Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 18

Removing
Aircraft Paint Using
Laser-Equipped Robots
H
exavalent chromium is not a
term frequently associated
with engineers. Residents of
Hinkley, California, however,
know all about it. So do workers tasked
with the labor-intensive process of
depainting aircraft.
Hexavalent chromium is a chemical
compound used in electroplating, stainless
steel production, leather tanning,
textile manufacturing and wood preservation.
The United States is one of the
world's leading producers of chromium
compounds, according to the National
Toxicology Program.
Hinkley residents became familiar
with hexavalent chromium in the
1990s. Pacific Gas and Electric Company
(PG&E) used the compound in a
compressor station for natural-gas
transmission properties. A law clerk,
Erin Brockovich, looked into illnesses
in the area related to hexavalent chromium.
After three years of litigation,
PG&E settled a class action lawsuit for
$333 million, the largest in American
18
history at the time. Brockovich's story
later became an Oscar-winning film.
Hexavalent chromium compounds
have been known to cause lung cancer
in humans when inhaled. Exposure also
occurs by ingesting it in food or water,
or direct contact with skin. Depainting
aircraft produces a huge amount of
hexavalent chromium.
Reducing risk of exposure was among
the primary reasons Titan Robotics
developed an automated solution for
the U.S. Air Force to depaint military
aircraft. The process includes two
robots that use continuous-wave lasers
to strip paint from the aircraft. The
process is more efficient and safer than
previous methods, which required
workers to work in chemically hazardous
environments.
" You had the human factors of a person
working in a terrible environment
for a long period of time,'' said Alex
Klinger, a program engineer at Titan
Robotics. " Then there was hazardous
waste that had to be disposed of. With
mobilityengineeringtech.com
ADT Feature 4 - Robotic Aircraft Maintenance 0522_1.indd 18
Intro
Cov
ToC
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the laser processes, we take the people
out of the hazardous environment, and
we also contain the hazardous waste. "
Stripping Paint with Lasers
Automation infiltrates many business
units, but automated laser depainting
of aircraft is a new technique. The
process includes robots that use lasers
to strip paint from the aircraft. Titan
can configure systems with mobile
bases, rails, and fixed position robots.
The rail-based systems allow the robots
to reach very long parts of the aircraft.
The rail system is preferred for off-aircraft
components, while mobile base
systems are used for full aircraft systems
where the robots drive themselves
around the aircraft.
" Rail systems operate in a manor
where we can roll the part in, right next
to the rail, and as long as the robot can
reach it, it will figure out where that
part is, how to go across it, and how to
take the paint off with the high-powered
lasers,'' Klinger said.
Aerospace & Defense Technology, May 2022
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Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022

Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - Intro
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - Cov 4
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - Cov 1
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - Cov 2
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 1
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 2
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 3
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 4
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 5
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 6
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 7
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 8
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 9
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 10
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 11
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 12
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Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 15
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 16
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Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 18
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 19
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 20
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Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 40
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Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 46
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 47
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - 48
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - Cov 3
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2022 - Cov 4
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/22ADT10
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/22ADT09
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/22ADT08
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/22ADT06
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/22ADT05
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/22ADT04
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/22ADT02
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21ADT12
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21ADT10
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21ADT09
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21ADT08
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21ADT06
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21ADT05
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21ADT04
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21ADT02
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