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The Mayfield Handbook of Technical & Scientific Writing
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Section 2.7

Press Releases

A technical press release usually announces the development of a new product. The audience for such a document consists of writers and editors of trade journals, where the product may be reviewed and potential customers who might want purchase the new product.

A technical press release contains the following elements:

A headline that identifies the product

A lead paragraph giving key information that attempts to persuade the reader to investigate the product further

A graphic that will secure the reader's attention

A description of the product

An explanation of why the product is important

Information about whom to contact for further information

An example of a press release follows.

The ShearTubeTM ShearDamperTM for Precision Machine Tools

Winner of a 1994 R&D 100 Award as being one of the 100 most technologically significant new products of the year.

A ShearTubeTM ShearDamperTM allows an engineer to highly damp a structure without imposing strict limits on the structure's geometry or materials. As shown above, the ShearTubeTM damper is incorporated into a structure in the following manner:

  1. The structure has rough holes formed in it (casting, drilling, or welding in a pipe).
  2. Modestly smooth-surfaced tubes (0.5 mm Ra) that are 3-5 mm smaller than the hole are covered with a high loss damping material (e.g., ScotchdampTM).
  3. The tubes are suspended into the hole, and an epoxy replicant (e.g., VibradampTM from Philadelphia Resins) is injected (poured) around the tubes.
  4. After the epoxy hardens, the component is ready to be used.
  5. To achieve excellent temperature control of the machine, the ShearTubesTM are used like heat exchanger tubes to channel temperature-controlled fluid inside the machine.

Good stiffness and damping are necessary, but not individually sufficient, requirements of a precision machine. Typically, damping in a machine is obtained from the materials and microslip in the joints. The net result is that cast-iron structures have amplification-at-resonance factors on the order of 200. Polymer concrete structures can have 5-10 times more damping than cast- iron structures.

However, many advanced materials (e.g., ceramics) have very poor damping and require an additional damping mechanism. The ShearTubeTM ShearDamperTM is a viscous shear damper that can be readily incorporated into machine structures. Applications include all types of machines where vibration needs to be damped.

This design is fundamentally different from earlier constrained layer damper designs (e.g., exterior plates which had a tendency to delaminate or require tight manufacturing tolerances) in that the dampers are in the internal shear of a thin film of viscoelastic material. Since the neutral axes of the tubes are displaced from the neutral axis of the structure, bending of the structure causes relative motion to occur between the two surfaces. This motion shears the viscous fluid and dissipates vibration energy at a rate orders of magnitude higher than would normally occur in the material of the structure or in its joints.

In addition, the tubes make excellent heat exchanger tubes in which temperature controlled fluid can be circulated. This allows machines to achieve virtually isothermal performance which greatly minimizes errors, as opposed to other vibration mitigation systems based on solid poured materials.

This concept allows machine tool builders to design a machine with integrally cast longitudinal holes which can have ShearTubeTM dampers installed if the customer requests a high damping option on the machine order form. Thus the concept facilitates modular construction of machine tools.

For questions of a technical nature, contact Prof. Alexander Slocum, and for questions of a commercial nature, contact Mr. Richard Slocum. Please send your inquiries in writing to:

Dr. Alexander Slocum
Aesop, Inc.
PO Box 2126
Concord, NH 03302-2126
Fax: (603) 224-5369

Mr. Richard Slocum
Aesop, Inc.
200 Forest Trail
Nicholasville, KY 40356-9150
Fax: (606) 224-8080

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