Challenging spring for critical application

13 Sep 2017

Engineering capacity news posted by Andy Sandford

William Hughes had to meet a challenging set of requirements when it was called on to engineer and manufacture a spring for a safety critical aerospace non-return valve.

The application required a large spring which manufactured from a specialist aerospace certified material –  which has a high spring index making it difficult to form – and had an unusual specification that called for one end of the spring to be fusion welded using stainless steel filler rod.

Following the welding process, the end coils have to be cleaned to ensure that they are uniform with no protrusion, this being achieved using a series of grinding, polishing and deburring processes. The opposite end is then fettled on the inside to allow correct location on valve housing and both spring ends are chamfered and deburred. The spring is heat treated and passivated in William Hughes NADCAP oven process before being 100% checked for squareness and load.

Springs manufactured by William Hughes are being used in vital items of aerospace equipment including oxygen systems, access hatches and the solenoid valves used to control the hydraulic and cabin pressure systems. The company offers its customers a rapid design and prototyping service in a range of materials.

This facility is particularly suited to the aerospace industry where small quantities are required for prototypes with the capability to move to volume production once a final design is agreed. Quality systems to ISO 9001:2000, ISO/TS 16949:2002 and AS9100 - the quality management system standard for aerospace companies - ensure consistency and accuracy of supply.


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