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The Benefits of Material Analysis and Measurement in the Aerospace Industry

10. August 2021

Material analysis and measurement are vital parts of the manufacturing process for a wide range of industries, including the aerospace sector. These processes involve various instruments that test a component or material to determine certain aspects of its composition, such as conductivity or coating thickness. In the aerospace industry, some manufactured materials are so large that they require testing directly on the factory floor rather than in a lab environment. In these cases, handheld measurement instruments are especially effective.

Material composition analysis is essential for metal (such as aluminum or titanium alloys), coatings, and plastics in the aerospace industry. Data gathered can be used to make conclusions about the efficiency, safety, and performance of said materials, ensuring finalized products function reliably in demanding atmospheric conditions. These quality control procedures not only aid in certain safety measures, such as tin whisker prevention, but they also assist in reducing weight, increasing fuel efficiency, and more.

Nanoindentation for Aerospace Parts and Products

Nanoindentation is a type of material analysis that tests the hardness of coatings and solid surfaces. Unlike other traditional methods for testing hardness, this process measures multiple material characteristics. Specifically, it measures the elasticity and plastic capabilities of the material, including the indentation modulus, hardness, and creep. Nanoindentation is remarkably precise, as it measures materials down to the nanometer.

Manufacturers use specialized nanoindentation tools to test materials during the aerospace quality assurance process. These devices can perform tests at the particle level using cutting-edge nanotechnology. Some nanoindentation models, like the FISCHERSCOPE® HM2000, can perform additional tests, such as temperature fluctuations. This measurement is essential for determining the glass transition of aerospace plastics, which ensures a safer application. Additionally, the FISCHERSCOPE® HM2000 can test the durability of paint and galvanized coatings, as well as composite and gold-plated surfaces. These functions are essential for products like circuit boards that power aerospace equipment.

Material Analysis in Aerospace Manufacturing

From rocket launches to airline travel, the aerospace industry involves many high-stakes operations. This means that even the slightest flaw in a component can lead to a disaster, hence the need for highly reliable measurement technology.

At Fischer Technology, we specialize in developing instruments that provide precise, reliable measurements. For example, our FISCHERSCOPE® X-RAY XDL and XDLM models conduct easy, accurate analysis of parts regardless of their shape. These devices can also be automated to further streamline the quality assurance process. Additionally, they utilize energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometers that provide non-destructive coating thickness measurements, thus protecting the integrity of the material. Similarly, the FISCHERSCOPE® X-RAY XDAL model also provides precise measurement but includes three different semiconductor detectors to meet various needs. The silicon PIN diode, for example, is ideal for measuring numerous materials across a large measuring area, while the silicon drift detector (SDD) offers improved energy resolution. These multiple options allow manufacturers to customize their testing process to fit their specific quality assurance procedure.

How Fischer Technology Can Help

Fischer Technology provides reliable testing instruments and systems that meet the rigorous demands of the aerospace industry. These options include nanoindentation tools, material analysis devices, and other equipment that measures a wide range of elements, such as hardness, composition, reactivity, and conductivity. Additionally, we offer a variety of handheld devices that are ideal for testing large-scale products while maintaining critical accuracy thresholds.

For more information about our products and how they can improve your quality assurance process, contact us today.

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