Non-destructive testing allows us to confirm the serviceability of key components during the overhaul process, to provide our customers with longer life from expensive aviation parts. Replacing parts based on actual serviceability instead of time-based replacement guidelines can significantly reduce overhaul expenses for your aircraft and your fleet.
Hope Aero takes the additional effort of having our technicians certified to the national Canadian Standard - Natural Resources Canada CGSB 48.9712. Our highly-skilled and experienced NDT team makes use of a number of advanced technologies that speed the inspection process while also delivering better inspection results. All of these NDT procedures are completed in house for faster turnaround. A number of testing techniques can also be performed on site – sometimes with the parts still installed on the aircraft – saving our clients considerable downtime from disassembly, shipping and reassembly.
Eddy current testing (ECT) uses interacting electromagnetic fields to uncover flaws in conductive materials by monitoring the way these fields change as the testing probe is moved over the surface of a part. An induced electromagnetic field will change in phase or amplitude as it passes through flaws caused by cracks, pits, voids, inclusions, variations in alloy content or changes in spacing between key components.
Our experienced, meticulous inspectors have the experience and keen eye to determine which parts can be reused and which must be replaced. They also have the capability to work on site, bringing the necessary testing equipment to your location. When parts can be inspected while still installed, on-site testing can save you hours of downtime resulting from disassembly and shipping.
Our $100,000 computer-controlled eddy current machine is large enough to test any size wheel we have in for overhaul. The computer-controlled testing probe is able to complete a comprehensive inspection and generate a full report in under two minutes, eliminating what could previously have taken up to two hours to complete. The better accuracy gives greater confidence in the continued serviceability of parts, while quicker turnaround at this critical inspection stage reduces backlogs that affect critical timelines.
Liquid penetrant inspection (LPI) is a relatively low-cost method for uncovering hairline cracks and other defects in the surfaces of non-porous materials such as metal, plastic and ceramics. After a thorough surface cleaning, components are painted with a fluorescent dye, which will migrate into cracks through capillary action. After adequate penetration time has been allowed, technicians remove the excess surface dye, apply a special developer solution to draw penetrant out of defects, and inspect the part in our custom designed darkroom, using black light to enhance the visibility of any penetrant remaining in cracks and flaws.
Our experienced, meticulous inspectors have the experience and keen eye to determine which parts can be reused and which must be replaced. They also have the capability to work on site, bringing the necessary testing equipment to your location. When parts can be inspected while still installed, on-site testing can save you hours of downtime resulting from removal, disassembly and shipping.
Magnetic particle inspection (MPI) detects surface and subsurface defects in ferromagnetic materials such as iron, nickel, cobalt and many of their alloys. After the part is magnetized with an electric current, discontinuities will result in a magnetic flux leakage – a technical way of saying the field will be disrupted at the defective spot. Ferrous iron particles are applied to the surface of the part using a liquid suspension, revealing the defect by adhering to the area of concern. The part can then be examined for the cause of the indication and whether it can be repaired. Parts are then thoroughly demagnetized before being returned to service.
Our magnetic particle wet bench allows us to do high volumes of inspections in house, significantly controlling costs to our clients. Alternatively, a portable inspection unit allows us to work on site when required, inspecting many parts while they are still installed on the aircraft. Often the time saved by this on-site service brings considerable savings to busy clients who can’t afford to have an aircraft out of service.
In ultrasonic testing (UT), an ultrasound transducer sends very short pulse waves at frequencies between 0.1 and 15 MHz into materials to be tested, measuring the amplitude intensity of their reflection or the attenuation of the sound pulses transmitting straight through the component being inspected. These results can be compared against manufacturer standards or inspected for inconsistencies. Our ultrasound inspection unit is completely portable, allowing the expert technicians at Hope Aero to complete the required testing at our facility, or bring the equipment to your location and complete the inspection on site.
Fundamental to any inspection is a complete removal of all existing paint, dirt and coatings. Our large-cabinet media blasting machine, contained in a separate, air-conditioned blasting room, allows us to fit a wider (and larger) variety of components inside, often several at a time. Reducing the time required to load and reload smaller parts into a smaller cabinet saves considerable operator time and effort. The clean, comfortable working conditions outside the machine eliminate the need for our technicians to suit up in bulky, cumbersome protective suits, which are not only time-consuming to don, but which restrict an operator’s ability to complete fine detail work. At Hope Aero, eliminating this hassle means small jobs can get done right away, instead of waiting for a number of items to be done together. It also means technicians are able to maneuver more precisely when cleaning difficult recesses and crevices. All of this results in better cleaning, which translates into better inspection results further down the workflow chain.
At Hope Aero we have invested in two complete paint booths – one in each of our buildings – to minimize travel time through the facility and avoid any wait times or backlog that might result from a high volume of work at a single paint station. Both paint booths are segregated and ventilated with air extraction and filtration systems, resulting in a more consistent paint job.
As with every stage of the overhaul process, we constantly strive to provide the best possible paint finish to our completed projects – the most visible indication of our commitment to quality. We use epoxy paints for both the primer and the top coat, as specified by the major manufacturers’ component maintenance manuals. Two-part epoxy paints are more expensive to use due to their limited pot life, but they have a much longer useful life in service, avoiding the need for costly repaints. Our dedicated paint oven cures the final coat under precisely controlled conditions to create a durable, better-looking finish.