Tag Archives: aerospace
During this holiday season, BTG Labs reflects on another great year.
In 2017, the team grew by 53%, expanding almost every department with new, talented members.
Throughout the year, BTG Labs has kept busy, traveling coast to coast for trade shows and conferences in industries ranging from film and flexible packaging to medical device and globally for visits to both new and existing customers.
The new website, BTGLabs.com is heavier with content and new pages including a Services page featuring the Process Development Packages and the popular Extended Care Plan; and the Shop page for purchasing Surface Analyst accessories such as battery packs, water cartridges, AC adaptors, and Performance Verification Check Surface (PVCS) cards. The new pages allow Surface Analyst users to more efficiently order accessories or attain BTG Labs services to ensure all instruments are running seamlessly.
BTG Labs will exhibit at CAMX 2017, The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, which will run December 11-14 in Orlando, FL. BTG Labs will host booth N17. Visit our booth for live demonstrations of the Surface Analyst.
BTG Labs’ CEO and Chief Scientist Dr. Giles Dillingham will give a presentation entitled “Rapid Development of Surface Treatment Processes” on Wednesday, December 13 at 2:00 pm, Room W209A.
Giles will discuss the use of rapid water contact angle measurements to screen surface preparation methods for adhesive bonding processes, and the transition of these measurements into the manufacturing environment to ensure long-term control. The course will review successful application of water contact angle measurements in laser surface preparation, peel ply and plasma treatment and secondary bonding of dissimilar materials in aircraft repair. Add this course to your MyCAMX schedule here.
Giles will also be teaching a short course along side BTG Labs’ partner Lou Dorworth of Abaris Training Resources. This short course titled, “Surface Preparation & Adhesion Principles: Successful Bonding of Composites” will examine methods for achieving long-lasting bonds to laminated RFP composite structures by focusing on techniques to ensure proper surface preparation and surface treatment.
This course will take place Monday, December 11 from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm in room W207C. Add it to your MyCAMX schedule here.
If you bond, coat, clean, seal, print, or paint, be sure to add the BTG Labs booth to your schedule here.
Of all the challenges manufacturers face, creating and optimizing critical surface processes for various materials can be very difficult. Traits such as location, size, shape, and texture can add to the challenge. The success of any critical surface process requires an in-line, fast, easy, and accurate verification method.
That’s why more and more manufacturers are turning to the Surface Analyst. Whether it’s bonding, painting, printing, cleaning, coating, or sealing, BTG Labs’ Surface Analyst optimizes critical surface processes and monitors surface treatment on virtually any surface so the product is guaranteed to deliver.
BTG Labs engineered the Surface Analyst to adapt to any application directly on the factory floor. Patented Ballistic Deposition deposits a stream of micro-droplets on the surface; these micro-droplets contain kinetic energy which allows the drops to overcome various textures and different angles without interfering with measurement accuracy. The drop size can also be adjusted so that measurements can be taken on any sized surface from a giant wind turbine to a minuscule medical catheter.
Performing any kind of inspection on small parts can be difficult. When measuring for surface cleanliness, accessing small parts can be even more challenging, especially when measuring on the factory floor.
With the Surface Analyst, measuring surface cleanliness on small parts has never been easier. This handheld instrument is fast, easy, accurate, and non-subjective allowing for precise measurements, right on the factory floor.
With specialized measurement heads and a tether to allow access to small parts, manufacturers can verify surface readiness to bond, paint, clean, coat, print, or seal. The Surface Analyst optimizes manufacturing, repairs, and maintenance. …Read More
Challenges often arise when verifying critical surface processes on the factory floor when measuring hard to reach areas and varying angles. The Surface Analyst conquers those challenges with the unique ability to measure on vertical surfaces, which include assembled parts and hard to reach spots. This allows for easier surface analysis on the factory floor.
A few examples of the Surface Analyst’s ability to measure on vertical surfaces on the factory floor:
- Airplane wings prior to bonding, painting, and repair
- Canopy of jet fighters after cleaning
- Wind turbine blades prior to bonded repair
- Silkscreen bottles post flame treatment
- Ship hulls prior to painting and bonding
- Interior of automobile headlights prior to application of anti-fog coating
- Windshield bond lines prior to sealing
- Class A paint surface for decals applications and reapplications
- Measuring appliances after metal cleaning and prior to power coating
SAMPE is the “Society of Advancement of Materials and Process Engineering,” and annually they host a conference and exhibit hall where Scientists and Engineers gather to learn about the past year’s manufacturing advancements. Giles Dillingham, our Chief Scientist and CEO, has been a member for 15 years, and BTG Labs has presented many different technical papers and research projects at this conference. This was my second time attending this conference, after last year in Long Beach.
While SAMPE targets the advancement of all materials and processes, composites—namely carbon fiber—dominate the show. Many exhibitors manufacture woven carbon fiber materials that will be turned into aircraft structures or interiors. Other vendors supply OEM aircraft manufacturers and tier 1 suppliers, specific parts that will be installed directly onto final products.
Some examples include specialized composite tubing and fluid tanks for waste and water storage. I also saw: tooling manufacturers, adhesive and tape suppliers, software companies, testing labs, autoclave/oven vendors (one was giving virtual reality tours of their equipment!), and material processing equipment. This included 4 plasma treatment companies. The most we have seen at SAMPE to date. …Read More
Manufacturers often encounter a similar puzzle, when cleaning invisible contaminants from a surface, how do you know when the surface is clean; how clean is clean enough? This is a common question that manufacturers ask when preparing their surfaces for bonding, coating, sealing, printing or painting. Until now, there hasn’t been an objective and reliable way to answer this question. Successfully cleaning a surface directly correlates to the adhesive ability of the surface. In order to get something to stick reliably the surface must be clean. How we define that parameter is different for a variety of materials.
For example, you clean your car differently than you clean your dishes. Why? Because a car rides on the road through rain, smog, dirt, maybe mud, and the other is a vehicle for your food.
At BTG Labs, our answer to the “clean enough” question is, “Depends on what you’re doing.” There are dozens of critical surface preparation processes that exist for a number of different applications. A handful include:
- Flame treatment on polypropylene bumpers prior to painting
- Plasma treatment on PET catheters prior to coating
- Hand sanding and solvent wiping on aircraft nut plates before adhesively bonding to composite
- Grit-blasting titanium golf clubs in preparation of bonding to composite
- Corona treatment on film for packaging prior to metallization, lamination, or coating
Top aerospace manufactures recruit state-of-the-art equipment to ensure precision and perfection. One thing the best of the best have in common: the Surface Analyst. BTG Labs first engineered the Surface Analyst through an SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) grant to collaborate with the USAF (United States Air Force). Born out of necessity, the instrument was engineered to verify a surface’s readiness to adhesively bond fasteners.
Today, the Surface Analyst is written into Lockheed Martin specifications for fighter jet manufacturing; it played a major role in the development of the F-35; and its expertise is trusted on all factory floors of top aerospace manufacturers.
While the Surface Analyst use has spilled outside of the aerospace box, BTG Labs remains closely tied in the aerospace industry and that is why you will find us at AA&S 2017. Taking place May 22-25 in Phoenix, Arizona, The Aircraft Airworthiness and Sustainment Conference attracts leaders of the aerospace industry from around the world.
This week, BTG Labs’ Chief Scientist Dr. Giles Dillingham will be co-hosting a booth and presenting a 3-hour long workshop with BTG Labs’ valued partner, Louis (Lou) Dorworth, Direct Services Manager at Abaris Training Resources, Inc.
As a specialist in the field of advanced composite materials and processes since 1978, Lou offers extensive information that he uses to educate the composite industry. His experience includes research and development, materials and process engineering, tool engineering/design, and tool fabrication.
BTG Labs sat down with Louis to discuss his expectations for AeroDef 2017.
What do you think about the latest in composite technology? What’s standing out?
Composite technology is changing at a rapid pace as process methodologies and applications broaden across all industries. Nano-fortified polymers and composites show much promise for enhancing structural properties in both adhesives and laminate structures.
What can attendees expect to leave with after your workshop with Dr. Giles Dillingham?
Attendees can expect to learn the key methods and techniques to achieving robust and durable adhesively bonded joints in composite structures. They will have a much better understanding of both the practical and scientific factors that contribute to a successful adhesive bond.
What are some issues faced by users when attempting to bond or repair composites?
The primary issues involve controlling and verifying the integrity of the prepared composite surface, the environmental conditions that exist where the bonding takes place, the control of the adhesives so that they are not exposed to adverse conditions, and achieving a proper cure in the adhesive. …Read More
The utilization of composites increases daily in manufacturing as more ways in which to use this advanced material are discovered. Composite is a smart material that provides a lighter weight and stronger product. This advanced material is being used in many different industries, from consumer products like bicycle frames to airplanes. Yet, because the strength is held in the fibrous matrix of the material, composites must be adhesively bonded together as traditional mechanical fasteners can break the fibers and compromise the material’s integrity.
To guarantee these bonds, BTG Labs’ Surface Analyst™ precisely, accurately, and quantifiably measures the surface’s readiness to bond. BTG Labs’ experience in the field of composites reaches back to the genesis of the Surface Analyst when the USAF turned to the company to engineer a hand-held surface energy measurement device for composite bonding of aircraft. Since then, the Surface Analyst’s composite applications continue to increase and span into many more industries.
Surface Analyst Applications Examples for Bonding, Coating, Sealing, and Painting Composites
- Aerospace: satellites, aircraft, and spacecraft
- Sports and Recreation: sporting equipment
- Automotive: structural components, drive shafts, interior parts
- Medical Device: prosthetics, repair equipment, tubing
- Marine: structural frames and components, fiber glass applications
- Renewable energy: wind turbines, fuel cells, marine turbines, power transmissions, solar panels
- Construction: architectural, fiberglass, bridges, infrastructure, housing, refurbishing