“OUR ALUMINUM-TITANIUM LIGHTWIEGHT BEARINGS DIVIDE WEIGHT IN HALF AND REDUCE OPERATING COSTS IN AVIATION”

IN­TER­VIEW WITH RAINER HAR­TER, CTO OF HIRSCHMANN GROUP


At the ILA Berlin Air Show for the first time HIRSCHMANN pre­sented their in­no­v­a­tive alu­minum/ti­ta­nium lightweight bear­ings com­bined with Tie Rods (cou­pling bars) made of a com­pos­ite fab­ric mesh. Why is such a prod­uct needed in aero­space?

Rainer Harter: In mod­ern com­mer­cial air­crafts with a very high quan­tity of spher­i­cal bear­ings, our alu­minum-ti­ta­nium LW bear­ings con­tribute to a lower total weight and there­fore to sav­ings in fuel con­sump­tion. This is very im­por­tant especially in aero­space. Each kilo­gram saved in con­struc­tion re­duces op­er­at­ing costs and relieves the en­vi­ron­ment. Now in­dus­try is con­fronted with the large chal­lenge to build air­craft meet­ing these re­quire­ments. Our patent-pend­ing new de­vel­op­ment con­tributes to this. It guar­an­tees a weight re­duc­tion using ex­tremely light ma­te­ri­als but with high load ca­pac­ity at the same time.

You use alu­minum-ti­ta­nium spher­i­cal bear­ings – can you ex­plain the spe­cific fea­tures of this ma­te­r­ial com­bi­na­tion?

Rainer Harter: De­vel­op­ing our alu­minum-ti­ta­nium LW bear­ings we spec­i­fied two gen­eral re­quire­ments. The spher­i­cal bear­ings must have the same per­for­mance data as bear­ing tech­nol­ogy used up to now and they must be sig­nif­i­cantly lighter. Our en­gi­neers man­aged both. With our new alu­minum-ti­ta­nium LW bear­ings, we reach a weight re­duc­tion of about 50 percent with iden­ti­cal per­for­mance data. This has been proven not only on test bench, but also in prac­tice. Since the mar­ket launch in 2015, our in­no­v­a­tive prod­ucts have passed test run in race tech­nol­ogy su­perbly.
 
You men­tioned the test bench. How were the new LW bear­ings tested?

Rainer Harter: We ori­en­tated the alu­minum-ti­ta­nium LW bear­ings for sta­tic and dy­namic force trans­fers under dif­fer­ent load di­rec­tions. This ro­bust qual­ity prod­uct with­stands high al­ter­nat­ing and im­pact loads.

Under am­bi­tious test con­di­tions, the alu­minum-ti­ta­nium bear­ings im­pres­sively proved their re­sis­tance. Pow­er­ful HIRSCHMANN slid­ing films with a spe­cial sup­port­ing struc­ture are the guar­an­tee for a high bear­ing ca­pac­ity. Four mil­lion move­ments were sim­u­lated in an in­ter­nal test run on a bi­ax­ial test bench: pulling and press­ing as well as ro­tat­ing and tilt­ing move­ments. Be­cause of this ex­treme sim­u­la­tion, we guar­an­tee the qual­ity, char­ac­ter­is­tics, and the dura­bil­ity of our new prod­uct.

Can your cus­tomer choose from a stan­dard as­sort­ment or do you offer these new prod­ucts also for spe­cial cus­tomer ap­pli­ca­tions?

Rainer Harter: Both, our cus­tomers have the pos­si­bil­ity to se­lect a suit­able prod­uct from our as­sort­ment of alu­minum-ti­ta­nium LW bear­ings as a stan­dard prod­uct in a mod­u­lar con­struc­tion kit. In ad­di­tion, we offer cus­tomized so­lu­tions. That means, our en­gi­neer­s de­vel­op ap­pli­ca­tions pre­cisely after the in­di­vid­ual spec­i­fi­ca­tion con­cern­ing in­stal­la­tion space, geom­e­try, width, tem­per­a­ture, load­ing ca­pac­ity, as well as torque and tilt­ing mo­ment. On ac­count of our flex­i­bil­ity, we are able to de­liver a suit­able light­weight bear­ing for nearly every ap­pli­ca­tion.