Southwest United Industries, Inc. – Tulsa operates from a 100,000+ square feet modern and well-maintained facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Former headquarters for Southwest United Industries (prior to acquisition), the site offers single source metal finishing for newly manufactured parts as well as repair and overhaul applications.
- FAA Repair/MRO
- Non-Destructive Testing
- Shot Peening
- Thermal Spray
- Bushing Installation
Southwest United Industries was acquired by Precision Castparts Corp. in December, 2012.
Products & Services
Southwest is well versed in FAA Repair/MRO applications including, but not limited to the following:
- Thermal spray strip and reapplication
- Cadmium plate strip and reapplication
- Bushing disassembly and reinstallation
- Grinding (including centerless spherical I.D. grinding)
- Many of the applications mentioned in the subsequent sections
Southwest understands the needs of our FAA/MRO Repair customers may be considerably different from our standard production customers, especially in respect to leadtime. In response, we use surge capacity, combined with a highly flexible staff, to meet the urgent demands of this industry segment.
We are accustomed to shipping products within and outside of the United States via the fastest option possible, up to and including counter-to-counter. We are well versed in interpreting Components Maintenance Manuals (CMM’s) and have direct access to many of the manufacture’s portals, including Boeing. This access allows us to retrieve the latest versions of specifications and other required documents needed to complete the processing.
Finishing Services Include:
- Anodizing Processing Services
- Sulfuric Acid Anodize
- Chromic Acid Anodize
- Hard Anodize
- Boric Sulfuric Acid Anodize
- Alodine (Chemical Conversion)
Anodizing provides aluminum parts with a hard abrasion and corrosion resistant oxide film formed from the aluminum substrate. Unlike many other metal finishing operations, anodizing is typically unique to aluminum. Additionally, anodizing forms an excellent paint base and helps ensure adhesion of organic coatings such as zinc chromate primer, paints, and lubricants. Anodizing also provides electrical insulation and tends to minimize galvanic corrosion where aluminum is in contact with other metals.
- Non-Destructive Testing Processes
- Magnetic Particle Inspection
- Nital Etch
- Flourescent Penetrant Inspection
Non-destructive testing (NDT) includes inspection methods usually used to search for the presence of defects in components. The types of defects detectable include cracks, porosity, voids, burns, and inclusions. NDT is used by our customers to ensure product integrity and reliability, prevent failure and accidents, ensure customer satisfaction, and maintain a uniform quality level.
Primary methods used by Southwest United Industries are fluorescent penetrant inspection and magnetic particle inspection.
Fluorescent Penetrant Inspection (FPI)
FPI is most commonly used in the inspection of critical machined parts such as aerospace parts. Florescent penetrant inspection consists of applying a fluorescent dye penetrant to the parts to be inspected. The coating penetrates any emerging crack; and after applying an exposure to ultraviolet light, the defects or suspect areas will appear as fluorescent light to the trained inspectors’ eyes.
At Southwest, the parts are run through a semi-automatic preparation process. The parts are washed and dried in a drying oven and then immersed in a bath of dye for the appropriate dwell time. Emerging cracks of corrosion or defective manufacture will contain the penetrating dye, which shows as fluorescent light once exposed to an ultraviolet light source. The parts are examined by one of several level II or level III certified NDT technicians. Southwest’s technicians have many years of experience in examining aviation parts and are able to perform the examination in a thorough and efficient manner.
- Magnetic Particle Inspection
Magnetic particle inspection (MPI) is a combination of two nondestructive testing methods: magnetic flux leakage testing and visual testing. Consider a bar magnet. It has a magnetic field in and around the magnet. Any place that a magnetic line of force exits or enters the magnet is called a pole. A pole where a magnetic line of force exits the magnet is called a north pole and a pole where a line of force enters the magnet is called a south pole.
When a bar magnet is broken in the center of its length, two complete bar magnets with magnetic poles on each end of each piece will result. If the magnet is just cracked, but not broken completely in two, a north and south pole will form at each edge of the crack. The magnetic field exits the north pole and reenters the at the south pole. The magnetic field spreads out when it encounters the small air gap created by the crack. This happens because the air cannot support as much magnetic field per unit volume as the magnet can. When the field spreads out, it appears to leak out of the material and, thus, it is called a flux leakage field.
If iron particles are sprinkled on a cracked magnet, the particles will be attracted to and cluster not only at the poles at the ends of the magnet but also at the poles at the edges of the crack. This cluster of particles is much easier to see than the actual crack and this is the basis for magnetic particle inspection.
The first step in a magnetic particle inspection is to magnetize the component that is to be inspected. Southwest United has modern Magnaflux MPI equipment, which can perform multi-directional magnetization as well as demagnetization. If any defects on or near the surface are present, the defects will create a leakage field. After the component has been magnetized, iron particles, either in a dry or wet suspended form, are applied to the surface of the magnetized part. The particles will be attracted and cluster at the flux leakage fields, thus forming a visible indication that Southwest’s experienced level II and Level III certified technicians can detect.
- Painting Processes
Painting or organic finishing is often used to provide improved corrosion resistance. Southwest offers complete painting and other metal finishing services to offer our customers full finishing capability.
Painted finishes can be specified for a number of purposes. The decision to plate or paint for a specific application will often depend on the following considerations:
Cost – Generally, on a per-unit, surface-area basis, organic coatings will tend to cost less than plated deposits.
Appearance – The broad range of colors and textures of painted surfaces often make it the finish of choice over plating.
- Corrosion resistance – In many cases, a properly selected paint coating applied over the pretreatment will perform better in outdoor exposures than a plated one.
Plating, thermal spray, and painting complement each other in providing the best choices of finishes.
Southwest is familiar with the best coating systems for improving corrosion resistance on steel, reducing oxidation on aluminum, and other benefits from painting. Contact Southwest United Industries to learn how painting can be part of your metal finishing solution.
- Plating Processes
Southwest offers more than 40 metal finishing processes. Our state-of-the-art plating processes are maintained to exacting standards to satisfy the demanding requirements of our many aerospace, military and commercial customers. We maintain a complete staff of plating engineers, plating chemists, and customer service representatives to provide the World Class Quality and Service our customers have come to expect.
Our plating processes include:
- Nickel Plate
- Cyanide Strike
- Low Embrittlement
- L.E. Titanium
- Shot Peening
Shot Peening is a cold-working process in which the surface of a part is bombarded with small spherical media called shot. It is equivalent to a myriad of small hammer blows impinged over the entire surface indenting the surface and causing work hardening of the surface metal.
Shot peening is often confused with blasting, but the two have vastly different results. Blasting is used to prepare the surface of a part for coating by removing surface contaminants. Shot peening is used to work-harden metal and to increase its fatigue strength. The greatest benefit of shot peening results from inducing compressive stresses on the surface metal, which increases resistance to fatigue failures. Other benefits to shot peening include increased resistance to corrosion fatigue, stress corrosion cracking, hydrogen assisted cracking, fretting, galling and erosion caused by cavitation.
Southwest mploys state-of-the-art, shot-peening technologies and is capable of shot peening components of diverse shapes and sizes in rigidly controlled environments. Southwest engineers are available to assist by sharing their many years of shot peening training and experience.
- Thermal Spray Processes:
- Wire Spray
- Flame Spray
Thermal spraying allows coating applications of high performance materials such as metals, alloys, ceramics, and carbides to be applied to relatively easy-to-work and more economical base materials which significantly enhance component performance.
Thermal spraying processes offer tremendous improvements in component performance such as wear, heat, oxidization, and corrosion resistance.
Thermal spray coatings are also commonly used in the overhaul and repair of damaged or worn components, offering a cost-effective and timely alternative to purchasing replacement parts.
Thermal spray coatings are also commonly used in the overhaul and repair of damaged or worn components, offering a cost effective and timely alternative to purchasing replacement parts.
Thermal spray coatings are widely accepted for use in diverse industries such as aerospace and oil and gas.Thermal spray has been approved for numerous applications on new airplanes produced by Boeing and Airbus. Many of the applications involve wear surfaces on structural and landing gear components, which were previously designed with chrome plating. Properly applied thermal spray coatings can increase the component service life, reduce the risk of catastrophic failure, and reduce the long-term maintenance cost.
Thermal spray coatings and technology have advanced rapidly over the past two decades. Designers now utilize thermal spray coatings to enhance their product and give improved performance—rather than just as a last resort repair process.
Southwest continues to invest in new technologies that increase production capacity and enhanced techniques to meet the demanding standards of our customers. Our coating engineers work closely with our customers and industry researchers to make sure Sourthwest remains at the forefront of thermal spray technologies. We also work with customers and product suppliers to develop new materials and advanced technologies.
- Machining/Grinding Processes
Precision I.D. and O.D. grinding
Spherical I.D. and O.D. grinding
Hard chrome grinding
Thermal spray grinding
- CNC and conventional grinding capabilities
Southwest can provide a full range of machining/grinding services in either high volume production quantities or single parts to exact standards and specifications. Our experience and continuous investment in the latest grinding technologies and CNC equipment have made Southwest a leader in the grinding of exotic materials such as:
- “Super alloys” such as Inconel and others
- Thermally applied coatings such as tungsten and chrome carbide as well as cobalt alloys
- Miscellaneous Processes
Southwest offers more than 40 metal finishes including:
- Anti-Fretting for Titanium
- Black Oxide - Conversion Coating
Cleaning - Descaling of Titanium
Corrosion Protection - Magnesium
Magnesium - Conversion Coating
Manganese - Zinc Phosphate Coatings
Passivation of Stainless Steel
Dow 7 on Magnesium
Phosphate - Conversion Coating
Phosphate - Fluoride Coating
Weld-tungsten Inert Gas in Inert Atmosphere
Customer Approvals Include:
- Aircelle Groupe SAFRAN
- Aircraft Braking Systems
- Bell Aero
- Bell Helicopter
- Bombardier Aerospace
- Cessna Aircraft Company
- Hamilton Sundstrand
- Hawker Beechcraft (Formally Raytheon Aircraft)
- Honda Aircraft Company
- Honeywell International
- Israel Aerospace Industries
- Lockheed Martin
- MD Helicopter
- Messier-Dowty (Toronto)
- Northrop Grumman
- Parker Aerospace
- UTC Aerospace Systems (Goodrich)
- Vought Aircraft Industries