With Dymax SpeedMask, available in the UK from adhesives experts Intertronics, German aircraft engine manufacturer MTU Aero Engines AG was able to reduce masking process time from 4 hours to just 14 minutes.
The new high-precision, automated setup eliminates the inventory of thousands of silicon and metal parts previously used as masks while meeting near-zero tolerances in the application.
In the past, MTU manually masked parts before subjecting them to aggressive processes such as thermal coating and shot blasting. This involved the process of applying adhesive tape, silicone rings, masks, or metal covers, which required time and care. However, increasing demand and increasingly complex geometries have made it difficult for MTUs to provide precise, cost-effective temporary protection to sensitive component surfaces.
The team then combined a robotic arm with a Dymax SpeedMask for a fully automated, high-precision process. In this process, his liquid SpeedMask is applied to intricate parts and cured in seconds with UV light. Once surface treatment is complete, SpeedMask can be removed without leaving any residue. In addition to increased speed and reduced production costs, the new application methodology has increased the sustainability of the process by reducing error rates to near zero.
Intertronics Technical Sales Executive Matt Baseley explains: “This often leads to inconsistent results that mean the difference between airworthiness and scrap for critical and complex parts like blisks.
“SpeedMask provides return on investment primarily through its speed of application and removal, as well as the fact that no rework is required due to leaks or residue around the tape,” added Baseley. “So, not only does it save effort on application and removal, but it also potentially saves steps throughout the process.
“What MTU has put together between automated systems and material selection is truly savvy engineering. Combining some of the best-in-class technologies that will significantly improve productivity for years to come.” Congratulations to MTU for achieving such a significant process improvement.”
Dymax SpeedMask Temporary Masking UV Resins can be used in place of tapes, waxes, lacquers and fixtures to provide reliable protection in most metal finishing environments. They can be applied and cured in seconds, reducing labor, rework and scrap. In addition, it is friendly to the environment and workers, and can be easily automated.
The adhesion of SpeedMask resin seals and protects machined, sanded or polished surfaces during tumbling, peening, sanding or cleaning processes. Grinding and peening masks eliminate external damage to edges and surfaces and foreign object debris (FOD) in internal cavities. The resin also seals the cavity openings to prevent contamination from acids, alkalis, and plating solutions, as well as debris from air plasma spray, HVOF, peening, and grit blasting.
To achieve the tightest tolerances in SpeedMask applications, Intertronics recommends preeflow eco-PEN or ecoSPRAY for volumetric dispensing or spray valves. These techniques are highly reproducible, have an accuracy of ±1%, are viscosity-independent over 99% of the time, and are easy to automate.
For more information, please visit https://www.intertronics.co.uk/product/speedmask.