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Deadly Progression

Deadly Progression Why foresight can be more important than hindsight I would like to suggest we think about foresight, and there is probably no better example to exemplify this than the story of Thomas Midgely, Jr. Considering the impact Midgely has on all our lives, it is rather amazing his name is not more well-known.…
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Three-Star Selection

Three-Star Selection What fueled hockey’s iconic postgame ritual? FOR 75 YEARS HOCKEY FANS have enjoyed a postgame ritual where the three best players in the contest are recognized. This tradition is called the Three-Star Selection, but not many know its origin. Its history traces back to a handshake agreement between Toronto Maple Leafs owner Conn…
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Toss Leads to Oil Boom

Toss leads to oil boom History begins with an empty whiskey bottle—and a simple act. Whiskey containers play more than one role in the history of North American oil production. Readers who recall my May 2010 column, “The Barrel’s Boozy Beginnings,” about how the whiskey barrel inadvertently led to the bbl standard of measure for…
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Sources of Titanium

Sources of Titanium Titanium is a wear metal commonly found alloyed with other metals. Proportional increases in titanium and iron are indicative of ferrotitanium, which is typically used the manufacture of shafts. Lightweight titanium parts like connecting rods are alloys of titanium, aluminum and vanadium; wear from these parts is often disproportional with iron levels.…
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When Failure Doesn’t Stick

When Failure Doesn't Stick The difference between success and disaster often is a matter of perspective. Have you ever thought about how many of today’s successes began as failures? I am not talking about successes like the light bulb, where Thomas Edison tried thousands of filament materials before finding Tungsten. I am talking about “successful…
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Sources of Chromium

Sources of Chromium Chromium is a wear metal found in the coating of parts like valves, rods, rings and bearings. Typically, increasing levels of chromium, and possibly nickel, disproportional with iron, indicate coating wear, whereas proportional increases suggests steel alloy wear. One form of proportional chromium and iron increase may arise from non-wearing parts made…
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Sources of Nickel

Sources of Nickel Nickel is a wear metal found in some machines using plain bearings, as lead and tin are the most predominant metals used in Babbitt overlay, with lesser amounts of copper, antimony and/or arsenic. Typically, increasing levels of nickel are from an intermediate layer and therefore considered actionable. Nickel can also increase as…
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Sources of Tin

Sources of Tin Tin is another wear metal expected in any machine using plain bearings, as lead and tin are the most predominant metals used in Babbitt overlay, with lesser amounts of copper, antimony and/or arsenic. Typically, increasing levels of tin from this layer are not considered actionable, not until metals like copper or nickel…
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