Lockheed Martin Corp. entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. for approximately $4.4 billion. With nearly 5,000 employees and 15 primary operations sites across the United States, Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-recognized aerospace and defense rocket engine manufacturer. The company’s propulsion systems are a key component of Lockheed Martin’s supply chain and several advanced systems across its Aeronautics, Missiles and Fire Control and Space business areas. The proposed acquisition adds substantial expertise in propulsion to Lockheed Martin’s portfolio.
Quintus Technologies received an order from Piper Aircraft, an aircraft manufacturer, to provide a high-pressure hydroform fluid cell press for its facility in Vero Beach, Fla. The press generates a press force of 35,000 metric tons across the entire forming area of 39 x 118 inches (1,000 x 3,000 mm). It includes user-friendly features such as equipment serviceability, remote system control and a high degree of self-diagnostics. The installation will allow Piper to redirect component production from a 40-year-old ASEA press. The large forming area and advanced controls give the new press the ability to produce up to 1,000,000 formed sheet-metal parts per year.
TAV Vacuum Furnaces of Italy will design, build and ship two horizontal vacuum heat-treatment and brazing furnaces to a manufacturer of aircraft structural components that specializes in spherical bearing solutions. The furnaces have useful dimensions of 600 mm wide x 600 mm high x 900 mm deep (23.5 x 23.5 x 35.5 inches) with a maximum gross charge of 600 kg (1,323 pounds). They have a maximum operating temperature of 2192°F (1200°C). An AMS 2750F-compliant SCADA system provides comprehensive furnace monitoring and control. The configuration of the furnaces enables quick and easy loading of different volumes.
Aerospace manufacturers rely heavily on the autoclave to ensure that their products meet porosity goals. For large parts of thermoplastics (like skins, spars and integrated structures), this has always been the best way to achieve the compaction and consolidation pressure required to drive out any volatiles.
Recently, however, aerospace manufacturers are researching the options of producing thermoplastic composites in an out-of-autoclave press consolidation technique because it reduces the production cycle from 4-7 hours to 10-30 minutes for small and mid-size parts.
Gasbarre Thermal Processing Systems shipped a continuous vacuum furnace with 10-bar pressure-quench capabilities to a North American aerospace manufacturer. The four-position, four-zone furnace is rated to 2400°F. The independent load and quench modules allow the heat module to hold temperature and vacuum, creating an extremely pure environment. Extended heating-element coverage allows for excellent temperature uniformity. Only the workload is cooled in the isolated cooling chamber to increase efficiency. Quick transference from the heat module to the cool module and fast quench capabilities make the furnace suited to process medium- to high-volume parts.
Wisconsin Oven received an order for a standard draw batch (SDB) oven from a manufacturer of aerospace products. The electrically heated oven, which has been shipped, will be used for processing parts in a reduced-oxygen atmosphere utilizing nitrogen. The oven has a maximum continuous operating temperature of 1400°F (760°C), and it has the capability to operate at 230°F (110°C) above ambient. The qualified work-zone dimensions are 24 inches wide x 24 inches high x 48 inches deep, and the overall chamber dimensions are 36 inches wide x 36 inches high x 60 inches deep.
ITP Aero, a manufacturer of aviation and industrial engines, installed a high-pressure sheet hydroform press from Quintus Technologies in its recently completed plant in Bilbao, Spain. The press operates at a forming pressure of 1,400 bar (20,000 psi), which is important in jet-engine applications because it ensures close-tolerance parts direct from the press with little or no secondary hand work required. With a work area of 27.6 x 73 inches (700 mm x 1,800 mm), it introduces several production efficiencies, eliminating forming steps, intermediate heat treatments, and manual pre- and post-forming operations.
SECO/WARWICK Group sold two vacuum furnaces for aerospace applications to one company in two locations: the United States and Singapore. The aerospace manufacturer has been a SECO/WARWICK customer in Europe for many years, but this is their first vacuum furnace ordered for a U.S. installation. The first furnace will be used for the heat treatment of exotic electrical steels. The high-pressure gas-quench vacuum furnace has a horizontal chamber with a workload size of 24 inches x 24 inches x 36 inches and a 1,300-pound hearth capacity. The second furnace will be used for annealing parts produced by 3D printing.
A hot isostatic press (HIP) from Quintus Technologies will enable Italy’s Flame Spray SpA, a thermal-spray coatings provider, to respond to growing demand for densification and heat treatment as additive manufacturing (AM) increasingly takes hold in aerospace parts production. The press will streamline the workflow by integrating the ability to stress relieve, HIP, heat treat and age parts in a single cycle. The combination of high pressure and heat treatment (HPHT) in one system enhances efficiency and reduces per-unit processing costs while generating savings in space, energy and infrastructure. Uniform rapid cooling (URC) capability minimizes thermal distortion and non-uniform grain growth, producing finished parts with optimal material properties.
L&L Special Furnace Co. Inc. delivered three bench-mounted box furnaces that will be used to test high-temperature aerospace fasteners. The fastener manufacturer now has five GS series furnaces at its facility in Pennsylvania. The furnaces have internal dimensions of 18 inches wide x 12 inches high x 24 inches deep. Included is a spring-assist vertical lift door that allows for effortless loading and unloading at high temperatures. The industrial control system includes a Eurotherm temperature controller, over-temperature protection and a recirculation fan for uniformity.