Hampson aerospace company completes the set

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 April 2000




(2000), "Hampson aerospace company completes the set", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 72 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/aeat.2000.12772bab.007



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Hampson aerospace company completes the set

Hampson aerospace company completes the set

Keywords: Hampson Industries, BHW, Machining, Stretching

Aircraft fabrications company BHW (Components) Limited, a subsidiary of Hampson Industries plc, has purchased the largest in the Hufford range of aircraft section stretch-forming machines to complement the company's extensive range of formers. The acquisition will enable a wider selection of fabricated parts to be offered to international aircraft manufacturers.

The new machine, styled as an A15, is said to be capable of forming sheets of 6,700mm (22ft) in length by 508mm (20in) in width with a 96-tonne maximum pull. Others in the range are A5, A10, and A12 machines which, together with the A15, place the company possibly as the only aircraft fabrications manufacturer in the UK with an entire family of Hufford machines.

Other stretch-forming Loire and Sheridan machines complete the line-up and BHW is believed to be the only aerospace sub-contractor in the UK to operate a Sheridan machine which reportedly can form aluminium sheets 6,700mm (22ft) in length by 1,600mm (66in) in width.

Stretch-forming is a technique used to form aluminium sheets and strips into shapes, many of which are complex compound curves. Using the heat-treated material in its malleable state, the machines employ hydraulic rams to stretch the aluminium around a pre-shaped tool. The technique is highly skilled since the material has to be worked within very close limits of stretching, with very fine accuracy and with consistent repeatability.

To accommodate the larger machines, deep excavations had to be made in the factory floor. The recent installation of the Sheridan stretch-forming machine, for example, required a cavity some 23ft (7 metres) below floor level to allow the powerful hydraulic piston to move through its full movement.

The stretch-forming machines enable the company to manufacture a great number of products for aircraft including the Airbus Industrie family, BAe Nimrod, Canadair's Regional Jet, fuselage frames for the Hawker 800, doors for the GKN Lynx helicopter, and cargo doors for freighter aircraft. The company also produces engine nacelles for Dassault Falcon aircraft.

Details available from Hampson Industries plc. Tel: +44 (0) 1384 485345, Fax: +44 (0) 1384 485346.

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