GKN Aerospace2008-09-22 13:56:46

GKN Aerospace offers swift, cost-effective composite repair solution.

With the growing use of composites within the airframe, swift and efficient repair services are of critical importance. Combining proven 'hot bond' heater mat technology with GKN Aerospace's experience in composite design and manufacture, the Company has evolved a highly efficient composite repair process that has huge potential for many repair situations.

A modification to GKN Aerospace's 16M long x 3.5m diameter autoclave to incorporate a hot bonder has enabled the Company to implement the 'hot bond box' repair process within an autoclave. This applies localised heat only to the damaged area of the part within the autoclave environment, heating and forming only the section requiring repair whilst the remainder of the part retains its integrity entirely.

This new development offers a number of important benefits. It minimises the risk of distortion to the part, reduces turn around times and limits energy costs. It also cuts tooling costs as only localised tooling is required for the area to be repaired. Significantly also, this process means the repair is achieved using standard production materials rather than the more expensive specialised materials required to perform lower temperature repairs outside the autoclave.

Frank Bamford, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategy, GKN Aerospace, comments: This is an innovation with huge potential for the efficient repair of composite parts for aircraft the world over. And our use of the huge autoclave, installed to support the manufacture of the world's largest all-composite wing spar, for the A400M military transporter, offers the valuable opportunity for large items such as an entire winglet or complete flying surface, to be placed into the autoclave to complete the repair."

The blended winglets market is just one example of the potential of this solution. With over 2000 of Boeing's aircraft alone fitted with blended winglets by the end of 2007 winglet repair represent a major MRO business in the future.

The GKN Aerospace MRO team offers this new repair technique among its full range of global composite repair services which includes taking repair to the aircraft where the hot bond technique is used to implement on site repairs to the airframe.

For more information contact:
East Cowes
Isle of Wight
PO32 6RA
United Kingdom
Tel:     +44 (0)1983 283649


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