I wanted to use this month’s column to update readers on a few newsworthy things. First and most obvious is our new look. With our change to digital-only, this new platform provides a much more interactive experience.
Whenever energy and power are needed in today’s age of miniaturization, rare-earth magnets are called upon to play a vital role. Applications abound, from the family car that uses on average 30 such magnets to powerful levitation systems on magnetic trains. All of this is made possible by elements with strange-sounding names: neodymium, lanthanum, samarium, yttrium and scandium – some of the “rare earths” or Lanthanide elements in the periodic table.
While not his first invention, the hammer – and, in particular, the hammer head – has helped man expand his universe like no other invention until the advent of the personal computer. Through the centuries the hammer head has kept up with the times, evolving from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age to the Iron Age and through the Industrial Revolution (the Steel Age) to encompass materials such as stainless steels, tool steels and nonferrous alloys. Without heat treating, however, today’s hammer head would be no more useful as a tool than the ones whose heads were made of stone.
It is with deep regret that we alert readers to the passing of R. Barry Ashby, longtime “Federal Triangle” column author and Washington insider. In addition to all of those tangible things, Barry was a friend, and we will all miss him.
A review of recent news certainly highlights some interesting stories. For our industry, additive manufacturing/3D printing is regularly in the headlines. Let’s take a look at these reports and some others making technological impact.
Consider the humble paper clip, whose utility highly depends on the properties of the metal developed by heat treatment. It may just be a thin piece of steel wire traditionally bent into a double-oval shape, but no one has invented a better method of holding loose sheets of paper together over the past century. In effect, a paper clip consists of two metal surfaces that are pressed against one another by the elasticity of the metal wire from which the paper clip is made.
After the year we experienced, I wasn’t quite sure what to focus on in the last editorial of 2020. We all know what we have personally been through – bad or good – so there’s no reason to rehash that. We do want to be certain readers understand what’s happening with Industrial Heating and know where to go for information.