CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited
'Vector' machine forms integral part of aeroengine plasma spray line
"Vector" machine forms integral part of aeroengine plasma spray line
Keywords Blasting, Etching, Vacu-Blast
A "Vector 200P" surface etching machine one of the latest generation of abrasive blasting cabinet machines from USF Vacu-Blast has been installed at the Nantgarw, South Wales, facility of General Electric Aircraft Engine Services (GEAES) (Plate 3).
Plate 3 The "Vector 200P" surface etching machine
The pressure-fed machine, which has a 2m × 2m × 2m work envelope, was installed as an integral part of a new plasma spray line, for etching the surfaces of a wide variety of aeroengine components engine casings and combustion chambers, for example to ensure the optimum adhesion of the special metallic or ceramic wear-resistant surface coatings. These are applied at temperatures of up to 16,000ºC by a Sulzer Metco plasma spray system.
Aluminium oxide blast media is used for the etching process, which is carried out manually using a single blast nozzle. The components are positioned on a variable speed 1,400mm diameter "swing-in" powered turntable. Two separate blast generator/reclaimers and blast hose/nozzle assemblies are incorporated to facilitate fast changeover between two different grades of aluminium oxide 46 mesh or 20 mesh which are selected according to the required surface roughness.
The Vector cabinet also features a Vacu-Blast "Waffle-Floor". This comprises a series of "multi-hoppers" connected to a common outlet duct through which spent abrasive, dust and debris is conveyed during the etching process by a continuous downdraught of pressurised air. The design improves operator visibility and ensures the efficient removal of spent abrasive, dust and debris to the machine's reclaimer/dust collector unit, which separates out reusable media for recycling to the blast nozzle. Use of the Waffle-Floor also avoids the need to pre-load the floor recovery systems with non-recoverable blast media a disadvantage of conventional floor recovery systems.
The machine has also been designed for the retro-fitting of an automatic nozzle manipulator and associated "Vacutrol II" programmable process control system.
Designed to handle some 750 engine overhaul operations a year, GEAES's 600,000ft2 Nantgarw maintenance facility is certified to work on a wide variety of aeroengines. These include Pratt & Whitney JT9D and JT8D variants, Rolls-Royce RB211 and Olympus, GE90 and CFM56-2 and CFM56-5.
For further details contact Vacu-Blast Ltd. Tel: +44 (0) 1753 526511. Fax: +44 (0) 1753 538093.