The Air Force Research Laboratory's Materials and Manufacturing Directorate has developed, tested and verified a cold spray coating process designed to extend the service life of aircraft hydraulic lines.
The process accelerates metal particles via high pressure to allow for bonding onto surfaces without the need for high temperatures, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base said Wednesday.
AFRL is considering using this process to address chafing damage on the B-1 aircraft's titanium hydraulic lines. The coating mechanism would apply an external layer of titanium on damage-prone tubing areas for increased protection against chafing.
AFRL, in cooperation with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, identified technological deficits, developed process controls, established test plans, analyzed materials and introduced inspection methods in a move to certify the coating process.
"We had to make sure the use of this system met our acceptable risk levels and did not cause any unintended problems," said Jeff Calcaterra, structural materials evaluation team lead.
The process is certified for application on most B-1 aircraft hydraulic systems, as well as on the hydraulic systems of a number of other aircraft.