Cleaning High-Value, Complex Parts for Aerospace Applications

Cleaning the Hard to Clean

Recently, a leading manufacturer of high-value parts for the aerospace industry ran into a cleaning challenge – namely, the cleanliness of parts going through its vacuum brazing process. The existing process was falling short – and experiencing a high field failure rate. Compounding the challenge was a large variation of aluminum alloys and forming processes of the parts.

The customer engaged with Hubbard-Hall, charging us with improving aluminum surface conditions prior to vacuum braze. Given the stakes involved with high-value parts, the customer was extremely – and justifiably – particular. Based on our previous successes in cleaning difficult aluminum applications, Hubbard-Hall welcomed the challenge.

Working in our facility in Inman, South Carolina, we set to develop a process to clean and de-ox various aluminum parts by conducting braze joint x-section analysis. This “home-field advantage,” which Hubbard-Hall makes available to every customer, enabled us to rapidly establish the best process, document cleanliness, and process enough parts to build complete units for final testing.

Over a day-and-a-half, multiple formulations were tested on a wide variety of parts. Based on its final readings, the company reported a 4X improvement in part cleanliness with Hubbard-Hall’s process compared to its previous process. Building on this success, the company asked Hubbard-Hall to author new specifications for existing and new process lines.

 

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