Heat treating metal aircraft parts such as jet engine and landing gear components, turbine blades and high temperature fasteners is a necessary step to ensure strength and durability. However, outsourcing heat treatment can quickly become time-consuming and expensive for MROs. According to aerospace heat treating equipment provider Delta H Technologies, investing in one of the company’s furnaces can radically reduce turnaround time. The company’s Single Chamber Heat Treating Furnace (SCAHT), which was recently supplied to a major aircraft MRO, enables completion of heat treating processes at an MRO’s facility in a matter of hours compared to the days it would take to outsource the same process.
“When the alternative is outsourcing, the turnaround time for heat treat drops significantly from about one to two weeks to just one to two days,” says Ellen Conway Merrill, VP of Delta H Technologies. “Bringing heat treat capabilities in-house is a no-brainer if you’re facing critical turnaround goals.”
According to Merrill, the costs associated with outsourcing the process—especially in an AOG situation—add up quickly when factoring in shipping and handling along with service and expediting fees. Merrill says a high percentage of Delta H’s customers have experienced a return on investment (ROI) in less than two years after purchasing the company’s heat-treating systems. “We have a well-known heavy MRO client out in Los Angeles that told us they were able to reduce their C and D check spans by one day after the implementation of their Delta H furnaces, saving them $100k per aircraft,” she says.
The SCAHT, which Delta H says is the only fully turnkey and accredited furnace of its kind designed for the aviation industry, comes with everything required to heat treat titanium, A-286, PH stainless steel and tool steels in an air or argon atmosphere. According to Merrill, the furnace is ready to “plug and play” and features a simple operation with pre-programmed temperature recipes for all of the metals MROs would typically heat treat. Underneath the furnace is a roll-away stainless steel quench tank with options for agitation and heating/cooling. The system’s heat-treating documentation features a digital paperless recorder with a touch screen, remote viewing and control, part batch documentation and more.
Merrill says the furnace is typically paired with Delta H’s Dual Chamber Aerospace Heat Treating system (DCAHT) designed for aircraft aluminum heat treating. With the combination of both furnace systems, Delta H says an MRO has the ability to heat treat approximately 90% of the aircraft parts it encounters.
The standard model of the SCAHT typically ships within six to eight weeks and Delta H will provide training and the necessary initial forms and certifications to customers. Currently, Merrill says hundreds of Delta H’s furnaces are being used by the MRO industry—including the very first DCAHT model, which is still fully operational and compliant despite being designed and commissioned in 1998.