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Technical Tidbits Newsletter

The Technical Tidbits Newsletter covers a range of materials science topics, including material properties, stress integrity, reliability, fatigue, strain hardening, strengthening mechanisms, and more. 

If you would like to see what topics we covered prior to 2015, please check the Technical Tidbits archives, 2008-2011 or 2012-2014. For additional information, Contact Us



  1. PDF Document Issue 100-April 2017-Learning From Failures

    A brief discussion on using short-term testing to estimate long-term failure.

  2. PDF Document Issue 99-March 2017-Accelerated Life Testing

    A brief discussion on using short-term testing to estimate long-term failure rates.

  3. PDF Document Issue 98-February 2017-Prediction of Temperature-Dependent Change

    A brief discussion on how to predict the long-term effect of temperature on material properties.

  4. PDF Document Issue 97-January 2017-Instantaneous vs Metallurgical Changes

    A brief discussion on how temperature affects material properties.

  5. PDF Document Issue 96-December 2016-Properties are Functions

    A brief discussion on how material properties almost always depend on some other parameter.

  6. PDF icon Issue 95-November 2016-Other Statistical Ranges

    A brief discussion of confidence limits, tolerance limits and the MMPDS Basis System.

  7. PDF icon Issue 94-October 2016-Process Capability

    A brief discussion of what it means for a process to be capable and what you can expect for material properties from such capable processes.

  8. PDF icon Issue 93-September 2016-Tuning and Customizing Properties

    A brief discussion of the tradeoffs involved when trying to tweak properties of standard materials.

  9. PDF icon Issue 92-August 2016-Material Property Ranges and Statistics

    A brief discussion of how typical material properties may vary and lead the design engineer into trouble.

  10. PDF icon Issue 91-July 2016-Metal Properties and System Properties

    A brief discussion of the different classifications of material properties.

  11. PDF icon Issue 90-June 2016-Hardness v. Strength

    A brief discussion of the correlation between hardness and strength.

  12. PDF icon Issue 89-May 2016-Stress Relaxation Data

    Learn how to use stress relaxation data.

  13. PDF icon Issue 88-April 2016-Testing Stress Relaxation Resistance

    Learn about stress relaxation testing.

  14. PDF icon Issue 87-March 2016-Stress Relaxation

    Learn about the causes, effects, and prevention of stress relaxation.

  15. PDF icon Issue 86-February 2016-Hertz Stress

    Read how the concepts of Hertzian contact theory have made their controversial way into connector design, and how some of the principles can help improve reliability.

  16. PDF icon Issue 85-January 2016-Advice for New Engineers

    Delve into this collection of random advice and wisdom(?) accumulated throughout an engineering carreer. All opinions expressed in this publication are expressly that of the author.

  17. PDF icon Issue 84-December 2015-What Makes a Good Spring Material

    Learn which material properties make a material a good candidate for your spring or connector design, depending on what spring behavior you want to optimize.

  18. PDF icon Issue 83-November 2015-Spring Types Part 8-Miscellaneous Springs

    Discover a variety of miscellaneous spring types, not covered in previous editions, that may be of use to your application.

  19. PDF icon Issue 82-October 2015-Spring Types Part 7-Bellows and Diaphragms

    Introduce yourself to pressure sensor bellows and diaphragms, and learn how their unique shapes improve stability even at very large deflections.

  20. PDF icon Issue 81-September 2015-Spring Types Part 6-Coil Springs

    Review the properties of the coil spring, and learn how to adjust the geometry to fine-tune the spring rate.

  21. PDF icon Issue 80-August 2015-Spring Types Part 5-The Unique Stiffness Behavior of Belleville Washers

    Investigate Belleville washers, with unique spring rate behavior that can be deliberately varied from positive to negative in the same single spring.

  22. PDF icon Issue 79-July 2015-Spring TypesPart 4-Spring Washers

    Find out how spring washers may be used in parallel or series to customize overall spring characteristics.

  23. PDF icon Issue 78-June 2015-One-piece vs. Two-piece Terminal Socket Contacts

    Compare and contrast one piece and two piece connector sockets, and determine which style is right for your design.

  24. PDF icon Issue 77-May 2015-Spring Types Part 3-Torsion Bars

    Familiarize yourself with connector designs based on the torsion bar model for improved wiping action and electrical contact.

  25. PDF icon Issue 76-April 2015-Spring Types Part 2-Simply Supported Arch Beams

    Learn how arch beam contacts can improve upon the performance of cantilever beam springs.

  26. PDF icon Issue 75-March 2015-Spring Types Part 1-Cantilever Beams

    Explore different types of springs that operate under the principles of cantilever beams.

  27. PDF icon Issue 74-February 2015-Friction Calculations

    Find out how to determine the appropriate coefficient of friction for use in your calculations and model simulations.

  28. PDF icon Issue 73-January 2015-Introduction to Friction

    Investigate why the coefficient of friction is not actually a material property, but rather a system property dependent on many variables.