank of the fastener. The mechanic has to prepare the hole by cutting it wider at the top, first consulting a specification to find out exactly how much to cut…. The fix could require replacing up to 8,000 of the fasteners on each of the first dozen planes that are in various stages of completion.”

Source: The Seattle Times – November 20, 2008

“What most industry people don’t realize is that joint failure causing fasteners to break is five (5) times more likely to be due to poor/inadequate design and assembly than because of substandard fastener quality”

Source: “To Give-or Not to Give-Technical Advice” The Distributor’s Link, Winter ’08

“In 1948, a Frenchman named George de Mestral returned from a relaxing nature hike with his dog, to find himself and the dog covered with burrs. … DeMestral examined the clingy seeds under his microscope …. and saw the burrs are plant seeds covered in small hooks. These hooks attach to the fur of animals, spreading the plant as far as the carrier animal travels …. DeMestral experimented with various cloths and hook-making processes for three years, usually working with small batches of custom-woven cotton. The velvet-like appearance of this original cloth, lent the product its name, which DeMestral derived from the French words for velvet “velour” and hook – “crochet.” The result was Velcro. In 1951 he applied for a patent.”

Source: www.vat19.com/brain-candy

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