Stephen Mraz

Senior Editor,
Machine Design

Steve serves as Senior Editor of Machine Design.  He has 23 years of service and has a B.S. Biomedical Engineering from Steve was a Flight officer in the U.S. Navy. He is currently responsible for areas such as aerospace and medical.

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Tamper-Proof Fasteners

Tamper-resistant or security fasteners are often used to prevent unauthorized entry. They are often non-removable or require a special tool to remove them. Higher-quality tamper-proof fasteners have hardened heads, making it difficult to form a new drive slot with a file.

Avoiding Corrosion on Fasteners

A major cause of failures in metal fasteners is electrochemical corrosion (rust), or so-called galvanic action. Engineers and designers alike can greatly reduce this type of corrosion by specifying fasteners made of the proper materials or with the right coatings.

Scenes from the 2015 Assembly Show
Robotics, powered conveyors, and a host of assembly technologies and hardware filled the convention hall.
Washer Helps Assure Quick-Release of Shaft Collar
The Elasto-Ring rubber washer cushions the U-Clip quick-release collar against any pressures.
Why Is My Face Seal Leaking?
Leaking face seals often show telltale contact patterns that help identify the cause of the leaks. Here are some common signs of face-seal problems.
Artificial Skin Senses Pressures and Communicates with Brain Cells
Stanford engineers have created a plastic “skin” that can detect how hard it is being pressed and generate an electric signal to deliver this sensory input directly to a living brain cell.
Interview: Bearings—Plastics vs. Metal
Will plastic bearings replace metal ones? Nicole Lang, Product Manager for igus, compares the two, and presents some advantages of using plastic.
A Gallery of Head Styles for Screws and Bolts

Bolts and screws can be outfitted with a variety of different head styles. Which style an engineer specifies depends on several factors: the type of driving or installation equipment used, the type of joint load, and the external appearance desired.

Latch Conceals Handle When Not in Use
The 67 Concealed Pulls from Southco, Concordville, Pa., feature an O-ring styled handle that stores inside of the housing when not in use.
Mineral Fillers Improve Plastics

Some plastic resins get blended with fillers to reduce costs. Properly used mineral fillers can also improve moldability and stability, increase heat-deflection temperature, reduce thermal expansion, and change other performance characteristics as well.

Trends in Pneumatic Linear Actuators
Pneumatic actuators have a place in industry, but electromechanical alternatives are putting the squeeze on them.
A Gallery of 12 Common Bolt Types
By definition, bolts are threaded fasteners that are intended to be mated with a nut. Here is a gallery showing 12 standard types of bolts.
What’s the Difference Between Stress-Strain Curves and Stiffness-Strain Curves?

Engineers have long used stress-strain curves to uncover a host of material properties including elastic limit, elastic and plastic ranges, yield point, ultimate and rupture strengths, and the moduli of resilience and toughness.

“Smart” Capsule Could Deliver Drugs to the Large Intestine
Purdue researchers developed and received a provisional U.S. patent on a capsule that delivers drugs into the GI tract when activated by an external magnet worn by the patient.
Researchers Uncover Source of Ball-Screw Noise
Ball-screw drives have long been considered noisy by definition. Companies that buy and use them are increasingly requiring that their machine tools operate more quietly to improve the work environment by reducing noise levels.
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