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Tailored Conversion Coatings for Enhanced Adhesion to Metal

The use of silane chemistries tailored to promote the adhesion of performance and appearance coatings to metal substrates are requiring new methodologies for measuring, approving, and implementing on commercial aircraft. Engineering performance, lean manufacturing, environmental and employee safety considerations are driving the commercial aerospace industry to replace long standing conversion coating materials and processes. Tailored silane chemistries such as Boegel are being considered for many of these applications. Silanes work by reacting with metal oxides providing a strong covalent bond, cross linking to form a tough barrier and have an organic functional group tailored to react with the specific resin system in the subsequent coating. Traditionally conversion coatings such as anodize and chromate conversion coating performance is validated based on meeting standalone requirements.
Journal Article

Thermal Simulation and Testing of Expanded Metal Foils Used for Lightning Protection of Composite Aircraft Structures

Since the 1960's, lightning protection of aircraft has been an important design aspect, a concern for the flying public, aircraft manufacturers and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). With the implementation of major aircraft structures fabricated from carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) materials, lightning protection has become a more complicated issue to solve. One widely used material for lightning strike protection of CFRP structures within the aerospace industry is expanded metal foil (EMF). EMF is currently used in both military and commercial passenger aircraft. An issue that has historically been an area of concern with EMF is micro cracking of paint on the composite structure which can result in corrosion of the metal foil and subsequent loss of conductivity. This paper addresses the issues of stress and displacement in the composite structure layup which contribute to paint cracking caused by aircraft thermal cycling.
Technical Paper

Unique Aspects Involved in the Robotic Painting of Commercial Aircraft Structures

The use of paint automation in commercial aircraft production is being studied to reduce process cycle times, provide a higher quality paint finish, lower emissions, and increase process consistency. The cost of new aircraft paint hangars and increasing production rates is driving a need for increased capacity in existing facilities by using new coatings and technology. Testing of robotic painting at Boeing has uncovered unique differences between aerospace and automotive applications. Paint cure times, number of paint colors, environment control, and part size considerations are some of the issues that make aerospace application of coatings more difficult than automotive applications. Understanding the unique factors involved in the robotic application of commercial aerospace coatings is important for future advancements in application technology, gains in aircraft paint hangar capacity, delivering quality coating finishes, and lowering environmental footprint.
Journal Article

Body Join Drilling for One-Up-Assembly

Over 1,200 large diameter holes must be drilled into the side-of-body join on a Boeing commercial aircraft's fuselage. The material stack-ups are multiple layers of primarily titanium and CFRP. Due to assembly constraints, the holes must be drilled for one-up-assembly (no disassembly for deburr). In order to improve productivity, reduce manual drilling processes and improve first-time hole quality, Boeing set out to automate the drilling process in their Side-of-Body join cell. Implementing an automated solution into existing assembly lines was complicated by the location of the target area, which is over 15 feet (4 meters) above the factory floor. The Side-of-Body Drilling machines (Figure 1) are capable of locating, drilling, measuring and fastening holes with less than 14 seconds devoted to non-drilling operations. Drilling capabilities provided for holes up to ¾″ in diameter through stacks over 4.5″ thick in a titanium/CFRP environment.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of the EMR for Swaging Collars on Advanced Composite Laminates

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be the most fuel-efficient airliner in the world when it enters service in 2008. To help achieve this, Boeing will utilize state-of-the-art carbon fiber for primary structures. Advanced manufacturing techniques and processes will be used in the assembly of large composite structures. Electroimpact has proposed a system utilizing the low recoil Low Voltage Electromagnetic Riveter (LVER) to drill and install bolts. A test program was initiated between Boeing Materials Process and Engineering (MP&E) and Electroimpact to validate the LVER process for swaging titanium collars on titanium pins in composite material. This paper details the results of these tests.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Thermal Management System Modeling of a More Electric Aircraft

Advancements in electrical, mechanical, and structural design onboard modern more electric aircraft have added significant stress to the thermal management systems (TMS). A thermal management system level analysis tool has been created in MATLAB/Simulink to facilitate rapid system analysis and optimization to meet the growing demands of modern aircraft. It is anticipated that the tracking of thermal energy through numerical integration will lead to more accurate predictions of worst case TMS sizing conditions. In addition, the non-proprietary nature of the tool affords users the ability to modify component models and integrate advanced conceptual designs that can be evaluated over multiple missions to determine the impact at a system level.
Technical Paper

Improved NDI Techniques for Aircraft Inspection

Through the use of an “Integrated Product Team” approach and new inspection techniques incorporating the latest in imaging capabilities and automation, the costs of some man-power intensive tasks can now be drastically reduced. Also, through the use of advanced eddy current techniques, the detectable size of cracks under flush-head fasteners can be reduced while maintaining reliable inspection. This article describes the evaluation and results obtained using eddy current technology to determine the minimum fasteners, Secondly, it describes the integrated efforts of engineers at Boeing DPD and Northwest Airlines in the successful application of MAUS eddy current scanning of the DC-10 circumferential and axial crow splices. The eddy current scanning greatly reduced the man-hour effort required for the existing radiographic inspection
Technical Paper

Enhanced Security Flight Deck Doors-Commercial Airplanes

In the wake of the 9/11/2001 hijacking events, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has emphasized the need for enhanced flight deck doors on commercial airplanes. The paper describes enhanced flight deck door, which meets the new FAA requirements for intrusion resistance and ballistic protection. In addition, the new door meets the existing requirements for rapid decompression, flight crew security and rescue.
Technical Paper

Development of a Mobile Drilling and Fastening System Based on a PKM Robotic Platform

The Boeing Company has developed a mobile robotic drilling and fastening system for use in assembly processes on the lower panel of a horizontally fixtured wing. The robotic system, referred to as Lower-panel Drilling and Fastening System (LPDFS), was initially developed as part of an initiative to minimize facilities costs by not requiring costly foundation work. It is designed to operate with a high level of autonomy, minimizing operator intervention, including that required for machine setup and tool changes. System design enables positioning the work piece at a lower ergonomic height for concurrent manual processes. In all aspects of design, the system will maintain maximum flexibility for accommodating future manufacturing changes and increases in production rate, while meeting the strict accuracy requirements characteristic of aircraft manufacturing.
Technical Paper

Drilling Mixed Stack Materials for the BOEING 787

The new combinations such as composites and titanium that are being used on today's new airplanes are proving to be very challenging when drilling holes during manufacturing and assembly operations. Gone are the days of hand drilling with high speed steel drills through soft aluminum structure, after which aluminum rivets would be swaged into those holes with very generous tolerances. The drilling processes today need to use cutter materials hard enough and tough enough to cut through hard metals such as titanium, yet be sharp enough to resistant abrasion and maintain size when drilling through composites. There is a constant search for better cutters and drills that can drill a greater number of holes. The cost of materials used in today's aircraft is much higher. The cutting tools are more expensive and the hole tolerances are much tighter.