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Aeroplanes face harsh environmental conditions every day which makes efficient and effective aircraft maintenance and repair key to the success of industry. Conditions such as atmospheric moisture, high altitude, and temperature changes can all cause corrosion more quickly. This can result in structural damage, reduce the performance of critical components, and compromise safety. This is where corrosion protection comes in.
But, with aircrafts structure being complex and made of many different materials, they are difficult to inspect and maintain. This makes detecting and addressing corrosion quickly a challenge, leading to potential safety issues. Plus, the costs of this can add up, increasing the expenses already faced by aircraft manufactures of material maintenance. This is why more companies are turning to selective electroplating for corrosion protection.
Making component coating more precise and efficient
Selective plating is a process where a metal coating is applied just to a specific area of a component, unlike tank plating where the whole part is coated. Masking materials are used to cover any areas of the component that don’t need plating, and then the unmasked areas are plated using electroplating.
For aircraft maintenance this is particularly beneficial, as it can be used to repair and refurbish components that are otherwise difficult, costly, or impossible to replace. This could include components that are no longer manufactured.
By using selective plating, the aerospace industry can extend the life of critical parts, reduce maintenance costs, and improve the overall reliability. It can also be used to enhance the performance of components by applying a coating that is more resistant to wear and corrosion.
Reducing manufacturing downtime
Manufacturing downtime is a problem for any business, but it’s particularly severe for businesses that operate in highly competitive markets like aerospace. This is because downtime can result in a loss of production capacity, revenue and result in production delays that could lead to missed delivery deadlines, lost sales, and dissatisfied customers.
This is where manufacturers can benefit from implementing robust maintenance procedures, adopt predictive maintenance technologies and continuously look for ways to optimize processes and minimize unplanned downtime.
This is where selective plating really comes into its own for aircraft repair as it can help restore aircraft components such as landing gear, flap tracks, and engine parts. It can also improve engine performance, by applying coatings that are more resistant to wear and corrosion.
How SIFCO ASC’s customized system can help aircraft maintenance
Our Advanced Solution Control System (ASCS) by SIFCO ASC is an innovative electroplating technology that has cutting-edge dripless tooling. This means that all chemical solutions used in the process are recycled back into the system at the surface of the workpiece, eliminating the need for catch trays.
This tooling also allows for the component to be plated in any orientation – flat, vertical, or even above the aircraft repair technician’s head. This creates a creates a cleaner and more environmentally friendly working environment while also enhancing safety measures.
The technology is also portable and can be integrated into a production line. This means it can:
- Enhance throughput and productivity
- Reduce ergonomic risk
- Offer significant safety benefits for operators and employees
To learn more about selective electroplating in the aerospace industry, why not download our aerospace whitepaper.
With extreme oil and gas supply shortages looming ever closer and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve of the United States reaching its lowest level in 38 years, oil and gas equipment needs to run as smoothly as possible.
But, when two stainless steel parts of a threaded coupling are in direct contact with one another it causes constant friction. This can result in the galling of the metal, where the threads seize or abrade. In turn this can cause the joint elements to jam or damage the threads themselves.
For parts such as Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTGs), this threatens leaks and oil blowouts and can often halt the production processes. With oil and gas supplies as low as they are, the economic effects of this downtime could be more than simply getting the parts replaced or repaired. This is where copper selective plating comes in.
How Copper Plating Steel Can Help the Oil and Gas Industry
Newly manufactured stainless-steel couplings that are at risk of galling and seizing need a thin layer of copper coated onto their threads using electroplating. These threaded connections, often called premium threaded connections, are an attempt to improve the American Petroleum Institute’s standards for threaded pipes and couplings used in OCTGs.
These oil and gas pipes can be very large in size and the threads that need to be plated are at the ends of the pipe. This means, standard tank plating is impractical and usually impossible. But because of their fragile nature and risk of compromise, there is no margin for error for parts used in the oil and gas industry. This is where selective plating comes in.
Selective plating is a portable electroplating method used to enhance, repair, and refurbish localized areas on manufactured components, allowing for the electrolytic coating of surfaces without an electroplating tank.
Because of the importance of this, the oil and gas industry has been looking at ways to ensure consistency across the copper plating, which includes standardising the procedures around training and certification.
Ensuring Consistency in Copper Plating Training and Certification
Two of the leading oil field thread designers VAM and Tenaris have recently introduced programs to ensure the standards of copper brush or selective plating across the industry. These programs are designed to establish a standard procedure for the qualification, evaluation, and acceptance of copper selective plating.
As part of this, operators now need to receive formal and specialized training and certification from an approved selective brush plating vendor to apply selective copper plating to the premium threaded connections provided by VAM and Tenaris.
At SIFCO ASC, we have a selective plating certification Copper Select® that has been given the approved vendor status by both licensors. This means we can train and qualify operators from around the globe in selective plating methods in line with the VAM and Tenaris specifications.
It’s not just copper plating that we can train your operators on, we have a wide range of courses including a Basic Training Course and a Cadmium/Zinc Nickel Certification Training Course. All these training courses are available worldwide either at our headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio or on-site at a location of your choice.
Passing SIFCO ASC’s Copper Select® Certification involves the completion of a weeklong training course and submitting qualification samples for approval. Upon completing the process, the licensee will be allowed to selectively plate copper onto Premium Threaded Connections using the technique taught as part of the training course. To ensure standards of copper plating remain consistent, qualified licensees will be audited annually.
How and Why to Get Your Operators Qualified to Plate with Copper
If you’re interested in receiving the Copper Select® Certification you will need to enter a three-year licensing agreement with SIFCO ASC, purchase a basic set of equipment tailored to plating threaded connections, and consistently monitor and measure the results to make sure that the standards expected within the certification are met.
To ensure the highest quality standards are met, your operators will need to recertify before the end of the three-year period. The accreditation is also location-based, meaning that organizations with multiple locations, need to acquire the Copper Select® Certification for each site.
If your operators haven’t attained the Copper Select® Certification or any other VAM and Tenaris-approved training, then they can’t work on the premium threaded connections provided by either licensor. This can cause production to grind to a halt. Completing the Copper Select® Certification ensures the highest standards of selective copper plating for parts used in the oil and gas industry. This is particularly important at a time when there is increased pressure for this industry to succeed.
Find out more about our Copper Select® certification or our other training courses today.
Between credit and debit card issuers to the automotive and technology sectors, many industries are being affected by a global semiconductor shortage. This was partially down to a demand spike in the pandemic as well as supply-chain issues.
According to the American Machinist “The pandemic highlighted how semiconductor suppliers were ill-prepared for shocks, as some manufacturers faced thousands of product shortages per day”.
With chip factories being expensive to build and labor-extensive to operate, solving these challenges won’t be an easy task. In fact, it takes an estimated minimum of $10 billion to build a new chip manufacturing plant. And, that doesn’t include the workforce needed to operate it. Intel, for example, plans to build two semiconductor factories in Ohio, but these will need approximately 7,000 workers. This is particularly difficult with an ongoing workforce and talent shortage.
But this is where new technologies, processes, and investments can help companies work towards a solution.
Investments to tackle semiconductor shortages
The challenge facing semiconductor manufacturing has led to the US Government’s CHIPS and Science Act to boost American semiconductor research, development, and production.
According to a recent statement from the White House: “America invented the semiconductor, but today produces about 10% of the world’s supply – and none of the most advanced chips. Instead, we rely on East Asia for 75 percent of global production. The CHIPS and Science Act will unlock hundreds of billions more in private sector semiconductor investment across the country, including production essential to national defense and critical sectors.”
Following this act passing, companies across the semiconductor manufacturing sector announced nearly $50 billion in additional investments.
Going beyond shortages: four challenges facing semiconductor manufacturing
As well as the shortages, the semiconductor sector still faces several challenges that affect the reliability and durability of semiconductors. Here are the four top challenges semiconductor manufacturers need to overcome…
- Corrosion: This can occur because of exposure to moisture and other environmental factors. Corrosion can cause many problems including reduced performance, device failure and increased maintenance costs.
- Miniaturizations: As the demand for smaller and more complex devices increases, the size of semiconductors continues to shrink. This makes it more difficult to protect them from environmental factors like moisture, which can cause corrosion and other damage.
- Material compatibility: Semiconductors are made from a variety of materials, each with unique properties and characteristics. The challenge is to find a coating material that is compatible with the semiconductor material and provides adequate protection against corrosion.
- Cost: The semiconductor industry is highly competitive, and cost is always a concern. That’s why manufacturers must seek cost-effective solutions for corrosion protection without sacrificing quality.
Selective plating: an effective solution for corrosion protection
Selective plating is an electroplating technique that is used to deposit a thin layer of metal on a specific area of a substrate to provide corrosion protection for semiconductor components. One of the benefits of selective plating is that it can be used only on the areas that need protection, helping to reduce material usage and minimize the impact on the device’s electrical properties.
It can also be used with a variety of metal coating materials, including gold, silver, and nickel. This makes it possible to choose a coating material that is compatible with the component’s base material and provides adequate protection against corrosion.
Plus, selective plating is a cost-effective solution for corrosion protection. This is because the technique is relatively simple and can be performed on-site with standard electroplating equipment. This makes it possible to integrate selective plating into existing production processes without significant additional investment.
How SIFCO ASC can help the semiconductor industry
At SIFCO ASC, we have the knowledge and expertise to help manufacturers of aluminum chemical vapor deposition (CVD) tooling which requires Selective Nickel Plating (SNP).
This tooling gets worn out with use and is replaced by the semiconductor manufacturers. Research into the possible recoating of tooling is being investigated as an option to prolong the life of the equipment and avoid any unnecessary repair costs or downtime.
When it comes to the steel enclosures used in CVD processing equipment, manufacturers require selective plating of zinc with the main purpose of create ground area for electrical panel cabinets.
By working with SIFCO you can get help with:
- Concept and design: Our R&D and Engineering expertise can help you find the right solution for your application.
- Production: In this phase, our technical support team and contract service technicians can provide the skill and labor to carry out the most demanding applications. We also have certified trainers that can offer a hands-on experience for our customers so that they can plate their equipment on site without disruption to their production. Technicians will learn how to troubleshoot plating applications and accurately plate numerous deposits.
- Procurement and logistics: To make sure your solutions, supplies and equipment are readily available when and where they are needed, our team is on hand throughout the process.
For more information about how the SIFCO Process® and selective plating can help your semiconductor business, contact our team today.
当一辆汽车被送去维修时，变速箱被错误地拆卸，导致表面出现裂缝和损坏。这家公司本可以使用点焊来修复和填充这些裂缝，但出现额外裂缝和热变形的风险太高了。由于熟悉刷镀，他们联系了位于印度尼西亚雅加达的 SIFCO ASC 合作伙伴 PT Rep Sal Indo，以确定选择性电镀的 SIFCO Process® 是否是一种选择。
选择性电镀，或众所周知的刷镀，是一种无需使用浸没槽即可对局部区域进行电镀的便携式方法。它的便携性使得组件维修和 OEM 增强功能可以在原位进行，并且只需最少的掩蔽和拆卸。该过程也比槽镀快 60 倍，允许在一个工作班次内完成操作。
变速箱上的维修区域为 356 x 620 毫米（14 x 24.5 英寸），需要用铜 2050 填充缺陷区域，并用镍 2080 盖帽以提高耐磨性。首先，PT Rep Sal Indo 对表面进行预磨以去除任何高点。然后通过激光焊接填充裂缝，然后涂上铜面漆。然后将铜修整，以确保它在整个表面上都是平坦的。最后，该区域被镍覆盖。
因此，这家煤矿公司联系了位于印度尼西亚雅加达的 SIFCO ASC 合作伙伴 PT Rep Sal Indo，专门从事选择性电镀的 SIFCO Process®。 SIFCO Process® 是一种便携式电镀局部区域的方法，无需使用浸没槽。手持式阳极的使用使技术人员可以遮盖要电镀的特定区域，并在原位施加沉积物，而拆卸最少。差速器轴承座就是这种情况。通过使用选择性电镀，修复能够在安装齿轮的情况下完成，完全防止错位的风险。 PT Rep Sal Indo 完全修复了 0.025 毫米以内的 2 个内径——满足客户要求的规格并显着减少了潜在的停机时间。
因此，当轮毂总成的 18 个螺栓孔需要调整尺寸时，只有两种选择——电镀或焊接和机加工。然而，通过焊接和机械加工进行堆积需要复杂的设备、大量的停机时间以及潜在的热变形和加工错误。另一方面，电镀没有热变形的风险，可以按尺寸电镀。但是，由于需要掩蔽以保护组件的其余部分，因此无法选择槽镀，因此他们决定联系 P.T.代表 Sal Indo，印度尼西亚雅加达的 SIFCO ASC 合作伙伴，专门研究选择性电镀的 SIFCO Process®。
选择性电镀是一种便携式电镀方法，用于在零件的局部区域施加电镀沉积物和阳极氧化涂层，而无需使用浸没槽。通过使用 SIFCO Process®，P.T. Rep Sal Indo 能够恢复 18 个螺栓孔的尺寸，首先用铜 2050 建立该区域，然后用镍 5644 盖住孔以提高耐磨性。孔的总内部尺寸镀在所需厚度的 0.02mm 以内。
矿业公司将继续面临机械磨损的日常挑战，因此迫使他们通过重建和再制造关键部件来降低成本。通过使用 SIFCO Process®，这些组件可以恢复到其 OEM 标准，具有出色的附着力和最短的停机时间——帮助采矿公司朝着更连续、更具成本效益和可持续的运营迈进。
选择性电镀 v 水槽电镀
最常见的电镀方法是槽镀，将组件浸入所需溶液的浴槽中。 缺点是组件需要从设备中取出，运送给供应商，适当遮盖，然后重新包装并运回，所有这些都增加了成本和时间。 相比之下，选择性电镀正是如此——它允许用户使用通常称为刷子的手持工具将溶液涂抹在特定区域。 由于采用了轻巧的电源组和便携式设备，因此设备非常少，并且可以在现场、工作车间或什至就地使用遮罩进行维修。
选择性电镀提供轻松、快速和便利，简直是一触即发。 不仅镀层的速度通常比槽镀快 30 到 60 倍，而且这一切都在室温下进行，消除了任何变形或应力的可能性。
选择性电镀是采矿业经认可的工艺，已广泛用于该行业的广泛应用。 尽管有许多工艺，但它们都使用各种合金（包括铜、镍、镍钨和钴）来修复组件并将其恢复到原始 OEM 尺寸和标准。
一个典型案例涉及一家国际知名的大型露天采矿设备制造商。 他们发现，所有气缸盖故障中有 35% 是由微动引起的，因此需要一种具有成本效益的替代方法来更换它们。 经过初步试验，选择了两种方法进行更深入的研究——焊接和选择性刷镀。 两者都根据标准进行评估，例如成本、时间和涂层的整体质量。
结果表明，虽然焊接是一种低成本的解决方案，但沉积物的质量不适合应用，并且还可能受到潜在的破坏性热变形——这是该过程的必然结果。 相比之下，刷镀 – 使用镍来恢复尺寸并增加耐磨性 – 提供了耐用和高质量的镀层，没有热变形的风险。 它的申请速度也快了 16%，而且只是稍微贵了一点。
出于这些原因，SIFCO Process® 被采用作为其抢救气缸盖的首选方法，带来的主要优势包括减少材料使用、减少浪费和降低能耗。 与新零件或更换零件的成本相比，这每年可节省约 95,000 美元。
采矿业在部件磨损和将运营成本降至最低方面一直面临严峻挑战。 现在，该行业也受到越来越多的审查，以减少其短期和长期的碳影响。 通过在原地快速有效地按照更高标准重新制造原始组件，选择性电镀可以帮助矿业公司朝着更连续、更具成本效益和可持续的运营迈出重要一步。
FAMAT 是 Safran Aircraft Engines 和 GE 的同等拥有的子公司，总部位于法国圣纳泽尔，是世界领先的飞机发动机外壳制造商。 FAMAT 专注于提供不仅可靠、坚固、而且重量效率越来越高且对环境负责的解决方案。
苛刻的航空航天运行条件为制造商带来了持续的表面精加工挑战。 组件需要能够承受摩擦、极端温度和腐蚀性环境，同时继续以最佳水平运行。 对于 FAMAT，一个特殊的挑战来自于套管凹槽的形式。
FAMAT 与 SIFCO ASC 接洽，通过选择性阳极氧化提高其套管凹槽的硬度。 每个组件均由铝 2219 制成，并组装在 GE90 发动机中。 直径为 3 米的凹槽需要 50 μm 的 3 型硬质阳极氧化来实现硬度和腐蚀保护，但 FAMAT 允许每个凹槽 +/-10μm 的变化。
虽然每个组件都可以使用广泛的掩膜进行槽阳极氧化，但 FAMAT 希望减少将每个组件运送到场外所带来的停机时间。 此外，由于每天持续生产两个套管，每个套管有两个凹槽，FAMAT 无法承受每个单元 3 到 4 周的停机时间。
SIFCO ASC 能够在 FAMAT 设施内成功安装流式电镀槽。 在过去的五年中，FAMAT 每天对两个外壳进行阳极氧化处理，重复率超过 99%。 该系统使 FAMAT 能够掌控整个外壳组装，并将每个部件的停机时间从三到四个星期减少到不到三小时。 更重要的是，借助流镀系统，SIFCO ASC 能够将厚度的可变性降低 80%，达到每个凹槽的 +/-2μm。
热交换器用于各个行业，将热量从一种流体传递到另一种流体。 通常，这些流体对金属具有腐蚀性，因此保护组件免受电偶化学损坏非常重要。 在这个特殊的应用中，热交换器由多种钢制成，包括碳钢、铬镍铁合金包层和不锈钢——增加了它们发生电偶腐蚀的风险。
客户要求热交换器的每个孔都镀有 AeroNikl® 250 以防腐蚀。 每个孔的尺寸为 19.2 毫米 x 252.5 毫米（0.75 英寸 x 12 英寸），每个换热器有 689 个孔，总共有四个换热器。 由于要满足严格的规范，使用传统的刷镀技术不可能获得所需的镍厚度。 客户想在现场对零件进行电镀，这意味着槽镀也不适合。
凭借 SIFCO Process® 的便携性，SIFCO ASC 能够将其封装的电镀系统带到客户的工厂，以在现场电镀钻孔。 该过程需要专用工具，该工具旨在锁定在每个孔上。 在工具锁定和密封的情况下，整个过程可以在不更换电极的情况下完成。 液压回路由交替连接到电解液和冲洗水储存装置的离心泵供应。 安装到位后，SIFCO ASC 能够以每小时 100 微米（0.0004 英寸）的厚度电镀两个孔，无需客户拆卸或停止使用热交换器。
开发和制造尖端位置传感器技术的世界领先者向 SIFCO ASC 寻求帮助，为其谐振器镀金。
他们的高性能加速度计、陀螺仪和其他系统旨在满足客户对精确制导、稳定、导航和定向应用的严格要求。 为了满足规范并保持公司要求的可重复性和可追溯性，SIFCO ASC 知道封装流镀是唯一可行的解决方案。
镀金是一种昂贵的应用。 出于这个原因，电镀通常应用于组件的特定区域。 但是，当组件直径小于 1 英寸且有 8 个不需要电镀的孔时，掩蔽工艺就成为一项劳动密集型挑战——降低产量并影响工艺效率。
采用封装电镀，在试验鉴定阶段，SIFCO ASC 能够在两小时内完成 17 个谐振器，相当于每班 63 个零件，可重复性为 100%。 一旦产量增加，预计该产出率能够更高。 也观察到均匀分布，并且在热冲击后没有粘附损失。 最重要的是，一旦所有参数都固定下来，技术人员每次都会收到相同的结果。