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Journal Article

Advancements of Superplastic Forming and Diffusion Bonding of Titanium Alloys for Heat Critical Aerospace Applications

2020-03-10
2020-01-0033
Titanium’s high strength-to-weight ratio and corrosion resistance makes it ideal for many aerospace applications, especially in heat critical zones. Superplastic Forming (SPF) can be used to form titanium into near-net, complex shapes without springback. The process uses a machined die where inert gas is applied uniformly to the metal sheet, forming the part into the die cavity. Standard titanium alpha-beta alloys, such as 6Al-4V, form at temperatures between 900 and 925°C (1650-1700°F). Recent efforts have demonstrated alloys that form at lower temperatures ranging between 760 and 790°C (1400-1450°F). Lowering the forming temperature reduces the amount of alpha case that forms on the part, which must be removed. This provides an opportunity of starting with a lower gauge material. Lower forming temperatures also limit the amount of oxidation and wear on the tool and increase the life of certain press components, such as heaters and platens.
Technical Paper

777X Control Surface Assembly Using Advanced Robotic Automation

2017-09-19
2017-01-2092
Fabrication and assembly of the majority of control surfaces for Boeing’s 777X airplane is completed at the Boeing Defense, Space and Security (BDS) site in St. Louis, Missouri. The former 777 airplane has been revamped to compete with affordability goals and contentious markets requiring cost-effective production technologies with high maturity and reliability. With tens of thousands of fasteners per shipset, the tasks of drilling, countersinking, hole inspection, and temporary fastener installation are automated. Additionally and wherever possible, blueprint fasteners are automatically installed. Initial production is supported by four (4) Electroimpact robotic systems embedded into a pulse-line production system requiring strategic processing and safeguarding solutions to manage several key layout, build and product flow constraints.
Journal Article

Integrated Ball-Screw Based Upset Process for Index Head Rivets Used in Wing Panel Assembly

2015-09-15
2015-01-2491
A new high speed forming process for fatigue rated index head rivets used in wing panel assembly using ball-screw based servo squeeze actuation has been developed. The new process is achieved using a combination of force and position control and is capable of forming to 40,000 lbs at rates of up to 200,000 lbs/second whilst holding the part location to within +/− 10 thousandths of an inch. Multi-axis riveting machines often have positioning axes that are also used for fastener upset. It is often the case that while a CNC is used for positioning control, another secondary controller is used to perform the fastener upset. In the new process, it has been possible to combine the control of the upset process with the machine CNC, thus eliminating any separate controllers. The fastener upset force profile is controlled throughout the forming of the rivet by using a closed loop force control system that has a load cell mounted directly behind the stringer side forming tool.
Technical Paper

Automated Model Evaluation and Verification of Aircraft Components

2010-11-02
2010-01-1806
The trend of moving towards model-based design and analysis of new and upgraded aircraft platforms requires integrated component and subsystem models. To support integrated system trades and design studies, these models must satisfy modeling and performance guidelines regarding interfaces, implementation, verification, and validation. As part of the Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) Integrated Vehicle and Energy Technology (INVENT) Program, standardized modeling and performance guidelines have been established and documented in the Modeling Requirement and Implementation Plan (MRIP). Although these guidelines address interfaces and suggested implementation approaches, system integration challenges remain with respect to computational stability and predicted performance over the entire operating region for a given component. This paper discusses standardized model evaluation tools aimed to address these challenges at a component/subsystem level prior to system integration.
Journal Article

Self-Configuring Hybrid Duct System and Attachment Technologies for Environmental Control Systems

2009-11-10
2009-01-3277
Environmental Control Systems (ECS) ducts on airplanes are primarily fabricated from aluminum or thermoset composites, depending on temperature and pressure requirements. It is imperative to fabricate lightweight, cost effective, durable, and repairable systems with minimal tooling. It is also important that the duct systems are easy to assemble even with alignment issues resulting from structural variations, tolerance accumulation, variation from thermal expansion of different materials, and inherent duct stiffness. These requirements create an opportunity and need for a technology that can address all of these issues, while increasing performance at the same time. This report provides a background on current ECS ducting systems.
Technical Paper

Development and Implementation of Sol-Gel Coatings for Aerospace Applications

2009-11-10
2009-01-3208
A family of water-based sol-gel coatings has been developed as an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional aerospace finishing materials and processes. The sol-gel hybrid network is based on a reactive mixture of an organo-functionalized silane with a stabilized zirconium complex. Thin films of the material self-assemble on metal surfaces, resulting in a gradient coating that provides durable adhesion for paints, adhesives, and sealants. Use of the novel coating as a surface pretreatment for the exterior of commercial aircraft has enabled environmental, health, and safety benefits due to elimination of hexavalent chromium, and flight test and early fleet survey data support the laboratory observations that the sol gel coating reduces the occurrence of “rivet rash” adhesion failures. Modifications of the basic inorganic/organic hybrid network have yielded multifunctional coatings with promise for applications such as corrosion control and oxidation protection.
Technical Paper

Efficient Assembly Integration and Test (EAIT) Moves Theory to Practice at a System Level to Effect Lean Outcomes on the Shop Floor

2009-11-10
2009-01-3169
This paper will describe the Efficient Assembly Integration and Test (EAIT) system level project operated as a partnership among Boeing business units, universities, and suppliers. The focus is on the successful implementation and sharing of technology solutions to develop a model based, multi-product pulsed line factory of the future. The EAIT philosophy presented in this paper focuses on a collaborative environment that is tightly woven with the Lean Initiatives at Boeing's satellite development center. The prototype is comprised of a platform that includes a wireless instrumentation system, rapid bonding materials and virtual test of guidance hardware there are examples of collaborative development in collaboration with suppliers. Wireless tools and information systems are also being developed across the Boeing Company. Virtual reality development will include university partners in the US and India.
Technical Paper

Integrated Electrical System Testing and Modeling for Risk Mitigation

2008-11-11
2008-01-2897
International Space Station (ISS) Payload Engineering Integration (PEI) organization adopted the advanced computation and simulation technology to develop integrated electrical system models based on the test data of various sub-units. This system model was used end-to-end to mitigate system risk for the integrated Space Shuttle Pre-launch and Landing configurations. The Space Shuttle carries the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), a pressurize transportation carrier, and the Laboratory Freezer for ISS, a freezer rack for storage and transport of science experiments from/to the ISS, is carried inside the MPLM. An end-to-end electrical system model for Space Shuttle Pre-Launch and Landing configurations, including the MPLM and Freezer, provided vital information for integrated electrical testing and to assess Mission success. The Pre-Launch and Landing configurations have different power supplies and cables to provide the power for the MPLM and the Freezer.
Journal Article

Development of Orbital Drilling for the Boeing 787

2008-09-16
2008-01-2317
The new materials and material combinations such as composites and titanium combinations used on today's new airplanes are proving to be very challenging when drilling holes during manufacturing and assembly operations. Orbital hole drilling technology has shown a great deal of promise for generating burr free, high quality holes in hard metals and in composite materials. This paper will show some of the orbital drilling development work Boeing is doing with Novator to overcome the obstacles of drilling holes in a combination of both hard metals and composites. The paper will include a new portable orbital drilling system designed for these challenging applications as well as some test results achieved with this system.
Journal Article

Shielding Effectiveness of Sodium Alanate and Ammonia Borane for Galactic Cosmic Ray and Solar Energetic Particle Event Environments

2008-06-29
2008-01-2163
Estimates of the effectiveness of the high-hydrogen containing materials, sodium alanate and ammonia borane, are made by calculating dose and dose equivalent for the 1977 solar minimum and 1970 solar maximum galactic cosmic ray spectra and for the large solar particle event spectra from the space era event of August 1972 and comparing their shielding effectiveness with that of polyethylene.
Journal Article

A Fresh Look at Radiation Exposures from Major Solar Proton Events

2008-06-29
2008-01-2164
Solar proton events (SPEs) represent the single-most significant source of acute radiation exposure during space missions. Historically, an exponential in rigidity (particle momentum) fit has been used to express the SPE energy spectrum using GOES data up to 100 MeV. More recently, researchers have found that a Weibull fit better represents the energy spectrum up to 1000 MeV (1 GeV). In addition, the availability of SPE data extending up to several GeV has been incorporated in analyses to obtain a more complete and accurate energy spectrum representation. In this paper we discuss the major SPEs that have occurred over the past five solar cycles (~50+ years) in detail - in particular, Aug 1972 and Sept & Oct 1989 SPEs. Using a high-energy particle transport/dose code, radiation exposure estimates are presented for various thicknesses of aluminum. The effects on humans and spacecraft systems are also discussed in detail.
Technical Paper

Universal Splice Machine

2007-09-17
2007-01-3782
There is an increasing demand in the aerospace industry for automated machinery that is portable, flexible and light. This paper will focus on a joint project between BROETJE-Automation and Boeing called the Universal Splice Machine (USM). The USM is a portable, flexible and lightweight automated drilling and fastening machine for longitudinal splices. The USM is the first machine of its kind that has the ability not only to drill holes without the need to deburr, (burrless drilling) but also to insert fasteners. The Multi Function End Effector (MFEE) runs on a rail system that is mounted directly on the fuselage using a vacuum cup system. Clamp up is achieved through the use of an advanced electromagnet. A control cart follows along next to the fuselage and includes an Automated Fastener Feeding System. This paper will show how this new advancement has the capabilities to fill gaps in aircraft production that automation has never reached before.
Technical Paper

International Space Station (ISS) Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Desiccant/Adsorbent Bed (DAB) Orbital Replacement Unit (ORU) Redesign

2007-07-09
2007-01-3181
The Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) is a part of the International Space Station (ISS) Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) system. The CDRA provides carbon dioxide (CO2) removal from the ISS on-orbit modules. Currently, the CDRA is the secondary removal system on the ISS, with the primary system being the Russian Vozdukh. Within the CDRA are two Desiccant/Adsorbent Beds (DAB), which perform the carbon dioxide removal function. The DAB adsorbent containment approach required improvements with respect to adsorbent containment. These improvements were implemented through a redesign program and have been implemented on units on the ground and returning from orbit. This paper presents a DAB design modification implementation description, a hardware performance comparison between the unmodified and modified DAB configurations, and a description of the modified DAB hardware implementation into the on-orbit CDRA.
Technical Paper

Development of Metal-Matrix Nano-Composite Materials for Advanced Aerospace Fastener Technology

2006-09-12
2006-01-3154
This paper presents the results of development efforts relating to an advanced material processing technique, namely cryogenic milling, and its application to the processing of Al-7.5wt%Mg-0.2wt%N-20vol%SiC and Al 8wt%Ti-2wt%Ni nano-composite materials suitable for use in aerospace fastener applications. The effects of cryogenic milling in the material production are investigated via microstructural analysis. The advantages of cryogenic milling in the material production are presented with powder morphology and handling characteristics, and microstructural and nanostructural aspects. The resulting, very homogeneous material is discussed along with resulting mechanical properties, which are obtained through tension tests.
Technical Paper

Microbial Characterization of Internal Active Thermal Control System (IATCS) Hardware Surfaces after Five Years of Operation in the International Space Station

2006-07-17
2006-01-2157
A flex hose assembly containing aqueous coolant from the International Space Station (ISS) Internal Active Thermal Control System (IATCS) consisting of a 2 foot section of Teflon hose and quick disconnects (QDs) and a Special Performance Checkout Unit (SPCU) heat exchanger containing separate channels of IATCS coolant and iodinated water used to cool spacesuits and Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs) were returned for destructive analyses on Shuttle return to flight mission STS-114. The original aqueous IATCS coolant used in Node 1, the Laboratory Module, and the Airlock consisted of water, borate (pH buffer), phosphate (corrosion control), and silver sulfate (microbiological control) at a pH of 9.5 ± 0.5.
Technical Paper

ISS Internal Active Thermal Control System (IATCS) Coolant Remediation Project - 2006 Update

2006-07-17
2006-01-2161
The IATCS coolant has experienced a number of anomalies in the time since the US Lab was first activated on Flight 5A in February 2001. These have included: 1) a decrease in coolant pH, 2) increases in inorganic carbon, 3) a reduction in phosphate concentration, 4) an increase in dissolved nickel and precipitation of nickel salts, and 5) increases in microbial concentration. These anomalies represent some risk to the system, have been implicated in some hardware failures and are suspect in others. The ISS program has conducted extensive investigations of the causes and effects of these anomalies and has developed a comprehensive program to remediate the coolant chemistry of the on-orbit system as well as provide a robust and compatible coolant solution for the hardware yet to be delivered.
Technical Paper

International Space Station Nitrogen System Performance

2006-07-17
2006-01-2091
The Nitrogen System aboard the International Space Station (Station) continues to maintain Station total pressure and support several ongoing scientific and medical tasks. This paper addresses elevated leakage in the Nitrogen System, behavior during events such as nitrogen usage in other parts of the Station, and describes behavioral changes of the nitrogen Regulator/Relief Valve (regulator) since the activation of the Nitrogen System in 2001.
Technical Paper

Analysis to Characterize Fresh vs. Aged Shuttle Orbiter Lithium Hydroxide Performance

2006-07-17
2006-01-2048
A recent endeavor has been undertaken to understand the performance of Shuttle Orbiter lithium hydroxide (LiOH) canisters used during STS-114. During this mission, the crew relied on both fresh LiOH and aged LiOH stored on the International Space Station (ISS). Due to the Space Shuttle being grounded after the Columbia accident, the canisters stored on ISS had passed the certified two-year shelf life and were considered expired. The focus of the analysis was to determine the performance of expired LiOH in relation to fresh LiOH and the accuracy of previous predictions1 regarding the performance of expired LiOH. Understanding the performance of expired LiOH is crucial in enabling the extension of the useful life of LiOH canisters. Extending the shelf life has ramifications not only in the current Shuttle program, but in regard to future exploration missions fulfilling the Vision for Space Exploration as well.
Technical Paper

Machining-Induced Residual Stress and Distortion

2005-10-03
2005-01-3317
Distortion and buckling of aluminum aerospace components can be caused by machining-induced residual stress or by residual stress induced earlier in material processing. This stress is characterized through layer removal experiments and measurements of surface location. This stress is correlated to two machining process parameters, which can be changed, in order to control distortion and buckling of machined metallic components. Experiments are presented which compare distortion of thin machined parts to distortion of chemically milled parts in order to uncouple material bulk stress from machining-induced stress.
Technical Paper

Electromagnetic Forming of Various Aircraft Components

2005-10-03
2005-01-3307
Electromagnetic forming (EMF) technology has been used lately for the joining and assembly of axisymmetric parts in the aerospace and automotive industries. A few case studies of compressive-type joining processes applied on both aluminum and titanium or stainless tubes for aerospace applications are presented. In the first case study, tests were conducted using 2024-T3 drawn tubes joined with a steel end fitting to form a torque tube using different forming variables including: the fitting geometry, material formability and forming power (KJ). The power setting and the fitting geometry were optimized to improve the fatigue life, torque off, and the axial load capability of the torque tube joints to drive the leading and trailing edge high-lift devices.
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