A Background to Engineering Design by Peter Polak (auth.)

By Peter Polak (auth.)

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A track-type positive cam is used to move the needle in some sewing-machines by way of a roller fixed to a vertical plunger; figure 56 shows a simplified version. An axial equivalent of this is used in one type of car steering-box. Simple axial cams are used to set the temperature. or time in electric irons and toasters (figure 57). Snail cams as in figure 58 are useful for clamping or adjustment. Often they need not have an entirely regular rise-rate but can consist of two offset semicircle shapes which makes for ease of manufacture by standard concave milling cutters.

The remarkable regularity of the cracks suggests some additional factors, perhaps excessive coolingrates. Cost per unit mass is not very helpful unless we are looking for ballast or counterweights, where water, sand, concrete, steel and cast iron form a rough merit order. For design purposes more elaborate criteria can be thought up, such as how to cover an area. The cheapest covering materials for large areas are (in ascending order of cost) plastic film, wire netting, paper, pulp board, steel, plywood, asbestos board, aluminium and glass.

For minimum scrub all wheels should be tangential to the curved path, all axles converging on a common point. This is called Ackermann steering, and was invented before cars (figure 42). In racing cars, where large drift angles are usual and tyres do not last very long, this geometry is less relevant, the steering angles being such that the actual drift angle of each tyre bears some relation to the down-force at that point. The steering geometry of a particular car shown in figure 43a has large amounts of scrub at high lock-angles.

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