Additional Services We can Offer Your Company
Aero-Flex Corp. adheres to a rigorous multi-step cleaning and passivation process. When you weld stainless steel, the heat causes the material’s residual carbon to rise to the surface. These carbon deposits can eventually cause rust on your welds, especially in the heat-affected zones. To prevent this future damage, Aero-Flex Corp. applies two separate acid washes to the weld zone, effectively “pickling” the joint. This eliminates the carbon deposits and the chance of post-weld rust. The last stage involves a caustic dip to neutralize acids. This works in weld zones and across the entire part if it has any discoloration or residue from past use.
Aero-Flex also offers high purity cleaning to industrial or aerospace specifications at our approved cleaning lab. Our lab is NADCAP certified and performs high purity cleaning for the military and some of the largest aerospace and defense companies in the world. Please let us know if your part requires high purity cleaning and we will be happy to include pricing in your quote.
Helium Leak Detection
This sensitive leak detection method is used to detect and locate very small leaks. It generates a high vacuum in your assembly when attaching the spectrometer to it. We then flood the assembly’s exterior with helium, whose tiny atoms penetrate the smallest openings and are drawn back into the mass spectrometer for detection and quantification of the size of any leak discovered.
Typically there are two types of leaks in the detection of helium as a tracer for leak detection: residual leak and virtual leak. A residual leak is a real leak due to an imperfect seal, a puncture, or some other hole in the system. A virtual leak is the semblance of a leak in a vacuum system caused by outgassing of chemicals trapped or adhered to the interior of a system that is actually sealed. As the gases are released into the chamber, they can create a false positive indication of a residual leak in the system. This method can detect even the smallest of leaks in your Metal Hose, Pipe Assembly or Tube Assembly that a Hydrostatic or Pneumatic pressure test may not detect.
Magnetic Particle Inspection
This process locates and defines imperceptible discontinuities in any magnetic material, such as a weld or the adjacent base metal. You can employ it to inspect plate edges before welding, examine separate weld passes (or layers) as you proceed, or test the final repair. The inspection will detect both surface and subsurface cracks, incomplete fusion, inadequate weld penetration, and any defects in the metal. The method places probes on each side of the area to be inspected, passing a high amperage through the workplace between them. This produces a magnetic flux at right angles to the current flow.
The presence of a surface or subsurface discontinuity in the material allows the magnetic flux to leak, since air cannot support as much magnetic field per unit volume as metals. To identify a leak, ferrous particles, either dry or in a wet suspension, are applied to a part. These are attracted to an area of flux leakage and form what is known as an indication, which is evaluated to determine its nature, cause, and course of action, if any.
Hydrostatic & Pneumatic Pressure Testing
Hydrostatic testing detects leaks in an assembly by filling your assembly with water while simultaneously evacuating its air. Using high-pressure pumps, we hydrostatically pressurize the assembly and test its ability to withstand the pressure for which it’s rated for a predetermined period of time.
Pneumatic pressure testing works by filling your assembly with air and then submerging under water to look for leaks. Pneumatic testing is very dangerous at high pressure and is typically used in only low pressure bubble tests.Obviously, only specialized applications require such a test. The medium used can determine the size of leak you can detect. For example regular air is a larger molecule than helium so if really small leaks are to be detected then helium should be used instead of just air.
Liquid Penetrant Inspection (FPI or CCPT)
This leak detection technique locates surface cracks and pinholes not easily seen or detected by an air test or magnetic particle inspection. We apply a fluorescent penetrating dye to your part’s surface and wait for capillary action to draw the liquid into the surface openings. After removing the excess, a developer draws the penetrant to the surface.
We examine the result with ultraviolet light. The high contrast between the fluorescent material and the object makes it possible to detect minute traces of penetrant that indicate defects. Visible dye penetrant works similarly, but with a white developer — against which the dye penetrants create a sharp contrast visible in conventional lighting.
Radiographic Inspection (X-Ray)
Radiography checks a weld’s integrity in a nondestructive manner. X-rays and gamma rays pass through metal and other materials and produce photographic records of the transmitted radiant energy. Since materials absorb known amounts of this radiant energy, the recorded X-rays reveal discontinuities and inclusions within the material.
X-ray interpretation is crucial because developing the film can introduce marks, streaks, fog, and spots that may mask welding flaws. Since the angle of exposure also influences the X-ray, it’s difficult to confidently analyze fillet welds with this method. Aero-Flex uses our NADCAP certified facility to perform all of our radiographic inspections. Please let us know if you require radiographic inspection on your next project.