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.