FAMAT, an equally owned subsidiary of Safran Aircraft Engines and GE, based in St. Nazaire, France, is a world leading manufacturer of aircraft engine casings. FAMAT has a focus on providing solutions which are not only reliable and robust, but increasingly weight efficient and environmentally responsible.
Demanding aerospace operating conditions present continual surface finishing challenges for manufacturers. Components need to be able to withstand friction, extreme temperatures and corrosive environments while continuing to operate at optimum levels. For FAMAT, one particular challenge came in the form of casing grooves.
FAMAT approached SIFCO ASC to improve the hardness of their casing grooves through selective anodizing. Each component was made of Aluminum 2219 and assembled in the GE90 Engine. The 3-meter diameter grooves required 50 μm of Type 3 Hard Anodize for hardness and corrosion protection, but FAMAT allowed for a variation of +/-10μm per groove.
While each component could be tank anodized using extensive masking, FAMAT wanted to reduce the downtime that came with transporting each component off-site. Plus, with the ongoing production of two casings per day with two grooves each, FAMAT could not afford the downtime of three-to-four weeks per unit.
SIFCO ASC was able to successfully install a flow plating cell within the FAMAT facility. FAMAT has anodized two casings per day for the past five years with a repeatability rate of over 99%. The system has allowed FAMAT to take ownership of the entire assembly of the casing, as well as reducing downtime from three-to-four weeks to less than three hours per component. What’s more, with the flow plating system SIFCO ASC was able to reduce the variability of the thickness by 80% to +/-2μm per groove.