Tag Archive for aerospace news

Whisky Sipping in Space Thanks to Plating

Gold-plating-aerospace-plating-NiTECDue to inspirational Physics developments, it is now possible for astronauts to drink Whisky in Space.  The activity of visiting to space may be a dangerous one but at the end of each day, the astronauts can rest easy when they are assured that they can have a ‘real’ drink, which isn’t out of a plastic bag.  Apparently, this is one of the most common complaints from the International Space Station (ISS) crews that they miss their familiar Earth-like environment back home.

Plating in the Solution to the Problem

On hearing this, Ballatine’s therefore addressed this by commissioning an Open Space Agency team, led by James Parr, in order to create an innovative, microgravity glass which would enable the astronauts in question to enjoy a glass of whisky, just as they would with their feet on the Earth.  Ballatine’s Space Glass looks like a regular whisky glass but has special, particular features allowing liquid to enter the glass, stay in the glass and which allow sipping.

It has been studied for over a year as to how whisky behaves in a zero gravity environment by building a series of prototype glasses to test their theories.  The final result is something that somewhat resembles a Don Draper balloon glass but which is made out of 3D printed plastic and has a weighted rose-gold plated spiral convex base which sits perfectly in the holders hand.  Its weight comes from the 10kg pull magnet, giving the glass some inertia, anchoring it to the table when in zero gravity.  The base also contains a clever, one-way valve to fill the glass using a standard Ballantine’s whisky bottle, in order to stop the whisky from spilling.

Gold Plated Glasses

The reason as to why the Space Glass has been gold plated was partly due to the aesthetics with the gold plating matching the plating used on the astronauts’ sun visors on their spacesuits.  But the gold plating was also used because it is one of the very few metals which does not affect the taste of the whisky when in Space.

How does Gold Plating help drinking in Space?

When liquids are in Space, they tend to turn in to a sticky jelly, so to counteract this from happening with the whisky, a spiral in the glass creates surface tension which holds it down.  The side of the glass contains a helix with a small channel concealed inside it which picks up the whisky in a capillary action, pulling it up to a gold plated mouthpiece on the rim of the glass.  Why a gold plated mouth piece you may well ask?  This is for multiple reasons – Firstly, so that the astronaut can physically see where their lips are meant to be placed so that they are over the concealed channel exit point and they know where to put their lips.  Secondly, the gold cools the alcohol as it passes through the mouthpiece.  Thirdly, gold plating and not metal plating of any other kind, means that there is no nasty after taste left in the mouth of the drinker and the texture of drinking out of what (at the end of the day) is a plastic beaker, is concealed.

NiTEC UK and You

If you or your business are interested in plating, such as electroless nickel plating or diffused nickel platingheat treatment or have a special project requiring specialist assistance, then why not contact NiTEC UK today?  We are Derbyshire based, leading specialists in the plating industry, offering a wide range of well-developed, tried and tested techniques which are not only high-end but are also cost effective.  We have experience of working for the aerospace, medical, army and automotive industries and offer our services to the UK, Germany, France, Brazil and Holland.  Call us today on 0845 224 3571 or alternatively you can email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk

 

Boeing up in the World

Boeing_777_electroless_nickel_plating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The famous aeroplane makers, Boeing, have found what seems to be the “Lightest Metal Ever” known as microlattice.  This is a material which is 99.9% air!  Developed in California, it is a way for planes and even rockets to have their weight reduced.  This 3D open cellular polymer structure will reduce the amount of fuel a plane needs to use during take off, flying and landing.  Currently, Boeing are looking in to using this structure internally on their planes in areas such as the overhead compartments, under the floor and in other fixtures to create a modern internal environment for passengers.

Boeing and Electroless Nickel Plating

Researchers decided that the 3D open cellular polymer structure should be coated with electroless nickel plating, in order to give the structure the required strength, because the web of nickel-phosphorus alloy lattice tubes are only just 100 nanometres thick.  The theory behind using this new structure coated with electroless nickel plating is a lot more advanced in the theory of aeronautical engineering, so has not been trialed yet for space-bound vehicles.  However, it is known that it would be used for exactly the same weight saving reasons to go to space, but also because it has the ability to compress, too, which could mean that objects sent in to space could expand after launch, reducing cargo hold space.  More, evidence will be needed though, before this is trialled as part of a space-bound launch, but nevertheless is a very exciting move forward in science.

Electroless Nickel Plating

Electroless nickel plating as a high quality, cost effective solution for metal coating, elongating the life of a component dramatically, because it leaves an equal thickness metal layer deposit all over the surface of a component, no matter what size or shape it is.  It is ideal for use in harsh environment as it is corrosion resistant, rust is prevented from forming and does not chip or flake which reduces the cost and frequency of repairs and replacement needed.  Electroless nickel plating can be hardened up to 950vhn, is self-lubricating and is non-magnetic.  These are just some of the advantages of electroless nickel plating.  If you would like to find out more then you can find out more by contacting NiTEC UK, the leading suppliers of electroless nickel plating.

Contact NiTEC UK Today

NiTEC UK are experts in the process of electroless nickel plating (ENP) and have a friendly and professional team who are more than happy to help you with any query you may have at any time.  If electroless nickel plating is something you or your business would like to find out more about, then please contact us on 0845 224 571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or alternatively you can click here to go directly to our website.  Our website contains information about other services we provide, such as diffused nickel plating, copper plating, shot blasting and heat treatment.

Boost for Aerospace Industry with £1m Training Centre

The Aerospace industry is set for a boost with a £1m centre of excellence opening on the Isle of Man this month. The new centre is a joint project between the Manx government and the The Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster (IOMAC).

Red arrows pilot

Red Arrows ejector seats are made on the Isle of Man

BBC news reports that according to government figures, the high-tech sector contributes 4% of the island’s economy.

More than 1,000 people are employed to manufacture a range of high-tech aerospace items, such as the ejector seats used by the red arrows.

Worldwide Civil and Defence Aerospace Project

A spokesman said the new training facility would support the “growing need for highly-skilled engineers in the thriving industry”. The IOMAC is established as an integral part of the UK aerospace supply chain and member firms support every current major civil and defence aerospace project worldwide. Made up of 22 firms on the island including RLC Ronaldsway, Swagelok and Triumph Actuation Systems, the IOMAC produces precision-engineered parts for use of the island.

IOMAC’s Chris Allen said: “Everything from landing gear, ejector seats and optic lenses are made here and have travelled as far as Mars. The age of the skilled engineers is high and this centre is very important for the future.”

Manufacturing Centre of Excellence

The cluster of aerospace firms has had enormous involvement in setting up the training centre and helping to create and deliver a three year training course. Courses began in 2013 but the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre will be officially opened on 15th October 2014 by Tim Crookall MHK, Minister for Education and Children.

Electroless Nickel Plating Services

Here at NiTEC, we provide a range of metal finishing and metal plating services. Our high quality electroless nickel plating service is the perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items such as those used in the defence, healthcare, automotive and aerospace industries. For more information, please call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Record Orders for Britain’s Aerospace Industry

Britian’s aerospace order book has reached a record high after the success of Farnborough airshow. According to The Daily Telegraph, orders for British made commercial aircraft and engines have reached the highest they’ve ever been thanks to a boost in orders generated at the airshow.

ADS, the trade organisation for the Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space Industries have revealed that the total orders that UK manufacturers have on their books stands at over 12,000 aircraft and more than 21,000 engines. This is estimated to be a combined value of between £135bn and £155bn.

9 Years of Work for the Aerospace Sector

It has been estimated that these orders equal approximately 9 years worth of work for companies in the aerospace sector. Chief Executive of ADS Paul Everitt said: “As an important event for the global aerospace industry, we expected to see a peak in orders during the Farnborough airshow. However, the volume of firm orders placed throughout July was unprecedented; adding almost 650 aircraft and 1,100 engines an already robust order book.”

The Aerospace Growth Partnership

According to the chief economist at ADS Jeegar Kakkad, these impressive figures are proof that the government’s industrial strategy to champion aerospace has been a success. “Countries around the world are sitting up and taking notice of what is going on in the UK aerospace industry with the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP) and thinking, ‘We can use the UK as a base to launch into’,” he said. “Countries are too, with Germany wondering how we have taken market share from them and the US looking at how we set up the AGP.”

airbus A350UK Aerospace Industry Facts

  • Annual turnover of the UK aerospace industry – £27.8bn
  • UK share of global aerospace market – 17%
  • Number of people either directly employed or jobs supported by the aerospace industry – 229,100
  • Backlog of aircraft orders – 12,096
  • Backlog of engine orders – 21,094
  • Year’s worth of work at current levels – 9

Increased Sales of Aircraft Engines

A spokesman for Airbus said: “The Farnborough airshow was excellent as Airbus won 345.4bn billion worth of business for a total of 496 aircraft. This is particularly good news for the UK where the wings for our aircraft are designed and manufactured.

“Airbus sustains work for more than 100,000 people through an extended supply chain of more than 1,000 companies located across the UK, around 45 per cent of which are SMEs. The continuing strong order book helps to maintain the UK’s position as a European and global leader in aerospace.”

Metal Finishing and Metal Plating Services

As experts in a range of metal finishing techniques that can be used in the aerospace industry, such as electroless nickel plating, NiTEC are incredibly pleased that the sector is experiencing such a boom. It’s fantastic news for the future of the UK aerospace industry!

Aerospace and Defence Set to Rebalance the Economy

Farnborough International Airshow 2014 takes place this week, an event known throughout the world for promoting UK engineering excellence and industrial expertise. Aerospace and defence industry leaders will gather at the air show to discuss new technologies and trends, sharing the very latest thinking and exploring new opportunities within the sectors.

Airbus site Filton Bristol

The Hampshire Airport will play host to politicians, military officials and airline executives from all over the world as the global aerospace and defence industry meet to display and discuss the latest commercial airliners, fighter jets and drones.

Domestic manufacturing giants Airbus, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce will be in attendance. On the commercial side, airline executives will no doubt be tempted by Boeing and Airbus, looking for multibillion dollar deals, while Rolls-Royce anticipate sales for the engines that power the aircraft.

The Thriving UK Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry is experiencing a definite upturn in fortune, with global air passenger traffic on the rise and the continued demand for new aircraft. Major aerospace companies have thousands of aircraft on order and have been regularly increasing the rate of aircraft deliveries. This is having an impressively positive effect on UK businesses too; the latest global commercial aircraft data shows that orders are worth an estimated £150bn to the UK alone.

This event provides the UK with an opportunity to make real waves in the aerospace and defence sectors, underlining its prominent role despite cuts being made globally. Paul Everett, chief executive of ADS, the aerospace and defence trade body, told the Guardian newspaper, “Aerospace sustains high-value long-term jobs in the UK. We help create a rich science base with the kind of high-skilled jobs that politicians dream about. Aerospace is unquestionably the Premier League of our manufacturing industries.”

Engineering Excellence

The success and appeal of the Farnborough Airshow owes much to the UK pioneers and innovators who have contributed to revolutionising the aerospace industry. The UK remains a significant industrial power in the sector, and a huge amount of the aircraft that will be flying, and on display, at the airshow rely on the advanced skills, manufacturing and engineering excellence of the UK.

Metal Plating for Aerospace and Defence

If you would like to find out more about our metal plating and coatings for use in the aerospace and defence industries, call us on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry.

Facebook To Buy Titan Aerospace for $60 Million

Here at NiTEC, we like to keep up to date with all things going on in the aerospace industry. This week’s big news is that Facebook, backer of Internet.org, is set to buy Titan Aerospace.

Internet.org is a project which aims to make internet access affordable across the globe. According to recent figures, there are some 5 billion people without access to the World Wide Web, that’s a third of the globe’s population, and this project is set to change that. Facebook has partnered with Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera and Qualcomm to create data-compression technologies and cheaper smartphones to make browsing the internet cheaper.

Orbital Solar-Powered Drones 

Titan Aerospace Solara 50 Drone

Source:Titan Aerospace

Titan Aerospace makes orbital, solar-powered drones which are able to fly for five years without landing. TechCrunch have reported that Facebook are looking at buying the company for a whopping figure of 60 million dollars.

Facebook then plans to use these drones to provide parts of the world without access to the internet, such as Africa, with reliable internet access.

The first step is to build 11,000 unarmed aerial vehicles to blanket these parts of the world.

The models that are reported to be used are the Solara 50 and 60, which are launched from internal battery packs. They are able to rise to 20 Kilometres above sea level and can remain there with enough energy for 5 years. Capabilities like this make them perfect for regional internet systems. According to TechCrunch, all of Titan Aerospace’s production would then be for the Internet.org project.

As specialists in electroless nickel plating and the use of surface technology in the aerospace industry, it’s very exciting to see the changes and growth within the aerospace sector. If you would like to find out more about the use of electroless nickel or diffused nickel, contact NiTEC