U.S. Department of Defense Awards Announced

Congratulations to our friends at GE and Pratt & Whitney for their receipt of U.S. Department of Defense contracts, announced today.  Here are a couple of the awards announcements:

GE-Aviation, Cincinnati, Ohio, has been awarded a $137,877,942 modification (BZ01) firm-fixed-price delivery order for F101 service life extension program (SLEP) kits.  Contractor will provide SLEP kits for 208 F101 engines for the B-1 aircraft.  Work will be performed at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, and is expected to be complete by December 31, 2017.  This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition.  Fiscal 2014 procurement funds in the amount of $45,952,694; fiscal 2015 procurement funds in the amount of $88,580,495; and working capital funds in the amount of $3,344,753 are being obligated a the time of award.  Air Force Sustainment Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity (SPE4AX-15-D-9412).

United Technologies Corp., doing business as Pratt & Whitney, East Hartford, Connecticut, has been awarded a $7,108,334 fixed quantity, firm-fixed-price contract for F100 engine sustainment.  Contractor will provide new manufacture of F100 fuel nozzle spare parts.  Work will be performed at East Hartford, Connecticut, and is expected to be complete by August 30, 2017.  This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition.  Fiscal 2015 consolidated sustainment activity group funds in the amount of $7,108,334 are being obligated at the tie of award.  Air Force Sustainment Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity (N00383-12-G-001M-BZ50).

See more Department of Defense awards here: http://www.defense.gov/Contracts/.


David Lahrman to Present at SAE AeroTech

David Lahrman is presenting “Laser Bond Inspection (LBI)” at SAE AeroTech 2015 in Seattle, Washington.  Come hear his presentation on Thursday, September 24th during the Technical Sessions at 10:30 AM.  His presentation focuses on how LSPT’s Laser Bond Inspection was developed, how it works, and the future of the technology for the Aerospace industry as a whole.  We are excited to be moving forward with LBI as a way to inspect adhesively bonded materials like never before.

SAE AeroTech combines representatives from various Aerospace expertise.  From the industry to the technology, SAE shows and tells it all.  The Technical Sessions highlight the new technologies entering the market as well as highlight the status and futures of current technologies.


Laser Peening Components Increases Inspection Intervals

Laser Peening:  The new EPRI report, Materials Reliability Program: Topical Report for Primary Water Stress Corrosion Cracking Mitigation by Surface Stress Improvement (MRP-335 Revision 2), published August 13, 2015 states:

“The objective of this report is to define appropriate inspection requirements and intervals for certain components – Alloy 600 reactor pressure vessel head penetration nozzles and Alloy 82/182 dissimilar metal welds in primary system piping – that have been treated by surface stress improvement (SSI) methods (that is, peening) for the purpose of mitigating primary water stress corrosion cracking (PWSCC)… Given the demonstrated effectiveness of SSI techniques such as laser peening and water jet peening (aka cavitation peening), relaxation of the inspection requirements for these components is appropriate after SSI treatment.”

The report provides a general review of laser peening as a surface enhancement process that imparts deep compressive residual stresses via the interaction of the laser strike and plasma, and the resulting shock wave producing pressures above the yield strength of the material causing plastic deformation.  Laser peening effects are achieved through a precision control of the laser energy, pulse duration, spot size, location on a part, and the number of times the area is covered.  Laser peening is concluded to be effective based shot peening data and considering the substantiation provided in these details:

  • “Extensive industrial experience shows that peening of many types is effective at inhibiting the initiation of both fatigue and stress corrosion cracks”
  • “These peening processes do not result in growth of any pre-existing flaws during peening, and that they prevent growth of flaws with depths less that the depth of the compressive stress field developed by peening”
  • “No adverse effects have been identified”

Click here for the free download of the entire report.


Metal Fatigue Failures in Aerospace

Metal component fatigue failures continue to account for a number of in-service disruptions in aerospace and ground transportation, as seen on the runway in Las Vegas this month.  Disruptions typically cause emergency situations requiring immediate action which lead to delays or serious conditions for flight crew and passengers, something fatal.  Many failures are preventable with proper inspection methods but not all.  In fact, inspection and maintenance time could be significantly reduced with the addition of surface fatigue enhancements such as laser peening (LSP) for deep surface improvements.  Fatigue failures take place in engines as well as in structural or fuselage components.  Fan blades and fan discs are susceptible to high cycle fatigue, fretting fatigue, or foreign object damage, or galling, which all lead to failure mechanisms such as cracks and resulting crack propagation.  Aerospace jet engine blades and fan discs experience significant forces which mechanical design and redesign often fail to permanently address.

Laser peening is specifically capable of preventing the occurrence of these failures, most of which are associated with the introduction and propagation of cracks.  The deep compressive residual stresses imparted by laser peening, significantly reduce or eliminate crack introduction or propagation.  Why?  Fatigue life and fatigue strength improvements are proportional to the magnitude and depth of the induced compressive residual stresses remaining in a component; laser peening imparts compressive residual stresses up to 8 mm deep (10-20 times deeper than conventional shot peening), thereby imparting significant increases in component service lifetime.

Click here to see the National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident Reports for more information on fatigue failures.


Engine Failure on Runway in Las Vegas

On Tuesday, September 8th, and airplane engine caught fire on the Las Vegas International Airport runway.  The great on-board and emergency ground crew reactions lead to the lack of severe injuries among the passengers.  The engine fire occurred during takeoff of British Airways flight 2276 of a Boeing 777.

To see the quick response time of the fire and ground emergency crew, watch this short YouTube video.

You can also read the initial NTSB report for more detailed information on why the engine caught fire and the status of the passengers.  No one was severely hurt.

There is no report of what caused the engine to fail and catch fire, but it is being investigated.