The earliest aircraft were constructed from a variety of components – primarily wood, cloth, and heavy metal. As planes got faster and flew higher, however, the need for tougher materials led to planes incorporating sophisticated metal alloys and cutting-edge plastics into their construction, structural developments that minimized the risks to their pilots. Even so, early aerospace engineers had to walk a tightrope between durability and weight: one step too far in the wrong direction, and disaster could strike.
In the modern day, this has led to the development of powerful “composite materials” incorporating the properties of two different ingredients into a single substance with the traits of both. Popular aerospace composites include fiberglass and fiber-reinforced polymers. Wings, ailerons, propellers, and fuselages all see widespread uses of composite materials.
Composite materials take the place of many metal parts of an aircraft. At first glance, they are machined through a similar process: cutting the desired part out of a larger block of material. However, machining composites is an exacting science that demands a specific set of skills and tools. Precision-cut machinery ensures that the finished product can be shaped without stress fractures or fatigue; the finished shape is rigorously shaped to the client’s exact specifications to ensure a safe and durable product.
Hess Aerospace and Defense’s years of hands-on machining experience allow us to reduce production times and minimize structural integrity risks to the finished product, ensuring a completed product at a low price.
Composite materials are lighter and stronger than metal. As planes grow larger and more advanced, the need to balance weight against power becomes more crucial than ever. Some scientist estimate that future planes will be mostly made up out of advanced composites; as the technology grows cheaper, similar manufacturing methods will find their way out of the hangar and into the home to produce light, strong, and aesthetically pleasing furnishings.
Composite material machining uses a wide variety of tools, depending on the needs of the project. Like metal machining, the goal is accomplished by using a variety of cutting implements to slice the desired shape free of the raw material; unlike metal machining, though, the lighter composite materials require precision cutters like diamond and carbine, capable of cleanly slicing without risking stress fractures that would jeopardize the integrity of the finished product.
Unlike metal machining, composite materials are lighter but more prone to stress when machining. In extreme cases, misaligned cutting tools can cause stress fractures or breakages. At Hess Aerospace and Defense, however, we inspect all our products for the tiniest flaws and ensure every part is built to perfection and goes through our stringent quality controls prior to client delivery.
Hess Aerospace and Defense values Customer Care above all else. We treat our customers with the respect they deserve. We’re always there to support them through the development of their requirements, assist them with design, produce quality products and deliver those products on time. We exceed expectations and pride ourselves in going the extra mile to achieve great results for our client base.
Our products are rigorously tested before ever leaving the production floor. We always ensure the confidentiality of our client’s projects is stringently observed by everyone at our company.
Do you have a project that needs machining of composite materials? Are you looking for a manufacturer that you can depend on when it comes to “On-Time” delivery and who can also deliver on product quality and customer service care? If you do, you’re in the right place.
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