27 September 2021
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Spray coating saves time in plating of aerospace part

An international company specialising in manufacturing and repairing landing gear and actuation systems for the aerospace market was looking for process efficiencies in its electroless nickel plating process. Its target was to automate the masking process and increase throughput. A Dymax solution reduced times from days to less than an hour.

The customer’s original process involved applying two to three coats of long-drying lacquer-based maskant prior to the electroless nickel plating of landing gear components. The customer’s manual brush application time of the lacquer maskant was 45 minutes per coating. Air-drying the parts also added a minimum of eight hours to their production time. Since the customer ran one production shift per day, the masking (application and drying) process took up to three days (72 hours). The inconsistencies of the manual hand-brush masking application caused rework and a scrap rate of 10%.

The Dymax territory manager and sales partner met with the customer to review its process and understand its needs. The Dymax team selected a UV solution and light-cure system that addressed the customer issues. Dymax proposed Dymax SpeedMask 7601 maskant and the SG-150 spray valve system supported with Dymax BlueWave 200 curing-system.

SpeedMask 7601 is an LED-curable plating maskant that changes colour on cure and also has a blue fluorescing tracer. The SG-150 spray system is a handheld spray dispensing system. The SG-150-RS standard-flow system is said to be suitable for fluids with viscosity lower than 10,000cP. The BlueWave system is a high-intensity UV spot lamp curing system that emits UVA and visible light in the 300-450nm range.

By adopting the proposed solution, the customer was able to reduce cycle times to less than 45 minutes and use colour change to confirm a proper cure. In addition, the spray application improved part quality. Consistency and reliability of the maskant helped reduce scrap and rework, Dymax reports.

Author
FAST magazine

Related Companies

Dymax Europe GmbH

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