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Hot Stand for Farnborough Airshow

New for FIA2024 - Wallwork increase UK Hot Isostatic Pressing Capacity

Wallwork Group: Pods 12-13, North West Aerospace Alliance stand, Hall 1

At Farnborough International Airshow, Wallwork Group is keen to show the benefits that their new 2500 square metres hot isostatic pressing centre brings to their comprehensive portfolio of NADCAP accredited thermal processes and hard coatings services.

Exhibiting from pods 12 and 13 on the North West Aerospace Alliance stand in Hall 1, the team will also highlight the many other investments made across the Group’s sites in plasma nitriding, vacuum furnaces and two pit furnaces for longer components.

Hot Isostatic Pressing
The largest investment the company has made is in their £20 million pound Hot Isostatic Pressing Centre. Demand is such that the company recently announced investment in a second Quintus Technologies’ HIP for the centre.

HIP is used by aerospace manufacturers to eliminate defects within components made by casting, 3D printing or near-net shape powder metallurgy. High pressures and temperatures in an inert gas atmosphere, compress the material and close internal voids. This improves mechanical properties such as tensile strength and fatigue. HIP helps to ensure the reliability and performance of critical parts such as turbine blades, structural casings, and engine components under extreme operational conditions. It extends the service life of components, reduces the risk of failure, and lowers maintenance requirements.

Heat Treatment
Wallwork has significant heat treatment capacity at its four sites in Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham and Cambridge. Demand from aerospace customers has driven further investment in advanced vacuum furnaces. These are playing a crucial role in enhancing the mechanical properties of metals and alloys. This ensures that turbine blades, gears, and structural components can withstand the extreme conditions of aerospace environments including high pressures, variable temperatures and mechanical stress. Moreover, heat treatment can relieve stresses imparted during fabrication, reducing the risk of material failure.

Also new are two deep pit furnaces at their Newcastle site. These enable carburising, normalising, annealing, stress relieving, harden and tempering of larger components up to 1.6 metres in length and 1.1 metres diameter.

Plasma Nitriding
Investment in additional plasma nitriding capacity is meeting growing demand and provides greater flexibility in loading, so pricing can be optimised to need. This precision surface hardening treatment benefits aerospace components by enhancing wear resistance and fatigue life of critical parts. The process involves diffusing nitrogen into the surface of an alloy, forming a hard, wear-resistant layer, while maintaining the properties of the underlying material.

Plasma nitriding is performed at lower temperatures than conventional nitriding, which minimises distortion and allows for precise control over the thickness and properties of the nitrided layer without compromising material ductility. This makes it ideal for parts like landing gear, engine components, and fasteners.

PVD Coatings
Cambridge is the company’s centre of excellence for PVD coatings. With research and development, extensive laboratory facilities, UKAS certified mechanical testing, Wallwork works with component manufacturers to develop bespoke coatings. There is also a range of standard coatings to choose form that meet the needs of most applications.

Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) coatings are highly beneficial for aerospace components due to their ability to enhance the surface characteristics without altering the properties of the underlying material. Applied at relatively low temperatures, they prevent component distortion and maintain precise dimensional tolerances. They improve hardness, reduce friction, and increase wear resistance, crucial for components exposed to extreme operational conditions, such as turbine blades and control mechanisms.

Vacuum Brazing
Vacuum brazing is a joining process with many advantages for aerospace component manufacturers. Performed in a vacuum environment, this process ensures clean, flux-free brazed joints, with superior strength and high resistance to thermal and mechanical stress. It is particularly beneficial for creating complex assemblies where alignment precision is vital, such as in heat exchangers and honeycomb seals.

The absence of oxidizing agents and contaminants during the brazing process results in clean, strong, and corrosion-resistant joints that maintain the integrity of the component throughout its operational life. This method allows for the joining of dissimilar materials, which is useful in aerospace applications where materials are chosen for specific properties like weight reduction and thermal stability.

As the UK’s largest independent aerospace thermal process and hard coating specialist, Wallwork has over sixty years’ experience in meeting the needs of aerospace component manufacturers. With ITAR compliance, prime approvals, NADCAP, AS/EN9100 and a strong service ethic, the company has a customer focused culture. Their dedicated commercial transport fleet for swift pick-up and delivery means orders are cared for from start to finish by Wallwork.

FIA2024 takes place July 22-26 and is a trade only show. Visitor passes can be obtained here: https://www.farnboroughairshow.com/book-your-trade-pass/

13/05/2024 AM


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