08 October 2004
08 October 2004
Brookhouse Holdings can now offer total, in-house non-destructive testing of both manufactured and repaired composite components and structures.
This has been made possible with the recent installation of a state-of-the-art, jet probe ultrasonic inspection system at its purpose-built composites engineering building in Darwen, Lancashire.
The new jet probe, or squirter, system uses a column of water (the jet) to provide the ultrasonic coupling where immersion is not possible and offers a working envelope of 6m x 2m. Inspection takes place using the well-established ultrasonic through transmission technique. On-line display and on-line reporting can be in C-scan format for non-structural or structural components and results can be electronically archived at customers' request. An A-scan facility, using through transmission or pulse-echo techniques, is also available to provide back-up for C-scan results or to carry out inspections that do not require a permanent electronic record to be archived. Inspection is carried out on a routine basis to ensure that finished components are free of material flaws such as disbond, voids, inclusions and delaminations.
The new equipment, which was supplied by Midas NDT Systems Ltd, is used as part of the company's quality control procedures to carry out stringent examination of composite components and structures manufactured by Brookhouse. It is also used in the inspection of aircraft structures and components, which have been repaired by Brookhouse in line with EASA Part 145, a qualification held by two companies within the Brookhouse Group allowing them to repair and overhaul aircraft composite and metallic components in compliance with the airworthiness codes set out by the European Union.
Brookhouse's composites engineering building is located within the company's India Mill factory complex at Darwen. Lancashire. In addition to a range of ultrasonic inspection equipment, the building also features two autoclaves to complement the three existing computer controlled units at the India Mill site, allowing the company to treat an extremely wide range of composite components, in terms of both size and geometry.
There is also a state-of-the-art clean room, which has been constructed to Class 2, 100k standards to meet the exacting requirements of the aerospace industry. With a total floor area of 850m², the clean room features continuous temperature and humidity monitoring, regular dust and particle count monitoring and integral, positive pressure changing and loading areas to prevent particle ingress.
Solvay has signed a ten-year agreement for the supply of composites and adhesives to be used across Bell's military and commercial rotorcraft programmes, including the Bell 429, 407, 505, 525, V-22, and UH-1.
SGL Carbon and Fraunhofer IGCV have officially opened the Fibre Placement Centre (FPC) at SGL's site in Meitingen, Germany. Compositence, BA Composites and the Chair for Carbon Composites at the Technical University of Munich have also joined the alliance, and Coriolis Group and Cevotec are planning to come on board as partners.
With the aim developing a broader platform for additive manufacturing (AM) technologies, the University of Exeter, UK, and Victrex, have formed a strategic partnership to introduce next-generation polyaryletherketone (PAEK) polymers and composites while improving the performance of the underlying AM processes.