WOW!

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are amazing. Just a few of their important projects:
1. New Orleans flood protection system
2. The Lincoln Memorial
3. The great lakes restoration project
4. The Pentagon
5. ICBM Silos
6. WWII – D-Day They made the landing happen
7. Cape Kennedy vehicle assembly building
8. The Library of Congress
9. The St. Lawrence Seaway
10. Hundreds and hundreds of other of other amazing waterway projects most of us take for granted

Of all the Corps has done, this project to protect New Orleans since the catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Katrina is a real engineering marvel!!!

Ever take the time to reflect on some of the “really” big projects that have been built in Ohio and in our country.  Giant dams, long waterways, canals and harbors and so much more.  Recently, I read an article about some really exciting projects coming to our beautiful “North Coast” – after years and years of talking, multiple groups will begin re-engineering some really great stuff (one idea is to create an island off the coast).  On this day, March 11, 1779, Congress established the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help plan, design and prepare environmental and structural facilities for the U.S. Army, made up of civilian workers, members of the Continental Army and French officers.  For nearly 250 years, they have tackled some amazing works (talk about PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs!). We salute all of those engineers, technicians, scientists and “hard workin’ guys and gals who helped shape our nation.  Here’s some lengthy (but great) history, videos and tidbits I think you’ll enjoy.  We salute you!  Special thanks to historychannel.org, fpri.org, Wikipedia.org, ranker.com and YouTube for the info and videos.  Love it!

The members of the Corps who had joined at the time of its founding in 1779 left the army with their fellow veterans at the end of the War for Independence. In 1794, Congress created a Corps of Artillerists and Engineers to serve the same purpose under the new federal government. The Corps of Engineers itself was reestablished as an enduring division of the federal government in 1802.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is America’s oldest and largest engineering organization, and at times, the most controversial. Since 1802, when Congress created the Corps within the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the army engineers have brought science into government and extended the federal responsibility for natural resources.

As the construction arm of Congress, the engineers managed some of the world’s most monumental construction, as the nation’s premier builders of water projects-dams, dikes, canals, harbors, hydro facilities, and navigation channels. Visit HERE for some of the “big” projects.

Both “Beast” and “Benefactor” the Corps is praised as a nation builder, elsewhere denounced as an out-of-control bulldozer. Following a “bigger-is-better” national ethos, the Corps had been grandiose and also at odds with American traditions. In a nation committed to private enterprise and states’ rights, the Corps has been denounced as a military agent of big-government centralization.

The Corps emerged from the formative conflicts that divided the young republic during the Federalist Era. George Washington’s America stood at a geopolitical crossroads between two great rivals in Europe: Britain and France. Britain was the great center of industrial capitalism. Its grandest construction projects were built by self-made private enterprise. France was the center of science and formal academic training. France’s most magnificent projects were tax-financed and military inspired.

Hamilton advanced the idea that roads, canals, and other public construction were necessary for public safety. The Constitution, said Hamilton, implied a federal authority to build lighthouses for the safety of shipping, to remove obstructions to river commerce, and to build highways for troops. Thomas Jefferson, although suspicious of bureaucracy, admired the French talent for comprehensive planning and scientific professionalism. The result was a so-called “mixed enterprise” that allowed Congress to purchase stock and otherwise subsidize local construction. Jefferson envisioned a military academy for engineers that would professionalize the army and coordinate public works.

French engineering inspired the Corps. At the U.S. Military Academy, an engineering school, West Pointers learned French, studied mathematics, and grounded engineering in theory. French schooling left the West Pointers with an attraction to federally funded networks of projects and a preference for complex design. In 1816, President James Madison recruited French general Simon Bernard to head a U.S. board of fortification planners. The Monroe administration expanded Bernard’s authority to roads and canals.

After 1824, with the passage of the General Survey Act and the first federal river improvement act, the French-led Corps of Engineers assumed an active role as transportation planners. Together with the U.S. Bureau of Topographical Engineers, the Corps planned lighthouses, bridges, and Great Lakes ports of refuge from Buffalo to Duluth and our French-trained army engineers pioneered urban planning and sanitation engineering in Washington, D.C.

Many times, Congress hotly debated the constitutionality of federal internal improvements, the most expensive federal projects were seacoast fortifications. From 1808 to 1861, army engineers built one of the world’s most sophisticated systems of fortified harbors-more than 50 massive projects. Army engineers also surveyed the competing routes for the Pacific Railroad. Only about 100 strong, the engineering elite of the army planned a dozen major canals, a national highway, hundreds of beach-front dikes, and thousands of miles of navigation channels.

Gradually the Corps also took responsibility for planning a system of flood levees on the Lower Mississippi. After 1902, civilian agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey and the dam-building U.S. Reclamation Service rose to challenge the Corps monopoly over monumental construction. But the Corps, still the favorite of Congress, remained the nation’s foremost authority on water construction. Broad powers of implementation allowed the engineers to broker public assistance and direct federal aid.

Three missions have since dominated the Corps civil works. The first is navigation improvement-the channeling of rivers, the dredging of harbors, and the construction of locks and dams. For example, Corps-built navigation channels move oil from Tulsa to refineries above New Orleans. Barges of wheat and corn lock through Army engineered rivers from Omaha to Chicago. Soo Locks allow ships to travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. The Corps’s Saint Lawrence Seaway connects the North Atlantic to the Great Lakes and the Mississippi tows push river barges through the Corps’s slackwater staircase from St. Louis to St. Paul. LINK

A second mission is flood control. This mission began in 1850 when a flood on the Mississippi excited the attention of Congress. After 1879, with the creation of the Corps-led Mississippi River Commission, engineers developed a sophisticated science of floodway design. In 1917, after another bad flood year on the Mississippi, Congress turned again to the Corps. On the Mississippi River and Sacramento River. In 1936, Congress expanded the federal flood program to the 48 states with $310 million for 250 projects.

The grandest result of the program was the Mississippi River and Tributaries project-the MR&T. Its vast system of levees and spillways funnels the dangerous river from St. Louis to New Orleans.  Link to how the levees have been expanded by the Corps after the New Orleans disaster in the early 2000’s

A third mission grew from the same scientific tradition that made the Corps an expert on floods. Corps engineers led the scientific surveys that mapped water resources. The engineers also surveyed Yellowstone and Yosemite parks.

In 1899, the so-called Refuse Act extended the environmental mission, making the engineers responsible for obstructions in navigable streams. Here began the Corps’s controversial permit authority to regulate dumping. Legislation such as the 1972 and 1974 Clean Water Acts expanded that authority. With the rise of the environmental movement, and the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act in 1969, the Corps became the steward of fraying coastlines and vanishing swamps.

Like so many decisions in our history – The Corps-for better or for worse-has been the agent of this modernization, as Americans have learned that every engineering solution always has secondary consequences.  For example, – Should we actually be building multi-million dollar homes over and over again on beaches and expecting a different outcome from major storms / hurricanes, and flooding?

Great Lakes and Ohio Valley Projects

 

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DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!

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Chillin’

The Yeti tumblers & coolers are truly amazing!! And they’re tough. Worth every penny. 

Want to see what’s inside a Yeti Cup? Watch this father & son do some fun experimenting!!! :)))

Being a heat treating guy, I always look closely at things that are hot, and things that are cold.  The other day, driving to work, I picked up my “insulated” coffee mug, and thought, “I wonder why this works so well.” Insulated tumblers, and coolers, like the successful Yeti brand, work really well to keep beverages cool or hot for very long periods of time (talk about PIA (Pain in the @%$) Jobs!).  I have memories of being down on the lakefront at a Brown’s game, reaching for my thermos, and pouring out hot, creamy tomato soup, watching the steam rise.  Of course, it was 13 degrees, with a wind chill of minus 72. Sipping the warm soup was ecstasy, as I watched my Brownies bungle another game.  So, I searched the internet and found some great info on the Yeti tumbler and got in depth info on exactly how these things work to keep heat out or to keep temperature in.  Enjoy, and thanks to huntingwaterfalls.com, study.com, byjus.com, hps.org and You Tube for the insights.

In a Yeti tumbler, while it just looks like a metal cup, it’s actually got an inner wall and it has an outer wall.  They are made of vacuum sealed stainless steel. The vacuum is what keeps out the majority of the heat by stopping heat conduction and convection. We here at KHT know a thing or two or three about vacuums!  The inside also has a copper plating to insulate against heat radiation as stainless steel itself is a poor conductor of heat. All of these elements combined with a plastic lid (another insulator) allow the tumblers to keep beverages cold or hot for so long.

In a “good” tumbler, there’s actually a gap in between the two walls and in between that gap is a vacuum. So, in manufacturing, they suck all of the air out of there so there’s basically nothing in there (or as close to nothing as they can get).

There’s different ways that heat is transferred from the outside air to the inside of your tumbler.

1. Conduction – you’ve got conduction which is the movement of heat from one object touching another. That’s the external heat from the air moving through the metal of the cup and into the contents inside your cup.

2. Convection – you’ve got convection, where air or water currents can move heat around.

3. Radiation – then you’ve got radiation which is heat that can pass through a vacuum.

Yeti tumblers are designed to effectively stop all 3 types of heat transfer, or minimize them as much as possible.

Now, let’s get serious on the “science” side:  Conduction needs particles for heat to move through and because there’s a vacuum and because there’s nothingness in between the two walls of the tumbler there’s actually no way for heat to pass through in conduction.  The only way for heat to do that is to actually hit the cup and actually pass through at the top of the cup where the inner wall and the outer wall is connected, as at the bottom of the cup the outer wall and inner wall aren’t actually connected. (got it?)

The only connecting point is the top of the cup and heat would need to move from the exterior of the cup all the way up to the top and all the way in – and that just doesn’t really happen.

Because thermos containers are made out of stainless steel (stainless steel is a terrible conductor of heat), the “lack of air” acts as an insulating material. This means the heat is unlikely to move from the outside up and around reducing conduction.

Convection is the movement of particles. For example, if you make a really hot pocket of water in the bath by turning the tap on hot and you “push” the hot water around that’s convection. (when I make a bath for the grandkids, I make sure to “blend” the water before they jump in).

When you have a vacuum present, there’s nothing to push around. So convection doesn’t happen in Yeti brand, or other tumblers, for this very reason.

The last tip of info is radiation. The sun’s rays obviously travel through space (which is a vacuum) and then heat up the earth. Radiation is always happening and will be able to go through the vacuum. (So even though the cup has a vacuum, this doesn’t protect it against radiation).

To protect against heat radiation, the interior is actually copper plated. Copper is a great reflector of radiation and so having that copper lining reflects the radiation trying to get in.  Learn more about shielding

The lid hole is the only space heat/cold can escape.  The newer tumblers have a magnetic slide so you can close it shut when you’re not drinking out of it.

The full cup is acting as an insulator, the top and the plastic is acting as a bit of an insulator as well and that’s what allows these to work so well and to keep ice for so long.

Now that you know how the thermal management of conduction, convection and radiation – watch this video comparing a $400 Yeti cooler to a $50 standard cooler – (you might be surprised!!).

So, next time at the beach, or camping, or just driving to work, you know!

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
 

 

 

Cruisin’

(row one l) Ralph Teetor, in shirtsleeves, showing an unidentified man his invention. (row one r) Teetor’s patent drawing. (row two l) The 1958 Chrysler ad featuring Teetor’s “Auto Pilot”. (row two r top) Close-up of the “Auto Pilot”. (row two r bottom) Close-up of modern  “Adaptive Cruise Control”. (rows three & four) Adaptive Cruise Control promises to help avoid massive traffic problems due to accidents. (bottom) A whole different kind of cruise.  The Caribbean Princess at sea has nothing to do with the topic at hand but isn’t that a gorgeous shot??

 

The other day I was visiting a customer, something that I really love to do, to check in on our delivery and performance and to once again thank him for the business.  On my way down, almost without thinking much about it, I used the cruise control on the heat mobile.  Zipping along the freeway, it got me to thinking about how amazing our automobiles have become, the thousands of engineers who were able to overcome the problems, and all of the PIA Jobs we take for granted that have been solved over the years.  Amazing gas mileage, high performance engines, super resistant paints, clear glass curved windows, struts and springs that react to the road, and of course , the ease of which the transmission and engines work (I’m a bit partial to transmission and engine parts…).  Back at the plant, I fired up the computer and found a great story for this week’s blog post, a really fun article from 99% Invisible written by Kurt Kohlstedt about Ralph Teeter, a blind engineer who brought cruise control to modern cars. Enjoy, and thanks to all our reengineer friends we work with in or blogosphere – you remain amazing!

 

  1. Born in 1890, young Ralph Teetor was a perpetual tinkerer. He was blinded by an accident at the age of five but didn’t like to talk about his disability growing up. His father recognized his aptitude for building things and created a workshop for him when he was just ten years old, populating it with a variety of materials and tools. Then, as a young adult (at a time when many colleges rejected his application out of hand), Teetor pushed hard to get accepted at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering.
  2. After university, Teetor worked to dynamically balance steam turbines for U.S. Navy vessels. He was aided in part by his highly developed sense of touch — “His hands were his eyes,” recalls his biographer. Ever innovating, he also invented an early version of the powered lawn mower as well as creative locking mechanisms and other devices.
  3. Teetor eventually returned to his hometown in Indiana, where he went to work in the family’s vehicular manufacturing and supply business — one with a long history of working on bicycles, trains and cars. Over the years, Teetor rose up through the ranks of Perfect Circle, (a Teeter family business, originally a bicycle company founded in the 1800’s that went on to perfect the piston ring). He went on to become the president of this growing company, overseeing nearly 3,000 employees. Along the way, though, he continued to work on his own designs, and had an idea that would take vehicles in a new direction.
  4. As the story goes, Teetor was riding around one day in a car with his patent attorney, who often drove him places, when the discomfort of speeding up and slowing down gave him the idea for cruise control. Teetor noticed that his driver would accelerate when listening and decelerate while talking. Nauseated by these shifts, he began tinkering with a device to manage speed, receiving a patent in 1945. Over the course of its development, he variously called his invention things like Controlmatic, Touchomatic and Pressomatic before settling on Speedostat.
  5. This wasn’t the first time a speed-controlling technology had been developed — other limited examples were used in early automobiles, and even earlier to manage steam engines. Still, it was Teetor’s design that would lead car companies to adopt cruise control.
  6. 1950 patent for a “Speed Control Device For Resisting Operation of the Accelerator”. His first prototype featured a dashboard speed selector with a governor mechanism that pushed back on the gas pedal, pressing a speeding driver to slow down. To test it, Teetor got down on the floor to depress the pedal while a sighted person sat and steered. Still, this version only helped slow a car, not keep it at a constant speed. He later added “speed lock” functionality (using an electromagnetic motor) to keep a car at one steady pace until the brake pedal was tapped.
  7. In 1958, Chrysler began putting “auto-pilot” devices in luxury cars as an optional add-on before rolling out the Speedostat more broadly. General Motors coined the name “cruise control,” which stuck. In the 1970s, with spiking gas prices driven by oil embargos, this novel feature became an essential component for American automobiles. The technology helped save over 150,000 barrels of oil a day at the time.
  8. The company had been sold by that point, but Teetor’s influential efforts did not go unnoticed. During his lifetime, he served as president of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and received two honorary degrees: Doctor of Engineering at the Indiana Institute of Technology and Doctor of Laws at Earlham College. In 1988, six years after his death, he was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.
  9. Today, Teetor’s legacy lives on — his inventions paved the way for other technological advances, and started the automotive industry on a road toward automation that will shape driving for decades to come.