The chemical cleaning of aerospace engine components requires specialized equipment like a mesh wire basket or stainless steel basket. A client in the aerospace field was having difficulty sourcing cleaning baskets that accommodated the size of the components that required cleaning. Marlin Steel, a custom wire basket manufacturer, was able to step in and offer the client custom-made wire basket solutions fully made in the United States.
What Is the Opportunity?
Marlin Steel was presented with the task of creating an order of five to 10 wire baskets for the chemical cleaning of aviation compressor blades located inside a jet engine. Previously, the client sourced their baskets from overseas, causing them to experience delayed delivery which resulted in a loss of revenue.
These baskets needed to not only accommodate the size of the components but also to withstand frequent chemical exposure. The cleaning process entails placing the baskets containing the aviation components into a cleaning tank filled with a nitric dip that cleans and sterilizes the blades. The cleaning baskets must be able to endure this process without risk of corrosion or damage.
A high-quality, durable basket is required to ensure the blades remain in pristine condition during the cleaning process. Quality control specialists inspect the clean blades under a microscope for defects. If the wire basket fails to meet standards and the cleaning process is no longer effective, it can cause defects in the blades which may or may not be caught before reinstallation. This cascading failure can cause loosening of the blades in the engine which leads to engine failure. If precisely executed, this order could lead to an annual purchase from the client.
What Is the Solution?
Marlin Steel developed a custom wire basket solution using Stainless Steel 316 to meet the client's interior space need of 48"x 36"x 12" tall that fits inside their existing hot chemical tanks that uses the following Cee-Bee cleaning products:
Our engineers designed the custom baskets to withstand cleaning temperatures ranging between 170-200°F for the duration of the cleaning process which can last up to one hour. The design ensured that the baskets could easily contain components with diameters ranging between 3”-40” and could hold up to 500 lbs.
We also took into consideration the removal method, which involves using a manual crane to lift the wire basket out of the wash. We incorporated a crane hoist connection and dividers in the wire basket to accommodate the cleaning process.
What Are the Final Results?
All aspects of the 316SS wire baskets met the client's requirements. The client was impressed with the quality, time, and delivery of the necessary wire baskets and the expertise behind the process.
As a result of our engineers’ design, we formed a lasting relationship with the Senior Process Engineer, resulting in probable annual orders. The client gained reliable, high-quality equipment necessary for their industry's needs while avoiding delays and extra costs by eliminating the need to order baskets from overseas.
Marlin Steel provides 100% USA-made products backed by the expertise of chemical and mechanical engineers who make up 20% of our staff. At Marlin Steel, quality assurance, timely manufacturing, and fast delivery are our priorities as well as maintaining a safe environment. We are at a current milestone of 2600+ days without a safety incident.