Tanida Ruangsawat/Dreamstime and Denys Zazimko/Dreamstime
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5 for Friday: The Reader’s Choices for 2023

Dec. 15, 2023
Machine Design reviews the top five articles that readers responded to this year.

With another year just about in the books, I thought we’d take the final 5 For Friday of 2023 and review some of the articles our readers found the most useful. In most cases, there was interest in how different materials impact design and operations:

1. Lubricating Plastic Gears and Bearings

As materials used in machine design parts evolve, so to must the way we maintain those parts change. When it comes to plastic gears and bearings, their use generates heat, but the way to lubricate those parts continues to change.

2. Stepper and Servo Motor Tradeoffs

Designers have many power choices, each with its own particular value proposition. This article took a comprehensive look at stepper and servo motors, and the best applications for each.

3. Cast Iron and Wrought Iron: What’s the Difference?

Another good look at a materials quandary. It can be a subtle difference, but the differences are significant—and so too are the use cases.

4. Polyurethane Boards Replace Plywood in Structural and Non-structural Parts

In a time that values sustainable materials, here’s a discussion where both materials are sustainable. The article can look past that and explains how polyurethane is being embraced for use for use in structural situations.

5. Sodium-ion Batteries are on the Horizon: How Do They Measure Up to Lithium-ion?

Outside of sustainability, no issue more captured reader’s attention in 2023 than the future power sources we all will use to power our operations, our vehicles and our lives. Batteries will be a key element in that future, and this article reviews two battery material choices to look at their value and limitations.

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