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The Airtech Advanced Materials Group have launched the Airtech Premier range of Vacuum hoses, Quick Disconnect fittings and Through Vacuum Bag Connectors.
Utilizing high performance materials and advanced design the patented Airtech Premier Vacuum Range claims to eliminate all threaded connections from the Autoclave or Oven wall to right inside the Airtech Vacuum Bagging Film. This threadless system aims to avoid the potential leak path of threaded connections.
Threadless Design has been developed where previously the multiple components of the Vacuum Hose and Through Vacuum Bag connectors where assembled together with screw threaded fittings. The Airtech Premier designs consolidates individual parts into single items machined from solid Stainless Steel.
The Airtech Premier MultiValve is a through vacuum bag connector with quick disconnect plug feature machined from a single piece of stainless steel where previously a through bag connector would have a quick disconnect plug, screw thread attached. Integration of the Plug feature into the through bag connector eliminates the potential leak path of a threaded connection.
The Airtech Premier Vacuum Hose employs the same thread less design principle for the quick disconnect socket end fittings. Airtech suggested that previous quick disconnect sockets had been screw fitted onto a hose adaptor crimped into the vacuum hose end.
The Airtech Premier quick disconnect socket has been integrated with the hose adaptor into a single component which is fitted directly into the vacuum hose. Airetch said that this design will eliminate the two potential leak paths of threaded connections in the vacuum hose construction. The integrated end fittings also provide thread locking for the hose internal spring. Locking the spring into the end fittings in this manner means the internal spring take all pull loads applied to the hose assembly, preventing damage and leakage of the silicone hose wall.
Removal of such potential leak paths enhances vacuum security during curing of vacuum bag consolidated parts in the Autoclave and Oven, reducing scrapping and reworking of parts due to poor consolidation.
The Airtech Premier quick disconnect socket is also available with an integrated elbow feature. This feature reduces the space requirement for hose connection to vacuum bag and wall connections. The elbow feature also prevents the weight of the vacuum hose disturbing the position of vacuum bagging film around the Multi-Valve connection. The integration of the elbow feature into the design has eliminated the two threaded connections required for a separate elbow component.
Airtech Premier Multi- Valve seal replacement is quick and easy, the valve spindle can be dropped out by removing a single circlip on the base of the unit. The spindle O Ring can then be replaced and then the spindle simply reassembled. With similar simplicity, O Ring seals in the Airtech Premier Quick Disconnect Sockets can be removed and replaced. Pick Tools from Airtech Premier Tool Kit are used to remove O Rings from the mouth of the Socket. Spindle O Rings are removed by unscrewing the spindle collar with the T Bar tool from the Airtech Premier Tool Kit. These can then all be replaced and the unit quickly and easily reassembled.
The Airtech Premier Starter Kit contains two Vacuum Hoses, two Multi-Valves and two Blanking Caps. All of which will be interchangeable with existing vacuum equipment of the same style (“Hansen” or “Snap Tight”), allowing for meaningful production trials with existing equipment and tooling.
Airetch claim that their Airtech Premier Vacuum Range has a proven track record with renowned Aerospace and Motor Racing Customers around the world.
Kevin Hickey, Manufacturing Manager from Aerostructures Hamble who implemented the Premier system in 2001, has calculated that “After implementing planned maintenance using a coloured hosesystem, we have realized an £80k annual saving in our cost of quality.”
Airtech conclude by asserting that their Premier Vacuum Range has proven long life expectancy due to the design and material selection, with the equipment’s main benefits to include the reduced vacuum loss and reduce cost.
The Airtech Group consists of Airtech International –USA, Airtech Europe – Luxembourg and Tygavac Advanced Materials Ltd.- UK.
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