Using Dymax SpeedMask, available in the UK from adhesives specialist Intertronics, has helped German aircraft engine manufacturer MTU Aero Engines AG reduce its masking time from four hours to just 14 minutes.
The new high-precision, fully automated installation has met with close to zero tolerances, eliminating thousands of silicone and metal components that were previously used as masks.
In the past, MTU would anodize its parts by hand before applying them to harsh conditions such as heat-pressing or blasting. This involved applying adhesive tape, silicone rings, masks, or metal covers in a way that required time and attention. However, the growing demand and the complex nature make it difficult for MTU to provide accurate and cost-effective time protection for popular components.
The team has combined robotics with Dymax SpeedMask for a more stable, more precise solution, in which the liquid SpeedMask is applied to their most sensitive areas and cured with UV light in seconds. After the advanced treatment, SpeedMask can be removed without leaving any residue. As well as increasing speed and reducing production costs, the new application has improved the stability of the process by reducing the number of errors to almost zero.
“Even with experienced operators, manually applying masking tape, rings and covers can be tedious and time-consuming,” said Matt Baseley, head of technical sales at Intertronics. “That often comes with inconsistent results which, on complex and difficult parts like blisks, can mean the difference between being fit for air or being in pieces.
“SpeedMask offers a return on investment mainly because of its speed and removal, and that repairs caused by leaks or residues around the tapes are not necessary,” added Baseley. “So, it’s not just about saving the workforce in terms of hiring and firing, it’s about saving the whole process.
“What MTU has put together, between their automation and their selection of products, is a great technology. It combines several advanced technologies to create something that will greatly benefit their productivity for years to come. Kudos to MTU for doing so well.”
Dymax SpeedMask Temporary Masking UV Resins can replace tape, wax, lacquers and sealants to provide reliable protection for most metalworking areas. They can be applied and cured in seconds to reduce labor, rework, and wastage. They are also environmentally friendly and efficient, and easy to manufacture.
SpeedMask adhesive seals all seals and protects machined, floor, or polished surfaces during sanding, polishing, polishing or cleaning. Grinding and peening masks remove external edge and surface damage as well as foreign object debris (FOD). Resins also seal and prevent contamination from acid, alkaline and plating solutions, as well as debris from plasma air, HVOF, peening and grit blasting.
To achieve the tightest tolerances in SpeedMask applications, Intertronics recommends the preeflow eco-PEN or ecoSPRAY volumetric delivery or spray valves. These technologies are repeatable, have an accuracy of ±1%, >99% of the time, and are self-contained and easily automated.
For more information visit: https://www.intertronics.co.uk/product/speedmask