Browse Publications Technical Papers 2010-01-1845

Removal of Ergo-Tech ® Blind Bolt with Hand Electrical Discharge Removal Tool 2010-01-1845

A new method of removing Ergo-Tech® blind bolts, which utilizes a handheld electrical discharge process, is evaluated. Currently, the most common method of removing blind fasteners involves drilling the head of the fasteners to a point where the shank can be punched out. In some situations, when the back side of the blind fastener is accessible, this portion can be ground or machined off. Both approaches are time consuming, messy, and unsafe for technicians. There is also a high probability of damage to the surrounding structure associated with the current processes. Additionally, machining chips which are difficult to contain can create foreign object damage (FOD).
A new fastener removal system which utilizes the principle of electrical discharge machining is evaluated. The system is portable, and includes a handheld gun which is approximately the size of a typical fastener installation tool. This paper covers the evaluation of this approach for removing the Ergo-Tech® blind fastener. The electrical discharge method involves removing a portion of the head of the Ergo-Tech® fastener in a small contained environment.
Numerous benefits are found in using an electrical discharge handheld machine for removal. Ergo-Tech® fasteners can be removed in seconds instead of minutes. The removal process is silent, FOD free, and requires minimal force to be applied by the technician. And, the entire removal system, which is approximately the size of a travel suitcase, is lightweight and portable. All liquids and debris created by the removal process are contained within the system, and collected within the internal filtration system for simple operation. This system is promising for original equipment manufacturing facilities, maintenance repair and overhaul locations, or operating bases.


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