Tag Archives: aircraft manufacturing
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.
Adhesive Bonding Repair
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.