Category Archives: Aerospace

  • BTG Labs Presenting at AA&S 2017

    by Emily Walsh May 2017

    Top aerospace manufactures recruit state-of-the-art equipment to ensure precision and perfection. One thing the best of the best have in common: the Surface Analyst. BTG Labs first engineered the Surface Analyst through an SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) grant to collaborate with the USAF (United States Air Force). Born out of necessity, the instrument was engineered to verify a surface’s readiness to adhesively bond fasteners.

    Today, the Surface Analyst is written into Lockheed Martin specifications for fighter jet manufacturing; it played a major role in the development of the F-35; and its expertise is trusted on all factory floors of top aerospace manufacturers.

    While the Surface Analyst use has spilled outside of the aerospace box, BTG Labs remains closely tied in the aerospace industry and that is why you will find us at AA&S 2017. Taking place May 22-25 in Phoenix, Arizona, The Aircraft Airworthiness and Sustainment Conference attracts leaders of the aerospace industry from around the world.

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  • BTG Labs’ to Present at CMH-17

    by Emily Walsh March 2017

    This week, BTG Labs will attend the CMH-17 PMC Coordination Meeting in conjunction with ASTM D-30 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The purpose of this gathering is to present and collaborate on the latest in composite advances and standards and contribute to document updates.

    CMH-17, the Composite Materials Handbook, is the go to reference and guide for aerospace manufacturers who adhesively bond composite parts. It features standard, vetted composite technologies as well as standardization for data collection and analysis of composite processes. BTG Labs maintains a strong connection with CMH-17 by presenting at working group meetings and contributing to content.

    This year, BTG Labs’ Chief Scientist Dr. Giles Dillingham and Research and Development Engineer Tim Barry will attend the March meeting to collaborate and present.

    Dr. Dillingham and Barry will present BTG Labs’ work to a joint meeting of ASTM committees D30 and D14.80.01 on adhesives and composites. This presentation intends to create a new standard based on BTG Labs’ Surface Analyst™, a handheld instrument which measures water contact angle in 2 seconds to ensure bonding. The proposed standard especially focuses on the instrument’s unique abilities to deposit water drops via patented Ballistic Deposition technology and image drops from above to determine the contact angle.

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  • This week, BTG Labs’ Chief Scientist Dr. Giles Dillingham will be co-hosting a booth and presenting a 3-hour long workshop with BTG Labs’ valued partner, Louis (Lou) Dorworth, Direct Services Manager at Abaris Training Resources, Inc.

    Louis C. (Lou) Dorworth Division Mgr.-Direct Services Abaris Training Resources, Inc. Reno, Nevada – USA

    As a specialist in the field of advanced composite materials and processes since 1978, Lou offers extensive information that he uses to educate the composite industry. His experience includes research and development, materials and process engineering, tool engineering/design, and tool fabrication.

    BTG Labs sat down with Louis to discuss his expectations for AeroDef 2017.

    What do you think about the latest in composite technology? What’s standing out?

    Composite technology is changing at a rapid pace as process methodologies and applications broaden across all industries.  Nano-fortified polymers and composites show much promise for enhancing structural properties in both adhesives and laminate structures.

    What can attendees expect to leave with after your workshop with Dr. Giles Dillingham?

    Attendees can expect to learn the key methods and techniques to achieving robust and durable adhesively bonded joints in composite structures.  They will have a much better understanding of both the practical and scientific factors that contribute to a successful adhesive bond.

    What are some issues faced by users when attempting to bond or repair composites?

    The primary issues involve controlling and verifying the integrity of the prepared composite surface, the environmental conditions that exist where the bonding takes place, the control of the adhesives so that they are not exposed to adverse conditions, and achieving a proper cure in the adhesive. …Read More

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  • The utilization of composites increases daily in manufacturing as more ways in which to use this advanced material are discovered. Composite is a smart material that provides a lighter weight and stronger product. This advanced material is being used in many different industries, from consumer products like bicycle frames to airplanes. Yet, because the strength is held in the fibrous matrix of the material, composites must be adhesively bonded together as traditional mechanical fasteners can break the fibers and compromise the material’s integrity.

    To guarantee these bonds, BTG Labs’ Surface Analyst™ precisely, accurately, and quantifiably measures the surface’s readiness to bond. BTG Labs’ experience in the field of composites reaches back to the genesis of the Surface Analyst when the USAF turned to the company to engineer a hand-held surface energy measurement device for composite bonding of aircraft. Since then, the Surface Analyst’s composite applications continue to increase and span into many more industries.

    Surface Analyst Applications Examples for Bonding, Coating, Sealing, and Painting Composites

    • Aerospace: satellites, aircraft, and spacecraft
    • Sports and Recreation: sporting equipment
    • Automotive: structural components, drive shafts, interior parts
    • Medical Device: prosthetics, repair equipment, tubing
    • Marine: structural frames and components, fiber glass applications
    • Renewable energy: wind turbines, fuel cells, marine turbines, power transmissions, solar panels
    • Construction: architectural, fiberglass, bridges, infrastructure, housing, refurbishing

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  •  aircraft assembly

    Aerospace Applications

    The aerospace industry knows it must meet high specs to create an aircraft that is safe, reliable, and resilient. As aluminum and titanium materials are more often replaced with stronger, lightweight composites, which require adhesive bonds, knowing that bond will stick is pivotal. The strength and success of that adhesive bond depends on properly preparing the composite surface.

    BTG Labs boasts a long-term relationship with the aerospace industry. When the need to create reliable adhesive bonds, BTG Labs received an SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) to collaborate with the USAF. This led to the development of the Surface Analyst™. Using water contact angle measurements–a proven way to predict adhesion in aircrafts–the Surface Analyst is the first hand held surface energy measurement device to accurately and precisely measure surface energy in the aerospace industry. The Surface Analyst also played a major role in the development of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. BTG Labs continues to contribute to the aerospace industry as more applications arise. In two seconds, the Surface Analyst determines a surface’s readiness to bond successfully in a fast, easy, accurate, non-destructive, and quantifiable way.

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  • The Surface Analyst Now has Countless Applications

    What began as an application in the aerospace manufacturing industry is now stretching across numerous diverse industries from medical devices to automotive to consumer goods, and many others. The applications of the Surface Analyst™ continually present themselves in a variety of settings. As the importance of surface cleanliness and surface preparation is recognized and implemented more and more, the significance of monitoring surface energy in bonding, printing, painting, sealing, cleaning, or coating comes along with it.

    From determining an automotive composite part’s readiness to bond to measuring cleanliness levels to meet highly regulated specs in medical device manufacturing, the Surface Analyst lends its expertise from the lab to the manufacturing floor.

    While the endless applications of the Surface Analyst are constantly revealing themselves, here is a list of some of the most common applications. From verifying surface cleanliness levels, to verifying adhesion and surface preparation processes, the Surface Analyst possesses multifaceted applications.
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  • Progress in the Reliability of Bonded Composite Structures

     

    Improving Composite Bonds in Aircraft

     

    The Surface Analyst™ technology has many of its roots in the CAI (Composites Affordability Initiative) program from the mid to late 1990’s.  This industry/government partnership comprised of a team charged with addressing the perceived risks and barriers to a more widespread use of composite materials in aircraft design. The collaboration included members from the Air Force Materials Laboratory, the Office of Naval Research, Bell Helicopter Textron, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Northrop Grumman Corporation.

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  • F-35

    F-35 Lightning II

    With the exciting release and testing of the F-35 Lightning II, BTG Labs swells with pride over its involvement in the development of this remarkable aircraft. The F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office recently released a booklet of Small Business Success Stories to share the involvement and collaboration from innovative companies. The use of bonded nut plates makes this plane lighter and tougher. But, successfully bonding nut plates would require verification of surface readiness. BTG Labs’ Surface Analyst provided a way to accurately and precisely measure a surface’s readiness to confidently bond.

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  • F35_SBIR Video

    Evolution of Aircraft Manufacturing: Moving Towards a Lighter Material

     

    In the early 2000s, the U.S. Airforce recruited BTG Labs to aid in the development of bonding technologies for composite materials to replace heavier aluminum and titanium in aircraft manufacturing. Carbon fiber composites provide lighter, stronger options for aircraft materials. But, to realize these advantages composites  must attach by bonding, not by mechanical fasteners. The primary obstacle to bonding has been the lack of a practical way to inspect a bond surface and ensure that they have been prepared in a way that will produce a strong, reliable bond. Thus, they needed a method to adhere the composites effectively, efficiently, and confidently. …Read More

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  • Adhesive Bonding Repair

     

    adhesive bonding repair in aircraft manufacturing

    Adhesive Bonding Repair in Aircraft Manufacturing

    The two principle materials used in aircraft manufacturing, metals and polymers, tote particularly reactive surfaces. This leaves them highly susceptible to contamination. As adhesive bonded repairs become more and more popular in the industry, knowing and understanding surface preparation and surface habits becomes crucial.

    BTG Labs’ Chief Scientist Dr. Giles Dillingham produced the paper, “Qualification of Surface Preparation Processes for Bonded Aircraft Repair,” to present at an annual SAMPE Conference. This paper discusses the use of adhesive bonding in the field of aircraft manufacturing and the importance of surface monitoring.

    As metals and polymers experience exposure to contamination on the manufacturing floor and in the field, it is necessary to know and understand the relationship between contaminants and the surface. The difference between a well cleaned and a poorly cleaned surface may only be a few molecular layers, and may be the determining factor of a successful bond or a weak bond.

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