Aerospace Manufacturing & Fabrication

Aircraft manufacturers machine and fabricate a variety of titanium, stainless and aluminum parts. Given the complexity of aircraft, several levels of fabrication and assembly are required, although engine and landing gear assemblies may be outsourced.  Common abrasive applications include light material removal and blending or removal of machining marks from titanium and aluminum. Surface finishing of aluminum wing and fuselage components are also commonplace.

Repair and routine maintenance of aircraft parts, such as non-engine or wing components will usually involve some form of finishing, after the critical work has been completed.

Aircraft engine manufacturers, such as Pratt & Whitney or GE Aviation, use and machine exotic metals like proprietary high nickel alloys and various titanium grades. Most of the fabrication involves turbine blades, shrouds and airfoils. Refining machining marks and removing spot welds are the most common applications seen.

Mild Steel Fabrication

Mild steel is a type of carbon steel also known as “low carbon steel” (up to 0.3%) and essentially contains a combination of iron and carbon. It’s low carbon content makes it neither extremely ductile or brittle.   Mild steel is strong, magnetic and subject to rust if not properly coated.  Almost limitless in terms of potential end-products, mild steel’s affordability and ease of use contribute to its use in nearly any project needing vast amounts of metal.

Mild steel fabrication involves making both finished products and components.  It is the most common steel around and is everywhere you look.  From girders and beams in construction, to cars, street signs, pipelines and fences, mild steel is vastly used.  Weld removal, surface prep and deburring and cleaning and finishing processes utilize a wide range of abrasives such as cut off wheels, grinding wheels, coated belts, flap discs, fiber discs and non-woven products.

Brass

Brass is an alloy consisting of copper (70%) and zinc (30%), however small amounts of other metals are sometimes added.   Brass is produced by melting copper together with calamine.  Nearly 90% of all brass alloys are recycled and reused. Brass has a variety of applications, and its relatively affordable cost combined with its hardness make it valuable for several functions. It is commonly used for musical instruments (such as a trumpet, tuba, trombone, and saxophone), corrosion resistant screws, and fixtures for bath, doors and windows. Its resistance to tarnishing makes it optimal for decorative and ornamental objects.

Bronze

Bronze is an alloy typically composed of 60% copper and 40% tin. Its key benefits are hardness, corrosion resistance, and strength. It is stronger and harder than any other common alloy except steel. Tin makes the bronze hard and the strongest bronze alloys contain both tin and small amounts of lead. Bronze has a low melting point and is commonly used for making statues, musical instruments and bearings. Common bronze alloys expand slightly just before they set, filling in the finest details of a mold. Aluminum is often added to bronze and used in applications where resistance to corrosion is desirable such as airplane landing gear, marine engine components and underwater fastenings.

Copper

Copper is a reddish colored metal with excellent electrical and thermal conductivity. Copper is malleable and used in a wide variety of products and industries. Copper making requires a four step process including mining, milling, smelting and refining. Popular uses for copper include wire, plumbing, household fixtures, statuary, roofing, coins, cookware, flatware and musical instruments.