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Apple
Product Design Engineer was asked...September 21, 2011

What are the different ways you can you tell if this part is steel or aluminium.

5 Answers

By far the easiest way is to test for material properties. -density -hardness -modulus of elasticity I would choose hardness. Strike each item with an equal force, which one deforms more? Thats aluminum. You could probably pull this test off with a hammer. The simplest solutions is always the best. Less

Simple methods would be density (feeling the mass of the object), surface finish (color, texture). If coated that may give you the answer i.ie anodized would indicate aluminium. For more information I would go for EDX( Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy) and possible a cross section to look at the grain structure. Less

Density, thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, strength, harness

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Apple

What are 5 different variables of a coil spring you can change to affect spring force?

3 Answers

5 different variables that can affect the springs force. 1.) Wire length 2.) Coil pitch 3.) Wire cross-sectional shape 4.) Material of the coil 5.) Coil diameter Less

1. WD 2. OD 3. Active coils 4. Material 5. Free Height

Material, wire diameter, wire cross sectional shape, coil diameter, coil length

Apple

If you have a cantilevered beam with a load at the unsupported end, what can you change about the beam to mitigate the effect of the load.

3 Answers

Taper it.

What is the weight of the load? What is the weight of the beam? Does the beam even need to be changed? Certainly you can shorten the beam , you could also turn the beam 90 degrees so the taller end is pointing upwards. There are questions that should be asked before any answers are given. Less

Reduce the length, increase the thickness, change the material to one with a stronger young's modulus (just have to be careful about the tradeoff between material density and stiffness). Less

Apple

Have you ever stopped a line for a quality issue and how did you go about it? Can you provide examples.

1 Answers

Before I would stop a line I would make sure that I had evidence which I could use to justfy the stop. If this evidence was insufficient to stop the line or if the decision by the policy holders was not to stop the line but I felt that the problem was important enough to the customer I would escalate the problem to the Director of Quality. Unfortunately I could provide no examples that actually showed me being effective because they were all company confidential. The minor issues I could describe were not very impressive Less

International Trucks

Tell me about a decision you made that was wrong, what did you do to fix it?

1 Answers

Pick something small but avoid technical errors like "I forgot how to calculate torque but then I looked it up and remembered" Less

Apple

There is a refrigerator in a perfectly insulated room. The door is then opened. Is it an open or closed system? After a long time has passed, has the temperature in the room increased or decreased?

8 Answers

It is a closed system as electricity is adding energy into the room. After a long time passes, the temperature increases as there's energy going in, but not leaving. Less

Since there is energy going into the room, it is open system without mass transfer. The room temperature will increase. Less

closed system; draw the p-h diagram; condenser power = evaporator power + compressor power; as long as compressor works; there is always more heat rejected through condenser than the cooling power provided by evap; it has nothing to do with isentropic efficiency (even compressor works at 100% efficiency and no loss through the system) Thus, locally air temp in front of the door decreases; overall average temp in the closed system keep increasing; Less

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Apple

Show me the back of an iPhone and asked me how it might have been manufactured.

8 Answers

Automated CNC milling

A cast polymere

Still don’t get it

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Apple

If you and a large brick are in a boat floating in a pool, will the water level rise or fall when the brick is tossed into the water? What if the brick is a large piece of Styrofoam and thrown into the water?

6 Answers

Your answer indicated the necessity of this question.

The water level will decrease ( if the brick has a density greater than water, which of course a conventional brick does). When in the boat, the brick will displace a mass of water equal to it's own. So if it has a mass of 1kg it will displace 1kg of water. When thrown overboard it will now displace an amount of water equal to it's volume. As it sinks, it's density must be grater than water and therefore it's 1kg mass will take up a smaller volume than 1kg of water. Therefore the water level will decrease. As a styrofoam brick has a lower density than water it will not sink when thrown overboard. When floating it will displace a mass of water equal to that of the brick and therefore the water level will remain the unchanged. Less

A powerful tool in looking at questions like these intuitively rather than by the raw physics is to go to the extreme. Say the brick were of normal brick size but were made of some ultra-dense material...so dense that it would push an aircraft carrier down in the water to the brink of sinking. This would obviously cause the carrier to displace many thousands of gallons more water than it had been displacing before the brick was added. When the brick is thrown overboard, the carrier would come shooting up out of the water, now not displacing those additional thousands of gallons of water The volume of water displaced by the brick once it's in the water is comparatively insignificant. So clearly the water level will fall. Less

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Apple

You have 5kg of Aluminum and 5kg of Steel. You can make whatever cross section beam you want with these materials. If you have to make a cantilever beam 1m long with a load at the end. And you want to minimize the deflection. What material would you use?

6 Answers

Aluminum. While the previous post on Sep 5th is correct in stating that P, L are the same, since you are given a mass of both metals, you need to find you allowable "volume" of material, which you can estimate using 2700kg/m3 for Al and 7800kg/m3 for steel. MoI is given by (1/12) b h^3 if you assume b (base) is the same for both materials, you'll find that h for aluminum is greater than h of steel, and since h is cubed, it actually makes a big difference. In my test case, E of steel ~3x greater (200 GPa vs 70 GPa), but the moment of inertia of the Aluminum was ~3.75x than steel, meaning that deflection of aluminum would be less than steel! Less

Aluminum

Why is it being assumed that the base be the same for both materials. Since the question allows to choose whatever cross section we are allowed, can we not just assume that we'll come up with a MoI that's comparable? Or we simply switch the b and h values for both materials. Given these assumptions, one could argue that the deflection is a function of E and thus, higher in aluminum and lower in steel. Less

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Micron Technology

The most unexpected question was to write a program that would take a 3x3 matrix and move around the values. [[1 2 3][4 5 6][7 8 9]] -> [[9 8 7][6 5 4][3 2 1]] like this.

5 Answers

Is it just kind of like temp=a[i];a[i]=a[n-i];a[n-i]=temp?

Could you tell me how long it takes to receive the job offer?

Anonymous II, I received an offer the week after the interview. Hope that helps.

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