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Extending the maintenance interval

Hauzer Group explains how it can be done for aircrafts with CVD and PVD coatings

Maintenance is a constant pressure in aerospace, often requiring large-scale disassembly and reassembly of an aircraft. The right chemical and physical vapour deposition (CVD and PVD) coatings can help increase the time spans between these effort-intensive maintenance sessions. CVD and PVD coatings decrease wear and corrosion and increase the lifetime of components. They can even reduce the environmental footprint of air travel – supporting the use of lightweight components, increasing fuel efficiency, reducing the need for lubricants, and offering feasible alternatives for hard chrome plating.

Hauzer Group – A strong technology partner in aerospace

CVD and PVD have a long history in safety-conscious and complex industries. Aerospace, too, is a challenging sector, where components are under tremendous stress. Specialised coatings help these components meet the strict safety and environmental demands that are in place. And the right technology – and technology partner – helps meet the reliability and quality standards that are prerequisites for the aerospace sector.

The Hauzer Group includes two coating system builders: Hauzer, specialised in PVD & plasma-assisted chemical vapour deposition (PACVD) coatings, and Bernex, specialised in CVD and their derivatives of chemical vapour aluminising and infiltration (CVA and CVI). Together, the Hauzer Group offers best-in-class equipment for physical and chemical vapour deposition (PVD and CVD) coatings.

Proven, reliable technology

Hauzer and Bernex are globally leading companies in their field of expertise. One of the design and engineering criteria that determines their work is flexibility. Hauzer’s PVD coating platforms have a modular design that can be assembled to the specification of the customer. Bernex’s CVD coating systems can be configured with a range of proven, highly precise technologies.

In addition, both companies are known for their expert engineering teams and long-standing R&D relationships with companies and institutes. Hauzer and Bernex engineers excel at developing coatings, even for unique applications. The Hauzer Groups is always looking for companies that want to engage in development partnerships and help shape the coatings of the future.

CVD applications in aerospace

CVD coatings are known for their temperature, wear, and corrosion resistance. In aerospace, they excel in the hot section of turbines. Components there need to be able to withstand temperatures above 1,000°C and a highly corrosive, oxidative environment. The benchmark coating for the hot section is an aluminium-based diffusion coating with a complex architecture.

Philippe Ricklin, Bernex Director Sales & Marketing, says: “To help components withstand these challenging conditions, especially in newer aircraft, we developed coating recipes that use dopants for increases corrosion protection, such as chrome, silicon, and – an important element these days in CVD coatings – hafnium. Bernex systems can control such elements with a high degree of accuracy.”

Turbine components often have complex geometries, for instance with long internal cooling channels. Not all coating systems are capable of depositing coatings on inner surfaces – some coating systems cannot do this at all, others cannot achieve the necessary homogeneity. Bernex’s CVA systems operate at low-pressure, because it is a vacuum technology. Philippe again: “This offers better consistency in small holes and channels than technologies that operate at or near atmospheric pressure. Several companies have decided to enter into R&D contracts with Bernex, specifically based on how impressed they were with our homogeneity on highly complex 3D shapes.”

PVD applications in aerospace

PVD coatings are known for their hardness, wear protection, and low coefficient of friction. That makes them ideal for protecting moving parts:

  •  Flight control actuators
  • Bearings, gears, and seals
  • Landing gear
  • Components in the hydraulics system
  • Airframe components, and much more.

PVD coatings can also benefit components in the cold section of the turbine. For instance, by protecting vanes and compressive blades against erosion from sand, ash, and water. PVD is also widely used for decorative purposes in other industries. Another important future application of PVD in aerospace is as a replacement for hard chrome plating, once the use of hexavalent chromium will no longer be allowed in Europe.

PVD coatings are also well established in the manufacture of cutting and forming tools, especially for challenging machining applications. The hard, thin PVD layers increase tool lifetime and performance, increasing machining productivity even when using lightweight materials that are known to be difficult to machine. Hauzer has an excellent reputation in the tool coating sector.

Aerospace-relevant certifications

Equipment built by the Hauzer Group has the technical quality to meet aerospace-specific standards. Ionbond, sister company to the Hauzer Group, has a 15+-year working relationship with aerospace manufacturers as a coating provider. Ionbond uses Hauzer and Bernex equipment to coat aerospace components from Europe and the USA. With these systems, Ionbond plants have been able to meet Airbus process specifications (AIPS 02-04-007) and have achieved AS EN 9100 certifications. In the UK, Ionbond has even achieved the NADCAP Merit Status. This shows the high quality of Hauzer and Bernex systems and their suitability for aerospace applications.

Visit us

Hauzer, Bernex, and Ionbond are attending FIA together. Our experts would be pleased to discuss your specific challenges and applications, whether you want to protect aerospace components or increase your productivity in component manufacturing. Perhaps a proven PVD or CVD coating recipe would offer you the surface characteristics you need. And if not, our engineers would be happy to start a development process to finetune a coating or develop a proprietary coating from scratch.