Aerodynamics is the study of airflow and how it affects objects in motion. It is a vital component of aviation, as aircraft must be designed to create enough lift while minimizing drag. Several different aerodynamic devices can be used on aircraft, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

Airflow is a critical component in the operation of any aerodynamic device, and different types of aerodynamic devices use airflow to improve the aircraft's performance. Without proper airflow, an aerodynamic device will not function as intended. For example, wings are designed to use airflow to generate lift, while strakes are another aircraft device used to affect airflow to create drag.

Regarding strakes, they are a type of aerodynamic device used to improve airflow around a vehicle or object. They are typically made of metal or plastic and are attached to the fuselage to help reduce drag and increase fuel efficiency. Alongside improving the airflow around an aircraft, strakes also bolster the overall stability of the aircraft. Furthermore, there are many different types that can be used which have their own unique benefits.

Different Types of Strakes

Below we will discuss the most common types of strakes that may be found on an aircraft, as well as the unique benefits and drawbacks of each:

Nose strakes: Nose strakes are installed at the front of aircraft along the leading edge of the nose to help improve airflow by reducing drag over the aircraft and promoting stability. They can be used on both civilian and military aircraft, and they are very effective in improving performance.

Wing strakes: As their name states, wing strakes are designed to be attached to the wings of an aircraft to improve airflow over the wings and increase lift and drag. Through leading edge suction while at a high angle of attack, wing strakes can be used to generate additional vortex lift.

Nacelle strakes: Nacelle strakes are used to improve airflow around the nacelle of an aircraft. By reducing turbulence and drag, nacelle strakes can also enhance the overall performance and efficiency of aircraft engines when in flight. They are typically made from a lightweight material, such as carbon fiber, and can be installed on either the inboard or outboard side of the nacelle.

The Difference Between Strakes and Winglets

Winglets are another type of flight device that is similar in appearance to strakes, and the two are often conflated as a result. As they perform different roles and are placed in separate areas, it is crucial that one understands their difference. While both devices serve to improve airflow around the aircraft and its surfaces, winglets are only used on the wings of the vehicle while strakes may be situated in a variety of areas. Additionally, while strakes bolster lift through the increase of airflow around the aircraft, winglets are more focused on affecting drag for the sake of fuel efficiency and enhanced control. While some aircraft may have winglets and strakes features for their design, other models may only have one or the other. Generally, the presence of either device will come down to the particular needs of the aircraft and the types of operations that it will undertake.

Conclusion

Aircraft are equipped with strakes to help improve their aerodynamic performance, and they play an essential role in promoting vehicle safety, stability, and efficiency If you require any aviation component to satisfy your operational needs, Aerospace Unlimited Services offers an inventory of over 2 billion aerospace, defense, and electronic products ready for immediate procural. To get started on the purchasing process, simply fill out an Instant RFQ form as provided on our website. Within 15 minutes upon submission of a completed form, a dedicated account manager will respond back to you with a competitive quote for your comparisons 24/7x365. 


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Engines are complex apparatuses equipped with numerous components and assemblies that allow them to work optimally. One feature in particular is called the air entrance, and it is designed to conduct incoming air to the compressor with a minimum energy loss, ensuring that air flow is free of turbulence. To achieve such ends, proper inlet design contributes significantly. It improves aircraft performance by increasing the ratio of compressor discharge pressure to duct inlet pressure.

Also called the compressor pressure ratio, this ratio is the outlet pressure divided by the inlet pressure. The amount of air passing through the engine is based on three factors. First, the compressor speed, which is measured in RPMs, next, the forward speed, and lastly, the density of the ambient air.

The turbine inlet duct type is typically determined by the type of gas turbine engine. For example, a high-bypass turbofan engine inlet is different from a turboprop and turboshaft inlet. Generally, large gas turbine-powered aircraft are furnished with turbofan engines and the inlet is bolted to the front of the engine. Meanwhile, the engines are mounted on the wings, or nacelles, on the aft fuselage, and a select few will have them on the vertical fin.

On most modern turbofan engines, the fan is the first part that receives incoming air, thus icing protection must be incorporated. Deicing systems prevent chunks of ice from accumulating on the leading edge of the inlet and damaging the fan. At the same time, warm air is bled from the engine’s compressor and ducted via the inlet to prevent ice from forming. The inlet guide vanes can straighten airflow and contain some sound-reducing materials that absorb fan noise.

Turboprops and turboshafts can utilize an inlet screen to filter out ice and other debris from making their way into the engine, or a deflector vane and a heated inlet lip can also be used. Military aircraft travel at speeds above Mach 1, so the airflow should be maintained below Mach 1 since supersonic airflow in the engine can destroy it. By using convergent and divergent shaped ducts, the airflow can be controlled. Additionally, supersonic inlets can be used to slow the incoming engine air below Mach 1 before it enters the engine. In the next section, we will cover the most common inlet mounting styles and inlet types. 

Engine-Mounted Inlets

Many large commercial and military aircraft utilize wing-mounted engines. For the DC-10 and L-1011, a combination of wing-mounted and vertical stabilizer mounted engines are used. In these instances, the air inlet duct is positioned in front of the compressor and is mounted to the engine. Integral mounting of the inlet with an engine reduces air inlet length, which in turn increases operational efficiency. Some commercial aircraft and a majority of small business jets may also be fitted with aft fuselage mounted engines wherein the duct is short and is mounted directly to the engine.

Wing-Mounted Inlets

Aircraft with this mounting style feature air inlet ducts in the wing’s leading edge. Typically, wing-mounted inlet ducts are located near the wing root area.

Fuselage-Mounted Inlets

Engines mounted inside a fuselage will generally use air inlet ducts located near the front of the fuselage. While using this type of air inlet duct permits the aircraft manufacturer to construct a more aerodynamically efficient aircraft, the increased length of the inlet duct introduces some inefficiency. For single- and twin-engine aircraft, the air inlet ducts are mounted on the sides of the fuselage. This configuration allows the duct length to be shortened without adding excessive drag to the aircraft. Unfortunately, this arrangement causes some flight maneuvers to become imbalanced.

Subsonic Inlets

Consisting of a fixed geometric duct with a diameter that progressively increases from front to back, this shape works similar to a venturi in that as the intake air spreads out, the velocity of the air decreases and the pressure increases. This additional pressure contributes to engine efficiency once the aircraft has reached cruising speed. At this speed, the compressor reaches its optimal aerodynamic efficiency and produces the most compression for best fuel economy.

Supersonic Inlets

On supersonic aircraft, air inlet ducts have a fixed or variable geometric design with a diameter that progressively decreases and increases from front to back. This design is utilized to slow the incoming airflow to a subsonic speed before it reaches the compressor. Furthermore, many supersonic inlet ducts take advantage of a movable plug that changes the duct geometry as per flight conditions, allowing it to accommodate a wide range of speeds.

Conclusion

Aerospace Unlimited Services is a premier distributor of aircraft products, such as combustors, exhaust ducts, valves, inlets, and more. With an unparalleled inventory of top-quality items, customers can meet their operational deadlines with ease. Kickoff the procurement process with a competitive quote today and see how easily  Aerospace Unlimited Services can provide customized sourcing solutions for you!


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While many aspects of aircraft are becoming ever increasingly electrical, there are still countless mechanical devices that perform operations paramount to conducting a standard flight operation. For many aircraft, pulleys are a common mechanical device that is able to apply a pulling force through the use of a wheel and cable assembly. With a pulley, connected objects can be pulled and provided tension with ease, allowing for pilots to manage various important assemblies and systems. In this blog, we will discuss the most common aircraft applications that pulleys serve so that you may better understand their importance and uses.

Wing flaps are a staple of aircraft design, coming in the form of adjustable surfaces that are situated near the back edge of each wing structure. Through the actuation of wing flaps, pilots can govern the stalling speed of the aircraft. Additionally, wing flaps are also useful for minimizing the distance that an aircraft travels during takeoff or landing operations. As pilots need to be able to manage the wing flaps from the cockpit, a system of pulleys are used for raising and lowering such flight surfaces.

Ailerons are another wing-situated flight surface that pilots commonly use each flight, and they too can be managed with the use of pulley systems. While ailerons are also near the back edge of the aircraft’s wings, they are a bit closer to the tip. Additionally, there will often only be a single aileron surface on each wing, and they always adjust in opposite directions from one another. As such, if one aileron is raised with a pulley, the other is lowered. This allows for the aircraft to bank, and control is provided to the pilot in the cockpit through pulleys and more.

Landing gear is paramount for an aircraft’s ability to safely land and traverse on ground surfaces, yet they can often cause a high amount of drag when situated in the flow of air during flight. To mitigate drag, many aircraft feature the ability to deploy and retract landing gear, and this is often made possible through the use of pulleys. When an aircraft takes off from a runway and gains altitude, the pilot will activate the pullets to raise the landing gear system. Once it comes time to deploy the landing gear once again before touching down, the pulleys can be actuated again to safely lower the assembly.

While such examples constitute the primary uses of a pulley in the aviation sector, there are still many other uses for such devices. For instance, aircraft may use pulleys in numerous other areas to position components, provide travel adjustment, and enact tension. As many important controls are made possible through the use of pulleys, it is crucial that they are well maintained and inspected on a regular basis. If you are ever conducting maintenance and find that you need replacement parts to effectively service your aircraft, look no further than Aerospace Unlimited.

Aerospace Unlimited is a premier purchasing platform belonging to the ASAP Semiconductor family of websites, and we are your best solution for all the pulleys, drums, and other mechanical devices that you require for your aircraft. With our purchasing power and expertise, we can help you save time and money when sourcing top manufacturer parts and products. Even if you happen to be facing a time constraint, we can expedite the shipping process through the use of our expansive supply chain network. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our offerings or services, we encourage you to give us a call or email at your earliest convenience. At Aerospace Unlimited we are more than just a reputable distributor of parts; we are your strategic sourcing partner.


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An emergency locator transmitter (ELT) is an independent battery-powered transmitter that is activated by the excessive G-forces exerted during an aircraft crash. They have the ability to transmit a digital signal every 50 seconds on a frequency of 406.025 MHz at 5 watts for a minimum of 24 hours. This signal can be received anywhere in the world by satellites in the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite system.

There are two types of satellites, those of which are called low earth orbiting (LEOSATs) and geostationary satellites (GEOSATs). The transmitted signal is partially processed and stored in these satellites before being relayed to ground stations referred to as local user terminals (LUTs). At this stage, the LUTs further decipher the signal, and the appropriate search and rescue operations are notified via mission control centers (MCCs).

Since their widespread implementation on commercial aircraft in the 1970s, ELTs have become commonplace in the aviation realm. Today, ELTs must be installed in aircraft according to FAR 91.207. For the most part, this encompasses most general aviation aircraft that do not operate under Parts 135 or 121. Furthermore, ELTs must be annually inspected for proper installation, battery corrosion, operation of the controls and crash sensor, and the presence of an ample signal at the antenna.

Beyond such inspections, built-in test equipment enables testing without the transmission of an emergency signal. The next part of the inspection is visual, and it must be recorded in maintenance records and on the outside of the ELT. Nonetheless, technicians are still warned to not accidentally activate the ELT and transmit an emergency distress signal.

ELTs are usually installed near the tail of an aircraft while the built-in G-force sensor is aligned with the longitudinal axis of the aircraft. ELTs that are equipped with an automatic G-force activation sensor mounted in the aircraft are easily removable. They contain a portable antenna, allowing crash victims to leave the site and carry the operating ELT with them. Meanwhile, a flight deck mounted panel alerts the pilots when the ELT is activated, and allows the ELT to be armed, tested, and manually activated if necessary.

Modern ELTS also have the ability to transmit a signal on the 121.5 MHz frequency. This is an analog transmission that can be utilized for homing. Before 2009, 121.5 MHz was the worldwide emergency frequency monitored by the CORPAS-SARSAT satellites. Since then, it has been replaced by the 406 MHz standard. As the use of 406 MHz ELTs has not been made compulsory by the FAA, the 121.5 MHz frequency is still an active emergency frequency that is monitored by over-flying aircraft and control towers.

Most aircraft technicians are required to carry out annual inspections of 121.5 MHz ELTs and vet them as thoroughly as 406 MHz ELTs. As older ELTs lack built-in test circuitry, an operational test for such versions may include activating the signal. This can be achieved by removing the antenna and installing a dummy load.

If you find yourself in need of ELTs or ELT components, look no further than Aerospace Unlimited Services. Aerospace Unlimited Services has over 2 billion ready-to-purchase products, all of which are subjected to varying levels of quality assurance testing. For your ease of search, we have all of our items organized by part number, manufacturer, NSN, and more. Click on any one of our hot part numbers to be directed to an RFQ form. Within 15 minutes of submitting a form, an expert team member will reach out with a competitive quote for your comparisons. Initiate the procurement process today and see how Aerospace Unlimited Services can serve as your strategic sourcing partner!


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An emergency locator transmitter (ELT) is an independent battery-powered transmitter that is activated by the excessive G-forces exerted during an aircraft crash. They have the ability to transmit a digital signal every 50 seconds on a frequency of 406.025 MHz at 5 watts for a minimum of 24 hours. This signal can be received anywhere in the world by satellites in the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite system.

There are two types of satellites, those of which are called low earth orbiting (LEOSATs) and geostationary satellites (GEOSATs). The transmitted signal is partially processed and stored in these satellites before being relayed to ground stations referred to as local user terminals (LUTs). At this stage, the LUTs further decipher the signal, and the appropriate search and rescue operations are notified via mission control centers (MCCs).

Since their widespread implementation on commercial aircraft in the 1970s, ELTs have become commonplace in the aviation realm. Today, ELTs must be installed in aircraft according to FAR 91.207. For the most part, this encompasses most general aviation aircraft that do not operate under Parts 135 or 121. Furthermore, ELTs must be annually inspected for proper installation, battery corrosion, operation of the controls and crash sensor, and the presence of an ample signal at the antenna.

Beyond such inspections, built-in test equipment enables testing without the transmission of an emergency signal. The next part of the inspection is visual, and it must be recorded in maintenance records and on the outside of the ELT. Nonetheless, technicians are still warned to not accidentally activate the ELT and transmit an emergency distress signal.

ELTs are usually installed near the tail of an aircraft while the built-in G-force sensor is aligned with the longitudinal axis of the aircraft. ELTs that are equipped with an automatic G-force activation sensor mounted in the aircraft are easily removable. They contain a portable antenna, allowing crash victims to leave the site and carry the operating ELT with them. Meanwhile, a flight deck mounted panel alerts the pilots when the ELT is activated, and allows the ELT to be armed, tested, and manually activated if necessary.

Modern ELTS also have the ability to transmit a signal on the 121.5 MHz frequency. This is an analog transmission that can be utilized for homing. Before 2009, 121.5 MHz was the worldwide emergency frequency monitored by the CORPAS-SARSAT satellites. Since then, it has been replaced by the 406 MHz standard. As the use of 406 MHz ELTs has not been made compulsory by the FAA, the 121.5 MHz frequency is still an active emergency frequency that is monitored by over-flying aircraft and control towers.

Most aircraft technicians are required to carry out annual inspections of 121.5 MHz ELTs and vet them as thoroughly as 406 MHz ELTs. As older ELTs lack built-in test circuitry, an operational test for such versions may include activating the signal. This can be achieved by removing the antenna and installing a dummy load.

If you find yourself in need of ELTs or ELT components, look no further than Aerospace Unlimited Services. Aerospace Unlimited Services has over 2 billion ready-to-purchase products, all of which are subjected to varying levels of quality assurance testing. For your ease of search, we have all of our items organized by part number, manufacturer, NSN, and more. Click on any one of our hot part numbers to be directed to an RFQ form. Within 15 minutes of submitting a form, an expert team member will reach out with a competitive quote for your comparisons. Initiate the procurement process today and see how Aerospace Unlimited Services can serve as your strategic sourcing partner!


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Engine mounts are probably one of the most important parts in a vehicle or industrial machinery and can be found in airplanes, cars, trains, boats, buses, and any other equipment that necessitates a motor or engine. They are tasked with keeping engines in place, allowing any moving machine to optimally function. For example, when putting fragile components into a box and shaking the box around, the items inside will inevitably become damaged. However, if the components inside are secured with a mount, they will remain intact.

Typically made of rubber, good-quality engine mounts can reduce excess vibration, mitigate noise, and prevent engines from facing damage, which in turn extends the engine’s service life. More than that, rubber is resistant to ozone, water, oil, and other damaging elements, allowing mounts to properly perform even under tough conditions. Rubber is also available at a lower price point than other materials, making it a cost-effective choice.

Engine mounts are available in a variety of configurations depending on the application in question. As a result, most engine mounts are made to be compact, allowing them to fit in small spaces and environments. They are equipped with a molded rubber bushing or mount, which serves to dampen vibration. This is the area where the engine is normally attached. Additionally, there is a bolt that threads through the length of the motor mount, securing the entire assembly.

With countless engine mount designs, some of which are made with hydraulic fluid on the inside to offer more damping and flexibility, one of the biggest factors to consider is load capabilities. In most cases, engine mount shape, size, and material is determined by the load that will be applied to the mount and how much energy the mount is responsible for absorbing. It is also important to note that engine mount design depends on the application at hand.

The four most common types of engine mounts include single piece isolators, hydraulic engine mounts, two-piece mounts, and base plates for flange mounts.

Single Piece Isolators

Single piece isolators can be used as either the front or rear mounts of an engine set. These engine mounts are ideal for stationary applications since there is only an elastomer on the top section of the mount.

Hydraulic Engine Mounts

Hydraulic engine mounts have enhanced noise and vibration-resistant properties. The fluid inside the assembly is delivered via the internal orifices to offer a controlled spring rate. They are typically found in four-cylinder vehicles such as large trucks and buses.

Two-Piece Mounts

These mounts are feasible options for applications that have high rebound load cases like off road equipment.

Base Plates for Flange Mounts

For ease of installation, base plates for flange mounts are a great choice. The base flange makes it easy to attach the mount to other structures with the use of a bolt.  

Conclusion

As engine mounts are designed to absorb the energy of a particular system, they eventually become worn out over time and necessitate replacement. If you find yourself in need of engine mount parts or other related components, rely on Aerospace Unlimited Services for all your operational needs. With over 2 billion items in our inventory, all of which are subjected to rigorous quality assurance measures, you are bound to find what you need. We invite you to peruse our ever-expanding catalogs and kick off the procurement process with a competitive quote through our Instant RFQ service. Within 15 minutes of submission, a dedicated representative will reach out with a quote that meets your needs. Alternatively, you can call or email us directly; we are available 24/7x365. Contact us today and experience the future of part procurement with Aerospace Unlimited Services.


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Easier to start when compared to its propeller engine counterparts, jet engines only require compressed air and fuel to start. Jet engines are typically recognized for being a type of reaction engine that generates thrusts by jet propulsion.

A jet engine works by sucking air through the intake, sending the air through a fan equipped with a row of blades that compresses the air. Then, a majority of the air travels through the engine. This air is called bypass air, and it is used for the engine’s thrust, and to cool the engine. A final portion of the air dissipates as it goes through the “hot section” of the engine.

As the air travels through the “hot section,” it passes through 14 rows of compressor blades that further compress it. At this point, the hot compressed air passes into the combustion chamber where it mixes with fuel and burns. Within a jet engine, the fuel-air mixture burns at a constant rate, allowing the air to heat up, expand, and make its way out of the turbine blades.

Produced by Embraer, the Embraer ERJ 145 family is a series of twin-engine jets that contain five rows, two of which are high pressure turbines, and three that are low pressure turbines. As air passes through the turbines, the turbines, shaft, and compressor blades begin spinning. Hot air starts to make its way through the turbines, subsequently leaving the engine, and generating more thrust.

In order to get the engine to run, the engine core needs to spin at 14% of its maximum speed before the igniters can kickstart. Engine core speed is defined as “N2,” and is expressed as a percentage of maximum RPM. In an ERJ, 100% of the N2 is approximately 16,000 RPM; thus, the engine requires at least 2,200 RPM before the igniters can begin firing. That being said, the core should reach 28.5% of the N2, roughly a little over 4,500 RPM before the engine can introduce fuel and ignite the mixture.

Fuel is typically dispersed at 200 pounds per hour, which is about ½ a gallon per minute. To handle this much fuel, large amounts of compressed air is required in the combustion chamber. The most common source of compressed air includes an auxiliary power unit (APU).

Within a small turbine engine located near the tail of an aircraft, the APU provides compressed air and electricity. The auxiliary power unit is also tasked with powering an aircraft’s electrical systems on the ground, all the while serving as a backup generator for electrical and pneumatic requirements. In the case that the APU fails, you will require an external source of compressed air, the most common being a huffer cart. A huffer cart is an air compressor that can be mounted on the side of an aircraft, providing compressed air for starting an engine.

Lastly, air may also be sourced from a running engine. Turbine engines usually release bypass air, which can be distributed among multiple engines in an aircraft. If you open the bleeds on one engine, and open the crossbleed in another engine, your aircraft is ready to start.


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A glider, also known as a sailplane, is a type of aircraft that is primarily used for leisure activities and the sport of gliding. Unlike airliners and other similar fixed-wing aircraft, gliders are unpowered, taking advantage of naturally rising air to gain altitude and remain in the atmosphere. With their design, gliders are equipped to traverse a significant distance with small losses in altitude. To better understand how gliders work, and how they compare to other aircraft, we will discuss their design.

Fuselage

Like many other aircraft types, the fuselage is the main portion of the airframe where the wings and empennage are connected. At the front of the structure is the cockpit, opposite of the empennage that is attached at the back. Meanwhile, the wings extend from both sides. Generally, the fuselage may be composed of various materials, some of the most common including wood, fabric covered steel tubing, fiberglass, aluminum, Kevlar, or various combinations of each. While early gliders were constructed with wood and metal fasteners, they have since been upgraded to drastically reduce weight for performance.

Tow Hook Device

In order to begin soaring, gliders will often have a tow hook device that extends from the aircraft’s center of gravity or from the nose. When placed on the nose, such devices are used for aerotow procedures.

Wings

While devoid of engines, gliders still feature long, narrow wings that serve as their airfoils. Depending on the model, glider wings can range from 40 feet to 101.38 feet in length. Additionally, the wings are often fitted with various components that affect drag and lift, allowing for more control. Generally, these components include spoilers, dive brakes, and flaps.

Empennage

The empennage can be considered the tail of the aircraft, and such structures are where various stabilizing surfaces are placed. To amply control the glider as it traverses the atmosphere, the empennage is fitted with fixed and movable surfaces, including those such as the horizontal stabilizer, vertical fin, elevator, rudder, and trim tabs. The empennage itself may vary in shape as well, the most common designs being the conventional tail, T-tail, and V-tail. The conventional tail is designed with the horizontal stabilizer at the bottom of the vertical stabilizer. With a T-tail design, meanwhile, the horizontal stabilizer is placed atop the vertical stabilizer, establishing a “T” shaped tail, hence the name. Lastly, V-type designs feature two tail surfaces, both being mounted to create a “V” shape.

Landing Gear

For the landing gear of a glider, such assemblies consist of a main wheel, front skid or wheel, and a tailwheel or skid. For increased landing capability, many gliders will also feature wheels or skid plates that are attached to the end of each wing. If the glider is specifically designed for high-speed and low-drag flight, then the landing gear may even be fully retractable. Typically, a rope break or early release mechanism will be present so that the pilot has the ability to conduct a safe landing without having to stress over the entire landing checklist.

Conclusion

If you operate a glider and require various parts for maintenance or repairs, the experts at Aerospace Unlimited can help you secure everything you need with ease. With competitive pricing and rapid lead-times, we are your sourcing solution for aileron components, rudder parts, cockpit instruments, and much more. Take the time to explore our offerings, and our team is always on standby 24/7x365 to assist customers through the purchasing process as necessary. Get started with a competitive quote on items that you are interested in through the submission of an RFQ form as see how Aerospace Unlimited can serve as your strategic sourcing partner for all your needs. 


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Fasteners find use in countless applications, allowing individuals to assemble and secure furniture, aircraft, buildings, and so much more. To accommodate a wide range of materials, loads, sizes, and other assembly characteristics, there are many types of fasteners that one may use. As each differs in their design and capabilities, it can be highly beneficial to have a general understanding of the most basic fastener types before making a purchasing decision. 

Bolts

Bolts are a common type of threaded fastener, typically coming in the form of a threaded shaft with a head on one end. For their installation, bolts are passed through the hole of a component, secured with the use of mating nuts and washer components. Bolts are useful for creating bolted joints, relying on the use of the nuts to create an axial clamping force. Bolts may be used to secure numerous materials, and their common types include hex, slotted hex, and socket cap variations. The nuts paired with bolts may also vary in their type, hex nuts being a commonly used component.

Screws

Screws are regularly compared to bolts, featuring a threaded shank and a head on one end. Their difference, however, is the method in which they secure materials together. Typically, a screw is driven into a material, capable of forming its own threading as it is turned. This allows for an internal thread to be formed, pulling materials together for the prevention of pull-out. Screws may vary in their type to accommodate the surface that they are installed in, and they are often used for wood, sheet metal, and plastic assemblies.

Washers

Washers are often paired with bolts and nuts, serving to distribute their loads. While varying in type, washers often come in the form of thin plates that have a hole in their center. With this hole, a threaded fastener may be passed through, the head resting on the washer for load distribution. Alongside such roles, washers may also serve as a spacer, wear pad, locking device, vibration reducer, and more. Generally, the most commonly used washers include the plain, spring, and locking washer.

Rivets

Rivets are a form of permanent mechanical fastener, often coming in the form of a component with a smooth cylindrical shaft and a head on one side. The side opposite of the head is known as the tail, and this end is passed through the hole of components for installation. Once placed in a hole, a tool is used to upset the tail-end, causing it to expand in size to form a second head. This ensures that the rivet stays secure. Coming in numerous forms, rivets are commonly used for the construction of boats, aircraft, bridges, and more.

Nails

Common to woodworking and construction, nails are fasteners constructed from metal or wood that have a sharp end on one side and a head on the other. Using a hammer or nail gun, nails can be driven into a material, securing materials to an object through axial friction or lateral shear strength. Generally, nails are used for hanging objects, assembling materials together, and more.

Beyond such fasteners, one may also take advantage of anchors, coupling components, and other various components for their needs. When you are in the market for top quality fasteners that you can steadily rely on for your various projects, there is no better alternative to Aerospace Unlimited. Unmatched in our lead-times and offering competitive pricing on over 2 billion items, we are well suited to meet your various requirements with ease. Call or email us today and get connected with a sales representative who can assist you throughout the purchasing process however necessary.


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Bearings are components that are paramount to the operations of countless assemblies, serving to constrain motion while also minimizing friction between moving parts. Bearings can come in numerous shapes and forms, thrust bearings being a common type that are implemented in assemblies to absorb axial loads. As bearings that are typically found within automobile gearboxes, radio antenna masts, and other various automotive, marine, and aerospace applications, having a general understanding of thrust bearings and their use can be beneficial.

As stated before, thrust bearings are best fit for taking on the axial loads of a particular assembly. Axial loads are those that are transmitted linearly along a shaft, stemming from various sources such as the forward thrust of boats or the rotation of a propeller powered by a piston aircraft engine. Rotating between parts in motion, thrust bearings may come in a number of forms to facilitate diverse operations.

Thrust ball bearings are those that take advantage of bearing balls that are placed within a ring, accommodating the operations of low thrust applications that exhibit low axial loads. Cylindrical thrust roller bearings, meanwhile, feature cylindrical rollers that are specifically oriented with their axes facing the axis of the bearing. While cost-efficient and featuring high load carrying capacities, such thrust bearings can face wear due to their varying radial speeds and friction. Tapered roller thrust bearings are another common roller thrust bearing, featuring small tapered rollers instead of cylindrical rollers. These tapered rollers are oriented with their axes covering on the axis of the bearing, and the design of the component directly affects how smoothly the rollers are able to roll. Tapered roller thrust bearings are the most common variation for automobiles, capable of taking on axial and radial loads.

Spherical roller thrust bearings feature asymmetrical rollers that are shaped like spheres, placed within a spherical raceway. With their specific design, spherical roller thrust bearings are suited for taking on both radial and axial loads, all while aiding the misalignment of shafts. Generally, spherical roller thrust bearings are paired with radial spherical roller bearings. With the use of fluid bearings, axial thrust can be taken on with the assistance of a pressurized liquid layer, ensuring that drag is mitigated during operations. The final major type of thrust bearing is the magnetic bearing, that of which takes on axial thrust through the use of a magnetic field. Generally, these bearings are used for high speed operations and provide low drag.

As certain bearings differ in their ability to take on certain loads or operational conditions, it is crucial that purchasing decisions are made with ample consideration for the application in question. To ensure proper functionality, reliability, and a long service life for a particular bearing, it should be of the correct type, material, size, and shape for the system or assembly that it will be installed in. After factoring in all operational requirements and bearing characteristics as necessary, Aerospace Unlimited can help you secure all the radial bearing, roller bearing, and thrust bearing components you need with unmatched prices and service.


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An electrical transducer is a component that is able to transform physical quantities into voltage or electric current, allowing for measurements to be made in the form of electrical signals. Electrical transducers can measure many properties, often being used for pressure, temperature, level, displacement, and much more. As the output signal is always proportional to the quantity that the device measures, transducers are quite reliable and useful for the applications that they serve.

Modern industrial applications are quite dependent upon instrumentation, that of which is used for the measurement and management and various operational variables. With instrumentation, aspects such as displacement, temperature, flow, angle, and level may all be managed with ease. For basic instrumentation systems, transducers are a crucial part that is relied upon for the conversion of energy.

Depending upon one’s needs, there are a number of transducer types that are classified by the quantities or attributes that they measure. In general, the most common types include temperature transducers, pressure transducers, displacement transducers, oscillator transducers, flow transducers, and inductive transducers. Such devices may also be categorized based on their principle of operation, common forms being photovoltaic, piezoelectric, chemical, mutual induction, electromagnetic, hall effect, and photoconductor transducers. As a final way of classifying transducers, such components may also be determined based on whether or not there is a required external power source.

If a transducer is capable of transforming quantities into measurable electrical signals without the need of an external power source, the component is known as an active transducer. With a fairly simplistic design, the self-generating device draws energy from the measurement system when it makes a measurement, and the generated output is typically small. Active transducers can come in a variety of types, the most common being the piezoelectric, photoelectric, and thermoelectric transducer.

For transducers that rely on external power sources, however, such devices are known as being passive. Generally, such variations generate their output signal in the form of variations in resistance, capacitance, or another type of electrical parameter. Then, this output is proportionately converted into a voltage signal or electrical current which can be measured. A photocell is a common example of a passive transducer, and such devices are capable of varying the resistance of the cell when exposed to light. With the assistance of a bridge circuit, the resistance change can be transformed into a proportional signal so that the photocell can accurately measure the intensity of light.

With their standard set of capabilities, transducers are often compared to sensors. While sensors are commonly employed for the means of detecting physical changes within a space, transducers serve to convert these changes or measurements into electric signals. Their similarity comes from the fact that sensors are a type of transducer, creating signals based on their detection which may then be used by a control system, information system, or a type of telemetry. Actuators are also commonly compared as well, being capable of receiving a source of energy to act upon the environment in a specific fashion.


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Microprocessor and microcontroller components are two types of integrated circuits (ICs) that are often confused for one another despite serving very different roles and uses. While a microprocessor acts as the processor of a computer with data processing logic and control, a microcontroller is implemented within an embedded system to govern a particular application. As two common components that may be present within many electronic devices and systems, it is important to understand the difference between each and the applications that both serve.

Microprocessors operate without a predefined task, typically being assigned to an operation by a user. Such components are widely implemented in a number of consumer devices, including those such as computers, video game consoles, mobile phones, televisions, and more. As a device that assists systems that have unfixed tasks, microprocessors find implementation in applications where intensive processing is required. With a computer, for example, the microprocessor can serve numerous roles as needed, facilitating operations such as document creation, media streaming, image editing, Internet browsing, and much more.

Microcontrollers, as previously discussed, are designed with a specific task in mind. Typically, the microcontroller will have a program that is embedded to the chip, meaning that any alterations may be difficult as special tools are required for reburning programs. As a result of their standard operations, microcontrollers are considered to be fixed for a particular application. With an input provided by a user or various system sensors, the microcontroller will utilize predefined settings to create an intended output. For their implementation, microcontrollers are often found within washing machines, microwave ovens, timers, and other various appliances and devices. With a microwave oven as an example, predefined inputs can be entered by a user for cooking settings, and a resulting fixed action will be carried out. Unlike a microprocessor, only predefined operations may be achieved with microcontrollers.

For the structure and composition of a microprocessor, such components will generally only have a CPU. If any I/O ports, ROM, RAM, or other peripherals are desired, they must be connected externally. Microprocessors are also known to be fairly flexible, allowing a user to determine the amount of peripheral devices and memory that may be added. With microcontrollers, on the other hand, the CPU, memory, and all other peripherals are pre-assembled to create a single unit, thus the structure is fixed and unchangeable. The clock speeds of microprocessors are often much quicker than microcontrollers, boasting a range of 1 GHz to 4 GHz. Meanwhile, microcontrollers operate on a range of 1 MHz to 300 MHz.

Due to the difference in construction and operations of each component, microprocessors tend to have a much higher cost than microcontrollers with their complexity. Microprocessors may also be larger in construction and require a higher amount of power for operations. Despite these characteristics seeming like potential drawbacks, it is important to consider that microprocessors are intended for more complex operations such as carrying out the diverse functionalities of a computer. If a simple, predefined task is to be carried out, then a microcontroller may be a good fit.


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In order for aircraft to maintain heavier-than-air flight over significant distances, they require some form of power generation for the means of producing thrust and propulsion. For many early aircraft and those that are lightweight or general aviation types, the piston engine serves as the most common solution for maintaining flight. Piston engines can come in a variety of forms, some common types being the inline engine, radial engine, horizontally opposed engine, and V-type engine. While each of these types may differ in their construction and operation to some degree, all function through a common working principle.

Across all piston engine types, one or more pistons are placed within cylinders and situated in various configurations. The cylinder is the area in which gas is introduced with the fuel injection system, and it is mixed together with intake air through the movements of the piston before being ignited. The ignition system of a typical piston engine will commonly use a magneto, and such devices are used to create a spark powerful enough to reach the cylinder and ignite mixtures. The resulting combustive force and gases from ignition will drive the piston upwards, this movement being harnessed by a connecting rod and crankshaft for the means of converting linear motion into a rotational motion. The rotational motion created through combustion is important driving the propellers of the aircraft for flight. After the piston has driven the crankshaft assembly, it can then force the exhaust gases out of the cylinder before repeating the cycle again.

Depending on the type of aircraft and its piston engine, the general operation of pistons may slightly vary. Generally, each type will differ on the number of cylinders that they contain, and various orientations may feature a circular design with a central crankshaft, multiple cylinders situated within a line, or other such configurations. Based on the construction of the cylinders and their number, the timing of piston firing may also differ by model so that smooth operations are achieved without any delay in combustion. While the amount of strokes and cylinders for engine operation may vary by engine type, the general rule of thumb is that more cylinders can further spread power pulses for smoother functionality.

Piston engines are often compared to gas turbine engines, and their operational characteristics and capabilities are set apart from one another. While the piston engine creates power through the conversion of linear motion and pressure, gas turbine engines utilize the pressure of ignited gases to drive a turbine for thrust generation. While the gas turbine engine may be capable of achieving higher amounts of power and can be very reliable, such engine types are not suitable for many smaller aircraft due to their size and weight. As a result, a piston engine that drives a propeller assembly ensures optimal flight characteristics for such aircraft.

As piston engines operate with numerous moving assemblies and high amounts of heat, it is important that they are regularly inspected and maintained to ensure their continued operability and efficiency. To prevent heat from damaging components, engines should be well lubricated with cooling oil and the cooling system should be able to efficiently mitigate extreme temperatures. Furthermore, the engine should be operated regularly as well, as a sitting engine can be susceptible to rust and other forms of corrosion over time.


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The exhaust section of a gas turbine engine is paramount for heat dissipation and performance, ensuring that spent gases are optimally expelled from the engine after combustion. While varying engines may contain different components and complex assemblies, the common function of all exhaust parts is to direct spent gases out of the engine in such a way that an efficient exit velocity is reached without causing turbulence. 

The main sections of the gas turbine engine include the exhaust cone, tailpipe, and exhaust nozzle. The exhaust cone is the section of the aircraft engine that follows the turbine assembly, and it gathers the expanding gases that pass through the turbine blades so that they may be directed into a solid flow. By converting the stream of gas, the exhaust cone can cut down the velocity of the gas while increasing its pressure. For the design of the exhaust cone, the section contains an outer shell, inner cone, multiple radial hollow struts, and tie rods for support.

The outer shell of the assembly is tasked with collecting exhaust gases, and it often comes in the form of a stainless steel assembly which is connected to the turbine case rear flanges. If there is a need for temperature thermocouples within the assembly, the duct may be designed with thermocouple bosses. The struts are also attached to the outer duct, and they serve as supports for the inner cone which sits in the middle of the exhaust duct. Struts are also useful for straightening the flow of exhaust, ensuring that they exit at a proper angle for beneficial operations. The inner cone is placed near the rear face of the turbine disk, and it serves to prevent exiting exhaust gases from causing turbulence. The inner cone may also feature a small hole at the exit tip, and this allows for air circulation to cool the turbine wheel.

The tailpipe is the next major section of the aircraft gas turbine engine, and they are often designed with semiflexible characteristics. For certain tailpipe constructions, a bellows arrangement may be implemented for the means of moving the tailpipe during thermal expansion, maintenance, and installation. With such capabilities of movement, the tailpipe is less at risk of warping under stress. As the high temperatures of combustion can result in heat radiating from the exhaust cone and tailpipe, engineers often implement insulation for the protection of airframe components. While there are numerous solutions that may serve for thermal protection, shrouds and insulation blankets are the most common as they can protect assemblies and increase performance.

The exhaust nozzle is the final section of the engine, and it may be a converging design for subsonic gas velocities or a converging-diverging design for the means of supersonic gas velocities. The nozzle opening may also have a fixed or variable area, the fixed area being fairly simplistic due to its lack of moving parts. It is important that fixed area nozzles are optimally designed so that the engine does not choke during operations and can achieve optimal thrust. When an augmenter or afterburner is implemented in the engine, the exhaust nozzle will come in the form of the variable area type as it will need to extend its open area to accommodate the increased mass of flow. If the augementer or afterburner is shut-off, the exhaust nozzle can adjust to a smaller opening.


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A pressure sensor is a device capable of converting pressure into an electrical signal. They have a wide range of uses in many different applications, so the type of pressure sensor you are using for a given task matters. For example, a pressure sensor that does a good job of measuring oil and gas may not be ideal for measuring hydraulic fluids. Prior to purchasing a pressure sensor, it is important to consider all types to determine which one will best suit your needs.

The first type of pressure sensor is the chemical vapor deposition pressure sensor. Chemical Vapor Deposition, or CVD, is a process used to produce highly stable strain gauge pressure transducers. This process offers a reliable option where many other low-cost pressure sensors would fail. Within each of these transducers is an ASIC chip which offers high levels of linearity correction. CVD pressure sensors are ideal for applications including off-highway, HVAC, and semiconductor processing. Pressure transducers of this type also have a thicker diaphragm, allowing them to handle intense pulsating pressures.

A second type of pressure sensor is the sputtered thin film pressure sensor. Of all types, these are the most dependable. They are known for their long-term durability and high accuracy, even in harsh conditions. Depending on the application, sensors of this type are available in ranges from 0-100 to 0-30,000 PSI. Sputtered thin film pressure sensors offer unrivaled performance in volatile environmental scenarios including high temperatures, intense shock & vibration, and massive pressure spikes. They are fit for applications such as off-highway, fire protection, refrigeration, and alternative fuel.

The next type of pressure sensor, variable capacitance pressure sensors, are ideal when you need a dependable means of measuring low pressure. These are available in ranges from 0-2 PSI to 0-15 PSI, allowing them to accommodate many applications. Their unique characteristics include a sturdy physical configuration, stainless steel & ceramic wetted parts, and variable capacitor technology. They can also be used for high pressure applications such as industrial engines, hydraulic systems, process control, and natural gas pipelines.

The fourth type of pressure sensors are ideal for applications with high shock and vibration. These are solid-state pressure sensors. They are switches featuring a hermetic stainless steel diaphragm. These sensors provide high accuracy measurements where tight system controls are needed, and are more advantageous than electromechanical pressure switches when actuations exceed fifty cycles per minute. They are used in the off-highway, medical, gas, compressor, and other industrial applications.

The final type of pressure sensors are micro machined silicon (MMS) strain gauge sensors. These offer a cost effective solution for low pressures in absolute, compound, and gauge references. MMS pressure sensors feature stainless steel parts in addition to an all-welded construction that is resistant to harsh environments and chemicals. They are most commonly used in applications such as air conditioning refrigerant recovery, gas analysis instrumentation, and medical sterilizers.


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A valve is a device used to regulate, control, or direct the flow of fluid within a system or process by opening, closing, or partially obstructing it. In piping, many different types of valves are used in varying applications. Valves have an important role within piping systems and often account for up to 30% of the overall piping system costs. However, choosing the wrong type of valve for your system can increase costs markedly, making valve selection as essential to the economics of your system as it is to the operation. 

Gate Valve

The first and most common type of valve is the gate valve. These are linear motion valves used to start or stop fluid flow. During operation, the gate valve is either fully open or fully closed. They are used in nearly all fluid services including air, fuel gas, feedwater, steam, lubricant oil, hydrocarbon, and more.

Globe Valve

The globe valve is a type of valve used to stop, start, or regulate fluid flow. These are frequently used in systems where flow control is required but leak prevention is also critical. They provide better shut off than gate valves, but are also more expensive.

Check Valve

Check valves are used to prevent backflow of fluid in a piping system. The pressure of the fluid passing through a pipe opens the valve, while any reverse flow closes the valve.

Plug Valves

A plug valve is a quarter-turn rotary motion valve that utilizes a tapered or cylindrical plug to stop and start fluid flow. They are used as on-off stop valves and are capable of providing bubble-tight shut off. As such, they can be used in vacuum and other high-pressure and high-temperature applications.

Ball Valve

Ball valves are another type of quarter-turn rotary motion valve, but these use a ball-shaped disk to control the flow. Most ball valves are of the quick-acting type, which require a 90° turn to operate the valve. Ball valves operate similarly to gate valves, but are smaller and lighter.

Butterfly Valve

A butterfly valve is a quarter-turn rotary motion valve that can stop, start, or regulate flow. This valve features a short, circular body and a compact lightweight design, making it ideal for large valve applications due to the fact it takes up very little space.

Needle Valve

Needle valves have a similar design to that of globe valves, but feature a needle-like disk. They are designed to provide accurate flow control within piping systems with small diameters. Their name is derived from their pointed conical disc and corresponding seat.

Pinch Valves

Also known as clamp valves, pinch valves are linear motion valves used to start, regulate, and stop fluid flow. They utilize a rubber tube known as a pinch tube, and a pinch mechanism that regulates flow. Pinch valves are frequently used to handle liquids with significant amounts of suspended solids or in systems that pneumatically convey solid materials.

Pressure Relief Valves

These valves, also known as pressure safety valves, are used to protect equipment or systems from overpressure events or vacuums. They are designed to release pressure at a predetermined setting to prevent these from occurring.


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Resistors are one of the most common components for electronic circuit assembly, and they come in many shapes and forms to provide a variety of properties and characteristics that may benefit differing applications. In their most simplistic form, resistors are passive electronic parts featuring two-terminals, and they are used to provide electrical resistance to a circuit. While seemingly simple, the variations in resistor types allow them to take on different roles such as reducing current flow, terminating transmission lines, dividing voltages, adjusting signal levels, and much more.

While different resistors will often be characterized by their ohmic value or other performance properties, the first major categories that serve to separate distinct types from one another is whether a resistor is fixed or variable. Fixed resistors are the most common types found within electronic circuits, and they feature set resistance values that are only slightly affected by conditions such as temperature or operating voltages. With variable resistors, circuit elements can be adjusted with the use of a slider.

Carbon composition resistors are an early fixed resistor type that was once one widely used, and they are often constructed by embedding a solid cylindrical resistive element with wire leads or end caps. To produce the resistive element, powdered carbon is mixed with a ceramic or another insulating material, and a resin is used to bind everything together. To protect the resistor’s body, paint or plastic is used to create a shell and color-coating may be implemented to denote the component’s value. As more advanced resistor types have been released over the years, the carbon composition resistor has become less common due to its inability to surpass the performance and cost of other types.

Carbon film resistors are those that are created by depositing carbon film onto an insulating substrate. With the resistive properties of carbon and a variety of shapes available, such resistors are capable of performing well on a wide range of resistance values. When compared to the carbon composition resistor, the carbon film type can operate with lower noise due to its optimal distribution of unbound pure graphite. With their ability to perform on a wider range of resistances, operating temperatures, and working voltages, such resistors are common to applications needing high pulse stability.

The metal oxide film resistor is a type with similar construction to the carbon composition resistor, though its materials consist of metal oxide film that has been deposited on a ceramic rod. With a superior temperature coefficient, close tolerances, and low noise levels, the metal oxide film resistor has currently established itself as the most widely used type.

Metal film resistors are those that use nickel chromium or other metal film materials for deposition. Due to its similar construction to the metal oxide film type, the metal film resistor is capable of achieving similar performance. With its properties and construction, the metal film resistor is most often used in applications requiring a leaded resistor.

When working with high power applications, the wire wound resistor is a reliable choice due to its characteristics. To produce such electronic parts, a metal wire of nichrome or another material is wound around an insulating core before having its ends soldered or welded to caps or rings. With a protective layer of baked enamel, molded plastic, or paint, the resistor is completed. Due to their materials and construction, such resistors are capable of operating in extremely high temperatures. With their winding, however, wire wound resistors suffer in applications that have higher frequencies.


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Screws are a type of threaded fastener used to join objects and hold them together. A screw consists of a head and threaded section which, depending on the design, may or may not flush out with the surface during fastening. There are many different types of screw heads including flat head, round head, raised head, truss head, bugle head, and more, each designed and used for a specific purpose. This blog will cover the many types of screw heads and their unique characteristics.

In their most basic form, screws are divided into two groups: countersunk screw heads and non-countersunk screw heads. In a countersunk screw head, there is an angular shape beneath the beneath the head, while in non-countersunk screw heads, there is a flat shape. To create the countersunk head, a countersink bit is drilled into the screw to provide the correct head angle. In non-countersunk screw heads, there is no pre-drilled hole necessary. In each group, there are many further classifications. Countersunk screw heads include flat heads, oval heads, and bugle heads, while examples of non-countersunk screw heads are pan heads, button heads, round heads, binding heads, flange heads, and socket heads.

Countersunk Screw Heads

The first type of countersunk screw head, the flat head, sits entirely in the same plane of the mating surface. These screw heads feature a flat top surface and a cone under the bearing surface with a standard of 82 degrees. These are ideal for use in areas where protrusion is unacceptable, such as in a bookshelf. Other applications of flat head screws include steel applications and door hinges. Oval heads are the same as flat heads but feature a dome-shaped head rather than a flat top, making them slightly more aesthetically pleasing without affecting performance. Finally, bugle heads have a flat top surface and a concave curve shape below the bearing to reduce surface damage. These heads are capable of distributing bearing stress over a wider area and are most commonly used in drywall.

Non-countersunk Screw Heads

Pan heads are the first type of non-countersunk screw heads. These feature a flat or slightly round head with chamfered edges and a flat load-bearing surface on the underside. Pan heads have moderate head height and diameter and provide high tightening torques. Button heads are domed, large diameter heads with high resistance to slipping and stripping. These are ideal for lighter fastening operations and will not be suitable for high strength applications. Round screw heads have a high profile and deep drive cut, but a smaller diameter. These were once the most popular types of screw heads but many now consider them outdated.

Binding heads are similar to pan heads, but feature a much thicker bearing surface and deeper slot, both of which increase the screw’s bearing capacity. A flange head can be considered a combination of a screw and washer. The head can be circular or hexagonal with a washer underneath the load bearing surface. This distributes pressure to help keep the screw in position and increase its bearing capacity. Finally, socket heads are the strongest type of screw head. Known for their quality and reliability, they are made from high grade carbon and stainless steel. Screw heads of this type feature a cylindrical head and long vertical sides. Their head height and shank diameters are equal, allowing them to be used in very high-strength endurance applications.


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While computer hardware was often expensive and fairly unobtainable for the standard consumer during the technology’s infancy, prices have since seen a steady drop leading into the present. Now, consumers have much easier access and ability to create more complex and powerful systems with common components available on the market. With a number of consumer motherboards now offering more than one slot for CPU attachment, shared-memory processors can be used to achieve higher system performance for a number of applications.

Shared-memory processors are a type of system that contains multiple processors that may carry out their operations together. Through a shared interconnection network, the processors can utilize the same pool of memory and communicate with one another to carry out various procedures. As such, computers with shared-memory processors can exhibit a significant difference in their computation power as compared to standard work stations with only one processor. As these assemblies are typically geared more towards demanding applications and processes that may require large amounts of program execution, many casual users may not find much use in running a shared-memory processor set-up.

In the case of an internet, database, or network server, however, having the most processors possible is paramount to smooth operations and ensuring that the servers are able to accommodate periods of high usage and user loads. Additionally, shared-memory processors can also serve to streamline certain applications, as a computer system can utilize large amounts of power to conduct a single job rather than computing a high number of small jobs at the same time. When connecting processors together, each processor is joined from their independent data caches to a shared memory pool through a single interconnection network.

Known as symmetric multiprocessing hardware, such components allow for the assembly and pairing of multiple processors so that each CPU has equal control over memory and peripherals. Across most symmetric multiprocessing hardware assemblies, buses and crossbars serve as the primary method for interconnection. In regard to computer hardware, a bus is a component that allows for data to be transferred, and they are commonly seen on many motherboards for the connection of memory, CPUs, and more. A crossbar, on the other hand, is a component containing a series of switches that may be used to conduct information processing applications. Out of the two symmetric multiprocessing hardware pieces, the bus serves as the most convenient and common approach for establishing a shared-memory multiprocessor assembly. With the bus, connections for parts, protocols, and hardware are all provided to facilitate operations with ease. As buses are limited in their ability to handle high amounts of data traffic, it is important that loads do not exceed the performance standards of the bus as to avoid bottlenecking.

With the use of a crossbar, bottlenecking is avoided as multiple paths may operate simultaneously on a grid-like system. As an example, a 4x5 crossbar could allow for up to four active data transfers to be conducted at the same time. By having a higher number of active paths as compared to a singular shared bus, more performance can be achieved. While these advantages are clearly desirable, crossbar components typically range much higher in price, and their cost only increases as the load raises. Due to this, crossbars are mostly reserved for the most high-end applications.


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A chip detector is an electronic instrument that attracts ferromagnetic particles such as iron chips. Chip detectors are frequently used in aircraft engine oil chip detection systems, where they can offer an early warning of imminent engine failure, thus greatly reducing the cost of an engine overhaul. This blog will provide an overview of chip detectors and their functions.

Chip detectors consist of small plugs that can be installed in an engine oil filter, oil sump, or aircraft drivetrain gearbox. Over time, engine wear and tear causes small metal chips to break loose from engine parts which then circulate in the engine oil, causing damage. A detector contains magnets incorporated into an electric circuit. Magnetic forces attract ferrous particles and collection of these particles continues until the insulated air gap between the magnets (in a two magnet configuration) or between the magnet and housing (in a single magnet configuration) is bridged, thereby cutting off the circuit. The result of this is an electronic signal for remote indication which activates a warning light on the instrument panel, indicating the presence of metal chips in the oil.

In applications with a self-closing valve/adapter, chip detectors can be positioned in the application through a bayonet or threaded interface. When the chip detector disengages from the valve, the valve closes, keeping any fluid loss from the system to a minimum.The chip detectors used on aircraft are inspected in every level of check. Inspection may also be done at specified intervals such as every 30 to 40 hours for an engine unit and 100 hours for an auxiliary power unit.

            There are many advantages to using a chip detector. For one, no additional tools are needed to inspect and remove debris. Additionally, chip detectors enable BIT capability by integrating a resistor at the chip gap. Chip detectors utilize blade-type retention, which eliminates much of the wear associated with common ‘pin-in-slot’ type retention methods. Furthermore, strong magnet integrity provides high ferrous capture efficiency as well as significant retention.

To further increase capture efficiency, chip detectors are equipped with flow directional screens. In order to support resistor-based wire-fault, built-in-test functionality, chip detectors feature a circuit board integrated with the chip detector. Finally, chip detectors feature an electroless nickel plating for superior wear and corrosion protection, as well as an axial design which improves the detector’s capture efficiency and ease of chip removal.

To save weight, the chip detector assembly is primarily made from aluminum. There are five main parts of a chip detector’s construction: the flying lead, chip gap, ECD-to-valve- retention lugs, seals, and springs. The flying lead construction features three insulated conductors with an overbraid shield. The chip gap is the area where debris is held. An axial chip gap design is able to collect more debris than a radial type. Retention lugs are designed to FAA approval and are integrated in the valve body where they eliminate assembly errors and provide increased bearing area. The seals, usually o-rings, are used to seal the circuits and connections from oil. Lastly, the chip detector features stainless steel valve piston springs to assist in installation and operation.

For chip detectors and much more, look no further than Aerospace Unlimited, a trusted supplier of parts for a wide range of industries. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we are an online distributor of aircraft parts as well as parts pertaining to the aerospace, civil aviation, defense, industrial, electronics, and IT hardware markets. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, call us at 1-412-212-0606 or email us at sales@aerospaceunlimited.com.


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