Whether you are promoting the coating or innovating with plating, advanced surface coating company, Hardide Coatings’ vice-president of aerospace, Rob Holmes has all the answers. Aerospace Manufacturing reports.
Hardide Coatings develops, manufactures and applies advanced technology coatings for a wide range of high wear/high value components. Its patented technology combines, in one material, a mix of toughness and resistance to abrasion, erosion and corrosion, together with the ability to coat accurately interior surfaces and complex geometries.
The company’s Hardide-A coating has been developed specifically to meet the needs of the aerospace industry and is an environmentally-compliant and technically superior replacement for high velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF) and hard chrome plating.
Q) Firstly, what kind of aerospace components, i.e. blisks, blades, turbines, landing gear chassis are your surface finishing products most suitable for?
Hardide coatings can be a solution for a significant part of an aircraft and its systems, principally where there are friction, abrasion, severe wear and corrosion problems as well as issues with impacts and high loads. The Hardide coating can provide a world class solution for intricate geometries, internal bores and outside diameters. Where maintaining a low fatigue debit is a requirement, the Hardide coating is proven to have a significant benefit on fatigue life. The coating is suitable for high wear, high value components operating in extreme environments, and is particularly appropriate for applications where other coatings do not perform.
Examples of applications include actuators, bearing systems, control system components, fuel metering valves, door systems, flap support pads, compressor blades and vanes, high lift systems – flaps, slats and spoilers, hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders, landing gear retract mechanisms, steering components, thrust reverser and flap torque shafts, torque tubes and pins, wheel axles and pins and wing structure components.
Q) With so many aircraft sitting around through the pandemic, do you foresee a potential increase in business for you in terms of these aircraft becoming airworthy again?
The market for Hardide coatings in both new build and MRO sectors has been well-established with several key applications enabling further penetration and sales growth for the business. As the world moves back to more regular travel, we are well positioned to support this increased activity from our facilities in the UK and US. There is no doubt that the global aerospace supply chain has been changed by the recent events, and as travel increases and aircraft return to service, capacity will be more limited in this segment. Due to these reasons, we foresee a rise in demand for our services to protect vital aerospace components.
Q) Please provide some news on your latest factory upgrade and aerospace approvals?
Hardide Coatings relocated to a new 20,000ft2 facility in Bicester, Oxfordshire last year and has continued to invest in the facility, resulting in a capacity increase of 40% and with increased size capability for larger components up to 1,500mm long and up to 1,000mm in diameter. Hardide has also been further approved for various new aircraft platforms in this time period. Additionally, in the new building we have invested substantially in sustainability measures to reduce our carbon footprint, concentrating on increasing energy efficiency and ultra-low emissions from the process.
Q) Finally, would you say that your long-standing partnerships - both with the client and supplier – have brought huge benefits, particularly as trusted relationships can lead to a better way forward for all?
Hardide Coatings continues to grow in the aerospace sector with new approvals now in place for several well-known aircraft platforms. We continue to work closely with our customers in regards to joint technological development of our environmentally friendly coatings and continue to focus on the aerospace, defence, space and other high technology sectors.