Solution Stories

Expanding Endurances and Efficiencies of Engines


This Solution Story comes from Dr. Bryan R. Becker. Teaching a class of mechanical engineering undergraduates, he has asked his students to do research on the lubrication methodologies involved in reciprocating pistons.

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Knovel Solutions: Saving the Empire State Building

Knovel Solutions are the stories of engineers who have used Knovel to solve real life problems. Knovel’s neighbor in the Big Apple is getting an eco-friendly update. Upon completion of the program, the Empire State Building will reduce its total energy usage by more than 38 percent, energy costs by $4.4 million annually, and carbon emissions by 105,000 metric tons over the next 15 years.

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Knovel Solutions in Improving the Quality of Plastic Moldings

From milk bottles to folding chairs, plastic materials are molded into shapes and designs that are used in almost every aspect of our daily life. In this solution story, a plastics engineer is investigating the feasibility of improving the quality of plastic containers by replacing the material from which they are made.

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Knovel Solutions in Biodegradable Plastics

See how these students used Knovel to research biodegradable plastics that could be disposed of by composting without costly recycling. 

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Knovel Solutions: Comparing Materials Joining Methods

This problem comes from a marine engineer. As a part of the modernization plan at the shipyard where he works, the engineer needs to order new welding equipment. He decides to use Knovel to find images about more about advanced welding technologies suitable for marine applications.

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Knovel Solutions in Researching Designs That Reduce Stress


FEA (Finite Element Analysis) methods often underestimate the impact of stress concentration on the strength of mechanical components. The example walks through how stress concentration methodology found on Knovel can be used in the design phase to increase the strength of a mechanical part without FEA.

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Knovel Solutions in Project Planning Logistics

The engineer responsible for logistics at a drilling site needs to calculate the weight of materials to be ordered for a well drilling operation. In this solution story, we calculate slurry yield for an A class cement with recommended water-to-cement ratio and allow for 25% excess of material without taking into account the additives.

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Knovel Solutions in Designing Industrial Equipment

An engineer needs to protect the steel shaft and die-cast aluminum brush hub of a hard floor scrubber machine from failure in a locked-rotor condition. One method of protection is to design a shaft key that fails before there is any damage to more expensive parts.
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Knovel Solutions in Materials Engineering

An engineer working at a shipyard’s sheet metal fabrication shop has to calculate the maximum bend length for a metal sheet that needs to be bent 90° without bottoming. In this solution story, we calculate the bending capacity of the break for both dies in order to figure out the optimal cutting pattern for the sheet metal during fabrication.

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Knovel Solutions in Choosing and Sizing Safety Devices

Relief valves protect pressure vessels and other equipment from being subjected to pressures that exceed their design limits. In this solution story, we size a bellows pressure relief (PR) valve  in line with the mass flow rate for a gas pipeline with natural gas under critical flow conditions.

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Knovel Solutions: Identifying the Root Cause for a Drop in Yield

Identifying the Root Cause for a Drop in Yield

An electronics manufacturing company specializes in Printed Circuit Board (PCB) assembly. Typically, the PCB assembly operations run at a first pass yield of 98% but in the last two months the yield has dropped by 76%. The Operations Manager is tasked with identifying the root cause and restoring the processes back to 98% yield. In this solution story, the Operations Manager troubleshoots the root cause of this drop in yield using basic search and Knovel Math.

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Knovel Solutions: Troubleshooting Mechanical Failures

Vibrations in mechanical systems are often signals that there may be a problem within a component. A mechanical engineer working on a transmission was hearing high vibration noises within the gearbox whenever the engine was running. Upon further inspection he found that the bearings were in need of replacement. He replaced the bearings, but after awhile the problem arose again. Check out this problem and how Knovel was able to help solve it.


Knovel Solutions: Optimizing Chemical Processes

Whether your job title is "industrial engineer” or not, you may be tasked with improving processes and finding better ways to design, develop, produce, deliver or service products. In this issue, we'll walk you through a case where an engineer working for a chemical manufacturer is asked by his manager to find a way to optimize the flow rate of acrylonitrile from a tank.


Knovel Solutions: Manufacturing Plastic from Soybeans

Millions of tons of plastic packaging and other plastic waste are hauled to over-flowing landfills every year around the world and will remain there for a very long time. The plastics industry is continuously searching for solutions to this problem by implementing “green” technologies, including the development of biodegradable plastics. Knovel recently helped one engineer who was looking into utilizing soybeans in the manufacture of biodegradable plastics.