Metric-Sized Metal Shapes

Parker Steel Company (Maumee, OH) offers metric-sized metals suitable for applications where presized metric parts are needed. Parker Steel’s cold-finished carbon steel, alloyed and high-strength stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass and tool steel bars/shafting, tubing, sheets and plates, angles, channels and tees; and other specialty shapes can be shipped out the same day as ordered with very few exceptions.

Among the most frequently specified metric metals for aerospace applications are the 360 brass and 17-4 PH stainless steel products. The 360 brass (European CuZn36Pb3; CW603N) round and hex bars are produced from a combination of copper and zinc. Exhibiting high strength and superior corrosion-resistance, the 360 brass shapes are 100 percent machinable, although welding and cold forming are not recommended. The material is suitable for bushings, circuit board relays, switches, nuts, bolts, pump shafts, and fixtures.

The 17-PH round bar stainless steel offers high strength, exceptional corrosion resistance, and good mechanical properties. Supplied in condition A (annealed) directly from the mill, these shapes are easily machined and welded for a variety of parts found on aircraft.

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Solder for Carbon Materials

Goodfellow (Coraopolis, PA) has announced the availability of C-Solder, the trade name for a group of new tin-based, flux-free soldering alloy that enables the joining of carbon materials. The resulting bond is both mechanically strong and electrically conductive. With C-Solder you can join carbon materials including carbon fibers or carbon nanotube fibers in carbon-carbon arrangements; carbon to metals (e.g., copper aluminum, titanium, stainless steel), ceramics and glass materials; and aluminum to aluminum, all without using flux.

Key features of C-Solder include: a melting point of 232°C (solidus temperature); density of approximately 7.4 g/cm3; excellent flow; good wetting of surfaces to be joined; electrically and thermally conductive; it’s not affected by cleaning solvents; does not leave a residue; it’s not flammable; and it’s flux-free and lead-free.

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Electrically & Thermally Conductive Grease

epoxySet (Lincoln, RI) presents CTG-81, electrically and thermally conductive non-silicone grease. This grease offers excellent heat dissipation with a thermal conductivity of 7.2 W/m°K and an electrical resistance of <.01 ohm-cm. It is ideal for high end applications where maximization of heat transfer is essential. This non-curing hydrocarbon can withstand 200°C continuously and will not dry out or melt producing optimum stability over a lifetime of use. CTG-81 can be used in applications requiring electrical contact where no stress to the electrical pads can be tolerated. It is a free-flowing paste that can easily be dispensed from syringes or cartridges. It can be supplied in any size syringe or cartridge as well as jars or cans.

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Corrosion Protection

A leading coil coater and manufacturer of proprietary coating chemistries has recently introduced InterCoat®ChemGuard, a new type of corrosion protection for galvanized steel. InterCoat®ChemGuard uses a new type of coating technology that utilizes covalent bonds and enhances the effectiveness of zinc and substantially improves corrosion protection on galvanized steel.

Standard practice to protect metal from corrosion for approximately the last 70 years has been to coat it with zinc. Heavier zinc coatings have normally been applied to provide longer protection. InterCoat®ChemGuard, instead, reacts with the zinc to form a permanent, covalent bond on the surface of the metal. The product is applied over a light layer of zinc, which reacts with the zinc to dramatically improve its corrosion protection properties. The bond which is formed at the molecular level cannot be washed or worn off. This is different and more effective than the typical barrier coating. This revolutionary process allows bending, stamping, post-painting and even shearing, while providing self-healing characteristics that help protect newly exposed zinc that naturally occurs during secondary processing.

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Automated Design Analysis Software

DfR Solutions (Beltsville, MD) announced the next release of Sherlock Automated Design Analysis™ software - Version 5.3. Advanced features include Thermal-Mechanical Analysis. This advanced new capability provides the ability to capture system-level effects on solder joint reliability during temperature cycling.

Sherlock Automated Design Analysis™ Software uses a Physics of Failure approach to indicate when thermal temperatures are too hot for integrated circuits and solder joints. The new Thermal-Mechanical Capability now available in Sherlock version 5.3 enables users to quickly and easily run thermal-mechanical analyses directly in Sherlock. The Thermal-Mechanical Analysis in Sherlock enables design improvement by changing component type, material parameters, and or layout to minimize loads during thermal expansion. Understanding the interaction of mounting points and components during thermal expansion assures a more reliable PCB layout under thermal-mechanical stresses.

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Handheld Analyzer

SciAps (Woburn, MA) has introduced Z-200C+, a handheld analyzer for carbon and other elements. The analyzer is the world’s only handheld analyzer capable of measuring carbon content down to 0.015%, suitable to distinguish L-grade stainless from straight and H-grades, and to analyze most carbon steels. The Z also measures other alloy elements including Mn, Si, Cr, V, Cu, Ni, Se, Nb, Mo, Pb, and others. Therefore the Z-200C+ also offers a handheld solution for fast, accurate determination of Mn:C ratios. The Z eliminates the need for laboratory results or cumbersome spark OES technology. It provides a fast, reliable result for C and Mn:C ratio within seconds, without having to transport bulky analyzers, massive argon tanks, or wait for laboratory analysis. The Z also provides carbon equivalent (CE) values using a variety of different formulas, depending on the user’s choice.

The Z-200C+utilizes LIBS (laser induced breakdown spectroscopy). It replaces the bulky, power-hungry electric spark source in OES with a miniature, military-grade, high energy pulsed laser. The laser’s small beam profile reduces argon consumption by a factor of 1,000. Now the argon supply is a small user-replaceable canister in the handle of the analyzer, instead of a large external tank. For general alloy analysis the argon yields about 600 tests. For L-grades, the number of tests drops to about 125 because several tests are averaged.

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Micro Purge System

Aeroprobe Corporation (Christiansburg, VA), a company that provides air data measurement systems to aerospace, automotive, turbo-machinery, wind turbine, and wind tunnel testing industries around the world, is adding a Micro Purge System (μPS) to its line of measurement solutions products. The μPS will allow users to purge the pneumatic system of the μADS of debris and moisture that can develop during normal operation. These elements can influence data acquisition and create functional issues.

The μPS is controlled by a Micro Air Data Computer (μADC), another component of the μADS. As a pump-based purge system, the μPS can be operated without the need for an external compressed air source. Aeroprobe’s μPS is the lightest solution for purge available and can be paired with any of the company’s μADCs.

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Test Methodology for Aircraft Wireless Systems

Leti (Grenoble, France), a technology research institute of CEA Tech, announced that it has developed a methodology for testing high-speed wireless communications on airplanes that allows different system deployments in cabins, and assesses wireless devices before they are installed. In a joint research project with Dassault Aviation, Leti demonstrated a channel-measurement campaign over Wi-Fi frequency in several airplanes, including Dassault’s Falcon business jet. Using a channel sounder and a spatial scanner, Leti teams determined a statistic model of the in-cabin radio channel, constructed from the antenna position and the configuration of the aircraft.

A radio-frequency channel emulator and the in-cabin channel model were used to test Wi-Fi designed for passenger communication and entertainment before installation in the aircraft. In that test, two different wireless access points and different antenna configurations for Wi-Fi networks deployed in an aircraft cabin were evaluated. Based on an extensive test campaign, mean values of performance parameters, together with the operating margin, were provided according to the device configuration, kind of traffic and channel conditions. In addition, the technology gives aircraft designers key tools to define wireless communication systems that enhance passenger experience, without aircraft immobilization.

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Backlit Silicone Keypad

The Spanish company, Grabysur (Seville, Spain), has just launched its first custom-made backlit silicone keypad for both civil and military applications, resistant to extreme environmental conditions, and without minimum order. Unlike other synthetic materials such as plastic, silicone better resists exposure to sunlight, humidity, pressure, chemicals or dust, keeping material properties unchanged for longer.

This illuminated silicone keypad is applicable in naval, terrestrial and aerospace industries, and in any sector where there is exposure to extreme environmental conditions. It is IP65 certified, which guarantees resistance to water and dust. As with the rest of its HMI solutions, Grabysur is in charge of the complete product cycle, from design to manufacturing, from its facilities at the Aerospace Technology Park in Andalusia, Aeropolis. The company custom manufactures the new tailored keypads to the specific needs of each customer, both in terms of design features and number of units.

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Concentric Mechanical Encoders

Grayhill, Inc. (LaGrange, IL) has introduced the Series 20 mechanical encoders with concentric shafts, available in a range of design and output code options to meet individual application needs. With panel or shaft seal options, and designed to meet relevant military standards, the Series 20 encoders are applicable to military, transportation, avionics, medical equipment, test and measurement equipment, and more.

The Series 20 encoders are available with four different angles of throw options for both the inner and outer shafts, determining the maximum number of positions for the encoder. They are available with either a fixed stop or continuous rotation. The Series 20 encoders combine the feel of rotary switches with a digital output, and offer an economical way of obtaining binary, gray, or quadrature code output from a rotary switch. The 20-series switch is the smallest form factor concentric shaft mechanical encoder Grayhill produces.

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Aerospace Manufacturing and Fabrication Magazine

This article first appeared in the December, 2017 issue of Aerospace Manufacturing and Fabrication Magazine.

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