The Challenge of Replacing Hard Chrome

The search for a suitable replacement for hard chrome on aerospace components has been a key supply chain priority for aircraft manufacturers. This is because of the documented health risks to workers and the impact on the environment from exposure to hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen that occurs during the chrome plating process and is the most toxic form of chromium.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Metals, Fastening, Joining & Assembly, Mechanical Components

Acceleration Resistant HiK Heat Spreader

As electronic technologies advance in defense and aerospace applications, heat fluxes are becoming larger and more centralized[1,2]. In order to meet the performance specifications of new technologies, thermal solutions must also advance. The push for more capable thermal technologies is evident with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) signing an agreement with private companies and contractors for the development of innovative vapor cooling technologies capable of handling high heat fluxes[2].

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Power Supplies, Thermal Management, Materials, Metals, Power, Semiconductors & ICs

Preventing Ice Buildup on Electric Aircraft

Afaq Ahmed Abbasi of Northwestern Polytechnical University explains his innovative approach.
Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Power Management, Thermal Management, Cameras, Imaging, Composites, Materials, Fluid Handling, Mechanical Components, MEMs, Power, Power Transmission

Peridynamic Modeling: An Alternative Approach to Analyzing Material Failure

A critical technology challenge for structural material applications in the aerospace and defense industries is to have a means for the reliable analysis of material damage and failure. Experimental structural assessments are typically expensive and often do not provide full information about coupled, multiscale damage processes. Computer-aided analysis has established itself as a useful tool for complementing experimental structural assessments. A comparative summary of current computer-aided approaches is presented in the accompanying table.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Materials, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Software, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Coating Technology Enables Effective Missile Countermeasures

Heat-seeking missiles have been in use against both rotorcraft and fixed wing aircraft since the mid-1950s, and countermeasures to deceive their guidance systems have been employed for nearly as long. Typically, countermeasures operate by generating a strong infrared signature which confuses the missile tracking system. At the heart of these systems is some form of powerful infrared emitting source. Often this source requires optical coating(s) to perform wavelength filtering needed for optimum operation. However, both the mechanical configuration of the thin film filter coatings used and the operating extremes to which they are subjected present challenges for the manufacturer.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Machinery, Mechanical Components

Machining Titanium Aero-Frames

The rise of titanium for aerospace applications has been well documented in recent years. Equally, the challenges associated with the efficient, productive and high-quality machining of this popular material, have also been a topic of debate and scrutiny. Of course, every machine shop wants optimized performance from its cutters when milling titanium, but this can prove less than straightforward without the right technology and know-how in place. Today, however, thanks to a breakthrough in this area, things are beginning to change.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace Manufacturing and Machining, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Industrial Controls & Automation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Materials, Metals, Joining & Assembly, Machinery, Mechanical Components

Getting the Most Out of Industrial CT Scanning

Quality assurance and flight certification of critical aerospace parts and assemblies have reached new levels of sophistication in recent years. Leading aerospace and defense manufacturers worldwide now consider computed tomography (CT) scanning to be an essential part of their non-destructive testing (NDT) toolkit. Far more powerful than the CT used to scan the human body, industrial CT can penetrate almost every material, from superalloys to lead, revealing hidden details that previously could only be found by cutting and destroying finished parts.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace Manufacturing and Machining, Aerospace, Defense, Imaging, 3 D Printing & Additive Manufacturing, Industrial Controls & Automation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Ceramics, Composites, Materials, Joining & Assembly, Machinery, Mechanical Components, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Simulation Software, Software, Inspection Equipment, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement, Testing Procedures

Aerospace Work Platforms — More than Meets the Eye

For maintenance personnel in the aerospace industry to do their jobs effectively, they need to be able to get physically close to the equipment they are working on. This statement sounds obvious, but in order to meet this requirement, it is very important to utilize quality work platforms. Although most people are familiar with the basic uses of work platforms, there is not always much thought given to everything that goes into their design and fabrication.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace Manufacturing and Machining, Aerospace, Defense, Design, Industrial Design and Human Factors, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Contract Services, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Industrial Controls & Automation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Metals, Machinery, Mechanical Components

Thermoplastic Composites to Play Enhanced Role in Next-Generation Aerospace Applications

Advanced thermoplastic composites-and their emergence as prominent materials for future aerospace applications–are sparking a flurry of activity from aerospace manufacturers, designers, component producers and formatters.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace Manufacturing and Machining, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Thermal Management, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Composites, Materials, Plastics, Mechanical Components

An Introduction to PCM Heat Sinks

With the exception of thermal storage heat sinks, the term heat sink is a misnomer. Standard heat sinks for electronics cooling are actually heat exchangers, taking the heat from the electronics, and transferring it to a fluid, either air or coolant. Phase Change Material (PCM) heat sinks are the only heat sinks that actually act as a (temporary) sink for heat. They are emerging in the thermal management realm to solve thermal problems in systems where active solutions cannot be used. When there is no place to dissipate the heat generated by electric components, a PCM heat sink is capable of absorbing the generated waste heat [1] .

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Thermal Management, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials