6 Techniques for Extending the Lifespan of Aerospace Components

6 Techniques for Extending the Lifespan of Aerospace Components

Aerospace component manufacturing is one of the most challenging industrial fields because of the need for both tight tolerances and extreme durability. The development of new aerospace component manufacturing techniques to increase part durability and lifespan is one of the primary drivers of growth within the aerospace component manufacturing industry. If you’re in the aerospace component manufacturing industry, consider expanding into these finishing and hardening techniques to create aerospace components that last as long as possible.

Plating with Hard Chromium in Aerospace Component Manufacturing

Hard chromium plating was once the most widely used lifespan-expanding finishing process for aerospace component manufacturing. The outer layer of chromium and cadmium-based alloys prevents heat warping, corrosion, and wear from shortening the lifespan of an aerospace component.

Unfortunately, it became a highly regulated aerospace component manufacturing process in late 2017 because the chromium and cadmium used are highly carcinogenic. Most countries are tightly limiting the amount of hard plating allowed per year, with the majority of approvals going to aerospace component manufacturing requests.

Aerospace Component Manufacturing Finished with Spray On Coatings

To extend the lifespan of critical engine and jet parts, the aerospace component manufacturing industry has developed dozens of new coating techniques. Spray on coatings were the first true alternative to hard chromium plating in aerospace component manufacturing, and they rely on tungsten carbide and other alloy mixtures to create a similar sacrificial surface with better friction management and sliding capabilities than raw uncoated steel.

However, these sprays can quickly become too thick for parts with tight tolerances. The finished surface of a spray coated part also needs sanding and grinding before being considered finished, which extends the cost and timeframe of aerospace component manufacturing.

Thin Film Vapor Coatings for Aerospace Component Manufacturing

The most advanced form of coating in aerospace component manufacturing is known as thin film vapor application. Metallic crystals of tungsten are suspended in a pressurized vacuum chamber. When a steel or aluminum part is introduced into the aerospace component manufacturing chamber, the microscopic particles of coating are attracted to the surface to create a very thin layer. This kind of coating during the aerospace component manufacturing process allows for a size change of less than 4 microns, making it the best choice for aerospace component manufacturing where exact tolerances are required. You may see this aerospace component manufacturing finishing process referred to as physical vapor deposition (PVD) or crystalline vapor deposition (CVD).

AI Predictions of the Lifespan of Aerospace Component Manufacturing Products

Some of the latest advancements in the aerospace component manufacturing industry don’t actually extend the lifespan of parts but prevent malfunctions and problems by predicting how long each part will last. Man-made calculations of the lifespan of various parts still has a surprisingly high margin of error. The aerospace component manufacturing industry is investing heavily into machine learning and artificial intelligence technology to use for predicting the real lifespan of their parts. Machine learning based predictions help aerospace component manufacturing companies improve their customer satisfaction, sell more replacement parts, and prevent serious accidents.

Vacuum Heat Treating for Aerospace Component Manufacturing

Heat treating is an entire set of techniques available for extending the lifespan of metal parts, including the results of aerospace component manufacturing. Vacuum heating treating is the best way to finish aerospace components during the aerospace component manufacturing process because the pressurized environment reduces warping, increases heat penetration, and produces a higher finished durability. It’s possible to anneal, harden, temper, and more all within a vacuum chamber designed for aerospace component manufacturing.

Computer Controlled Surfacing and Grinding

Many advanced aerospace component manufacturing processes eliminate, or at least reduce, the need for grinding and other surfacing treatments for a smooth and durable surface. It’s very common for aerospace components to make constant metal on metal contact during operation, so grinding must be handled carefully so the parts don’t become work hardened and overly brittle. The introduction of computer controlled grinding and surfacing equipment to the aerospace component manufacturing world allows the finishing team to get the smoothest finish possible with minimal hardening.

Take your aerospace component manufacturing process to the next level by finding subcontractors experienced in the newest finishing techniques. Your products can reach their longest potential lifespans, even in challenging space and upper atmosphere applications, with the right aerospace component manufacturing technology.