A glider, also known as a sailplane, is a type of aircraft that is primarily used for leisure activities and the sport of gliding. Unlike airliners and other similar fixed-wing aircraft, gliders are unpowered, taking advantage of naturally rising air to gain altitude and remain in the atmosphere. With their design, gliders are equipped to traverse a significant distance with small losses in altitude. To better understand how gliders work, and how they compare to other aircraft, we will discuss their design.

Fuselage

Like many other aircraft types, the fuselage is the main portion of the airframe where the wings and empennage are connected. At the front of the structure is the cockpit, opposite of the empennage that is attached at the back. Meanwhile, the wings extend from both sides. Generally, the fuselage may be composed of various materials, some of the most common including wood, fabric covered steel tubing, fiberglass, aluminum, Kevlar, or various combinations of each. While early gliders were constructed with wood and metal fasteners, they have since been upgraded to drastically reduce weight for performance.

Tow Hook Device

In order to begin soaring, gliders will often have a tow hook device that extends from the aircraft’s center of gravity or from the nose. When placed on the nose, such devices are used for aerotow procedures.

Wings

While devoid of engines, gliders still feature long, narrow wings that serve as their airfoils. Depending on the model, glider wings can range from 40 feet to 101.38 feet in length. Additionally, the wings are often fitted with various components that affect drag and lift, allowing for more control. Generally, these components include spoilers, dive brakes, and flaps.

Empennage

The empennage can be considered the tail of the aircraft, and such structures are where various stabilizing surfaces are placed. To amply control the glider as it traverses the atmosphere, the empennage is fitted with fixed and movable surfaces, including those such as the horizontal stabilizer, vertical fin, elevator, rudder, and trim tabs. The empennage itself may vary in shape as well, the most common designs being the conventional tail, T-tail, and V-tail. The conventional tail is designed with the horizontal stabilizer at the bottom of the vertical stabilizer. With a T-tail design, meanwhile, the horizontal stabilizer is placed atop the vertical stabilizer, establishing a “T” shaped tail, hence the name. Lastly, V-type designs feature two tail surfaces, both being mounted to create a “V” shape.

Landing Gear

For the landing gear of a glider, such assemblies consist of a main wheel, front skid or wheel, and a tailwheel or skid. For increased landing capability, many gliders will also feature wheels or skid plates that are attached to the end of each wing. If the glider is specifically designed for high-speed and low-drag flight, then the landing gear may even be fully retractable. Typically, a rope break or early release mechanism will be present so that the pilot has the ability to conduct a safe landing without having to stress over the entire landing checklist.

Conclusion

If you operate a glider and require various parts for maintenance or repairs, the experts at Aerospace Unlimited can help you secure everything you need with ease. With competitive pricing and rapid lead-times, we are your sourcing solution for aileron components, rudder parts, cockpit instruments, and much more. Take the time to explore our offerings, and our team is always on standby 24/7x365 to assist customers through the purchasing process as necessary. Get started with a competitive quote on items that you are interested in through the submission of an RFQ form as see how Aerospace Unlimited can serve as your strategic sourcing partner for all your needs. 


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Fasteners find use in countless applications, allowing individuals to assemble and secure furniture, aircraft, buildings, and so much more. To accommodate a wide range of materials, loads, sizes, and other assembly characteristics, there are many types of fasteners that one may use. As each differs in their design and capabilities, it can be highly beneficial to have a general understanding of the most basic fastener types before making a purchasing decision. 

Bolts

Bolts are a common type of threaded fastener, typically coming in the form of a threaded shaft with a head on one end. For their installation, bolts are passed through the hole of a component, secured with the use of mating nuts and washer components. Bolts are useful for creating bolted joints, relying on the use of the nuts to create an axial clamping force. Bolts may be used to secure numerous materials, and their common types include hex, slotted hex, and socket cap variations. The nuts paired with bolts may also vary in their type, hex nuts being a commonly used component.

Screws

Screws are regularly compared to bolts, featuring a threaded shank and a head on one end. Their difference, however, is the method in which they secure materials together. Typically, a screw is driven into a material, capable of forming its own threading as it is turned. This allows for an internal thread to be formed, pulling materials together for the prevention of pull-out. Screws may vary in their type to accommodate the surface that they are installed in, and they are often used for wood, sheet metal, and plastic assemblies.

Washers

Washers are often paired with bolts and nuts, serving to distribute their loads. While varying in type, washers often come in the form of thin plates that have a hole in their center. With this hole, a threaded fastener may be passed through, the head resting on the washer for load distribution. Alongside such roles, washers may also serve as a spacer, wear pad, locking device, vibration reducer, and more. Generally, the most commonly used washers include the plain, spring, and locking washer.

Rivets

Rivets are a form of permanent mechanical fastener, often coming in the form of a component with a smooth cylindrical shaft and a head on one side. The side opposite of the head is known as the tail, and this end is passed through the hole of components for installation. Once placed in a hole, a tool is used to upset the tail-end, causing it to expand in size to form a second head. This ensures that the rivet stays secure. Coming in numerous forms, rivets are commonly used for the construction of boats, aircraft, bridges, and more.

Nails

Common to woodworking and construction, nails are fasteners constructed from metal or wood that have a sharp end on one side and a head on the other. Using a hammer or nail gun, nails can be driven into a material, securing materials to an object through axial friction or lateral shear strength. Generally, nails are used for hanging objects, assembling materials together, and more.

Beyond such fasteners, one may also take advantage of anchors, coupling components, and other various components for their needs. When you are in the market for top quality fasteners that you can steadily rely on for your various projects, there is no better alternative to Aerospace Unlimited. Unmatched in our lead-times and offering competitive pricing on over 2 billion items, we are well suited to meet your various requirements with ease. Call or email us today and get connected with a sales representative who can assist you throughout the purchasing process however necessary.


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Bearings are components that are paramount to the operations of countless assemblies, serving to constrain motion while also minimizing friction between moving parts. Bearings can come in numerous shapes and forms, thrust bearings being a common type that are implemented in assemblies to absorb axial loads. As bearings that are typically found within automobile gearboxes, radio antenna masts, and other various automotive, marine, and aerospace applications, having a general understanding of thrust bearings and their use can be beneficial.

As stated before, thrust bearings are best fit for taking on the axial loads of a particular assembly. Axial loads are those that are transmitted linearly along a shaft, stemming from various sources such as the forward thrust of boats or the rotation of a propeller powered by a piston aircraft engine. Rotating between parts in motion, thrust bearings may come in a number of forms to facilitate diverse operations.

Thrust ball bearings are those that take advantage of bearing balls that are placed within a ring, accommodating the operations of low thrust applications that exhibit low axial loads. Cylindrical thrust roller bearings, meanwhile, feature cylindrical rollers that are specifically oriented with their axes facing the axis of the bearing. While cost-efficient and featuring high load carrying capacities, such thrust bearings can face wear due to their varying radial speeds and friction. Tapered roller thrust bearings are another common roller thrust bearing, featuring small tapered rollers instead of cylindrical rollers. These tapered rollers are oriented with their axes covering on the axis of the bearing, and the design of the component directly affects how smoothly the rollers are able to roll. Tapered roller thrust bearings are the most common variation for automobiles, capable of taking on axial and radial loads.

Spherical roller thrust bearings feature asymmetrical rollers that are shaped like spheres, placed within a spherical raceway. With their specific design, spherical roller thrust bearings are suited for taking on both radial and axial loads, all while aiding the misalignment of shafts. Generally, spherical roller thrust bearings are paired with radial spherical roller bearings. With the use of fluid bearings, axial thrust can be taken on with the assistance of a pressurized liquid layer, ensuring that drag is mitigated during operations. The final major type of thrust bearing is the magnetic bearing, that of which takes on axial thrust through the use of a magnetic field. Generally, these bearings are used for high speed operations and provide low drag.

As certain bearings differ in their ability to take on certain loads or operational conditions, it is crucial that purchasing decisions are made with ample consideration for the application in question. To ensure proper functionality, reliability, and a long service life for a particular bearing, it should be of the correct type, material, size, and shape for the system or assembly that it will be installed in. After factoring in all operational requirements and bearing characteristics as necessary, Aerospace Unlimited can help you secure all the radial bearing, roller bearing, and thrust bearing components you need with unmatched prices and service.


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An electrical transducer is a component that is able to transform physical quantities into voltage or electric current, allowing for measurements to be made in the form of electrical signals. Electrical transducers can measure many properties, often being used for pressure, temperature, level, displacement, and much more. As the output signal is always proportional to the quantity that the device measures, transducers are quite reliable and useful for the applications that they serve.

Modern industrial applications are quite dependent upon instrumentation, that of which is used for the measurement and management and various operational variables. With instrumentation, aspects such as displacement, temperature, flow, angle, and level may all be managed with ease. For basic instrumentation systems, transducers are a crucial part that is relied upon for the conversion of energy.

Depending upon one’s needs, there are a number of transducer types that are classified by the quantities or attributes that they measure. In general, the most common types include temperature transducers, pressure transducers, displacement transducers, oscillator transducers, flow transducers, and inductive transducers. Such devices may also be categorized based on their principle of operation, common forms being photovoltaic, piezoelectric, chemical, mutual induction, electromagnetic, hall effect, and photoconductor transducers. As a final way of classifying transducers, such components may also be determined based on whether or not there is a required external power source.

If a transducer is capable of transforming quantities into measurable electrical signals without the need of an external power source, the component is known as an active transducer. With a fairly simplistic design, the self-generating device draws energy from the measurement system when it makes a measurement, and the generated output is typically small. Active transducers can come in a variety of types, the most common being the piezoelectric, photoelectric, and thermoelectric transducer.

For transducers that rely on external power sources, however, such devices are known as being passive. Generally, such variations generate their output signal in the form of variations in resistance, capacitance, or another type of electrical parameter. Then, this output is proportionately converted into a voltage signal or electrical current which can be measured. A photocell is a common example of a passive transducer, and such devices are capable of varying the resistance of the cell when exposed to light. With the assistance of a bridge circuit, the resistance change can be transformed into a proportional signal so that the photocell can accurately measure the intensity of light.

With their standard set of capabilities, transducers are often compared to sensors. While sensors are commonly employed for the means of detecting physical changes within a space, transducers serve to convert these changes or measurements into electric signals. Their similarity comes from the fact that sensors are a type of transducer, creating signals based on their detection which may then be used by a control system, information system, or a type of telemetry. Actuators are also commonly compared as well, being capable of receiving a source of energy to act upon the environment in a specific fashion.


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Microprocessor and microcontroller components are two types of integrated circuits (ICs) that are often confused for one another despite serving very different roles and uses. While a microprocessor acts as the processor of a computer with data processing logic and control, a microcontroller is implemented within an embedded system to govern a particular application. As two common components that may be present within many electronic devices and systems, it is important to understand the difference between each and the applications that both serve.

Microprocessors operate without a predefined task, typically being assigned to an operation by a user. Such components are widely implemented in a number of consumer devices, including those such as computers, video game consoles, mobile phones, televisions, and more. As a device that assists systems that have unfixed tasks, microprocessors find implementation in applications where intensive processing is required. With a computer, for example, the microprocessor can serve numerous roles as needed, facilitating operations such as document creation, media streaming, image editing, Internet browsing, and much more.

Microcontrollers, as previously discussed, are designed with a specific task in mind. Typically, the microcontroller will have a program that is embedded to the chip, meaning that any alterations may be difficult as special tools are required for reburning programs. As a result of their standard operations, microcontrollers are considered to be fixed for a particular application. With an input provided by a user or various system sensors, the microcontroller will utilize predefined settings to create an intended output. For their implementation, microcontrollers are often found within washing machines, microwave ovens, timers, and other various appliances and devices. With a microwave oven as an example, predefined inputs can be entered by a user for cooking settings, and a resulting fixed action will be carried out. Unlike a microprocessor, only predefined operations may be achieved with microcontrollers.

For the structure and composition of a microprocessor, such components will generally only have a CPU. If any I/O ports, ROM, RAM, or other peripherals are desired, they must be connected externally. Microprocessors are also known to be fairly flexible, allowing a user to determine the amount of peripheral devices and memory that may be added. With microcontrollers, on the other hand, the CPU, memory, and all other peripherals are pre-assembled to create a single unit, thus the structure is fixed and unchangeable. The clock speeds of microprocessors are often much quicker than microcontrollers, boasting a range of 1 GHz to 4 GHz. Meanwhile, microcontrollers operate on a range of 1 MHz to 300 MHz.

Due to the difference in construction and operations of each component, microprocessors tend to have a much higher cost than microcontrollers with their complexity. Microprocessors may also be larger in construction and require a higher amount of power for operations. Despite these characteristics seeming like potential drawbacks, it is important to consider that microprocessors are intended for more complex operations such as carrying out the diverse functionalities of a computer. If a simple, predefined task is to be carried out, then a microcontroller may be a good fit.


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In order for aircraft to maintain heavier-than-air flight over significant distances, they require some form of power generation for the means of producing thrust and propulsion. For many early aircraft and those that are lightweight or general aviation types, the piston engine serves as the most common solution for maintaining flight. Piston engines can come in a variety of forms, some common types being the inline engine, radial engine, horizontally opposed engine, and V-type engine. While each of these types may differ in their construction and operation to some degree, all function through a common working principle.

Across all piston engine types, one or more pistons are placed within cylinders and situated in various configurations. The cylinder is the area in which gas is introduced with the fuel injection system, and it is mixed together with intake air through the movements of the piston before being ignited. The ignition system of a typical piston engine will commonly use a magneto, and such devices are used to create a spark powerful enough to reach the cylinder and ignite mixtures. The resulting combustive force and gases from ignition will drive the piston upwards, this movement being harnessed by a connecting rod and crankshaft for the means of converting linear motion into a rotational motion. The rotational motion created through combustion is important driving the propellers of the aircraft for flight. After the piston has driven the crankshaft assembly, it can then force the exhaust gases out of the cylinder before repeating the cycle again.

Depending on the type of aircraft and its piston engine, the general operation of pistons may slightly vary. Generally, each type will differ on the number of cylinders that they contain, and various orientations may feature a circular design with a central crankshaft, multiple cylinders situated within a line, or other such configurations. Based on the construction of the cylinders and their number, the timing of piston firing may also differ by model so that smooth operations are achieved without any delay in combustion. While the amount of strokes and cylinders for engine operation may vary by engine type, the general rule of thumb is that more cylinders can further spread power pulses for smoother functionality.

Piston engines are often compared to gas turbine engines, and their operational characteristics and capabilities are set apart from one another. While the piston engine creates power through the conversion of linear motion and pressure, gas turbine engines utilize the pressure of ignited gases to drive a turbine for thrust generation. While the gas turbine engine may be capable of achieving higher amounts of power and can be very reliable, such engine types are not suitable for many smaller aircraft due to their size and weight. As a result, a piston engine that drives a propeller assembly ensures optimal flight characteristics for such aircraft.

As piston engines operate with numerous moving assemblies and high amounts of heat, it is important that they are regularly inspected and maintained to ensure their continued operability and efficiency. To prevent heat from damaging components, engines should be well lubricated with cooling oil and the cooling system should be able to efficiently mitigate extreme temperatures. Furthermore, the engine should be operated regularly as well, as a sitting engine can be susceptible to rust and other forms of corrosion over time.


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The exhaust section of a gas turbine engine is paramount for heat dissipation and performance, ensuring that spent gases are optimally expelled from the engine after combustion. While varying engines may contain different components and complex assemblies, the common function of all exhaust parts is to direct spent gases out of the engine in such a way that an efficient exit velocity is reached without causing turbulence. 

The main sections of the gas turbine engine include the exhaust cone, tailpipe, and exhaust nozzle. The exhaust cone is the section of the aircraft engine that follows the turbine assembly, and it gathers the expanding gases that pass through the turbine blades so that they may be directed into a solid flow. By converting the stream of gas, the exhaust cone can cut down the velocity of the gas while increasing its pressure. For the design of the exhaust cone, the section contains an outer shell, inner cone, multiple radial hollow struts, and tie rods for support.

The outer shell of the assembly is tasked with collecting exhaust gases, and it often comes in the form of a stainless steel assembly which is connected to the turbine case rear flanges. If there is a need for temperature thermocouples within the assembly, the duct may be designed with thermocouple bosses. The struts are also attached to the outer duct, and they serve as supports for the inner cone which sits in the middle of the exhaust duct. Struts are also useful for straightening the flow of exhaust, ensuring that they exit at a proper angle for beneficial operations. The inner cone is placed near the rear face of the turbine disk, and it serves to prevent exiting exhaust gases from causing turbulence. The inner cone may also feature a small hole at the exit tip, and this allows for air circulation to cool the turbine wheel.

The tailpipe is the next major section of the aircraft gas turbine engine, and they are often designed with semiflexible characteristics. For certain tailpipe constructions, a bellows arrangement may be implemented for the means of moving the tailpipe during thermal expansion, maintenance, and installation. With such capabilities of movement, the tailpipe is less at risk of warping under stress. As the high temperatures of combustion can result in heat radiating from the exhaust cone and tailpipe, engineers often implement insulation for the protection of airframe components. While there are numerous solutions that may serve for thermal protection, shrouds and insulation blankets are the most common as they can protect assemblies and increase performance.

The exhaust nozzle is the final section of the engine, and it may be a converging design for subsonic gas velocities or a converging-diverging design for the means of supersonic gas velocities. The nozzle opening may also have a fixed or variable area, the fixed area being fairly simplistic due to its lack of moving parts. It is important that fixed area nozzles are optimally designed so that the engine does not choke during operations and can achieve optimal thrust. When an augmenter or afterburner is implemented in the engine, the exhaust nozzle will come in the form of the variable area type as it will need to extend its open area to accommodate the increased mass of flow. If the augementer or afterburner is shut-off, the exhaust nozzle can adjust to a smaller opening.


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A pressure sensor is a device capable of converting pressure into an electrical signal. They have a wide range of uses in many different applications, so the type of pressure sensor you are using for a given task matters. For example, a pressure sensor that does a good job of measuring oil and gas may not be ideal for measuring hydraulic fluids. Prior to purchasing a pressure sensor, it is important to consider all types to determine which one will best suit your needs.

The first type of pressure sensor is the chemical vapor deposition pressure sensor. Chemical Vapor Deposition, or CVD, is a process used to produce highly stable strain gauge pressure transducers. This process offers a reliable option where many other low-cost pressure sensors would fail. Within each of these transducers is an ASIC chip which offers high levels of linearity correction. CVD pressure sensors are ideal for applications including off-highway, HVAC, and semiconductor processing. Pressure transducers of this type also have a thicker diaphragm, allowing them to handle intense pulsating pressures.

A second type of pressure sensor is the sputtered thin film pressure sensor. Of all types, these are the most dependable. They are known for their long-term durability and high accuracy, even in harsh conditions. Depending on the application, sensors of this type are available in ranges from 0-100 to 0-30,000 PSI. Sputtered thin film pressure sensors offer unrivaled performance in volatile environmental scenarios including high temperatures, intense shock & vibration, and massive pressure spikes. They are fit for applications such as off-highway, fire protection, refrigeration, and alternative fuel.

The next type of pressure sensor, variable capacitance pressure sensors, are ideal when you need a dependable means of measuring low pressure. These are available in ranges from 0-2 PSI to 0-15 PSI, allowing them to accommodate many applications. Their unique characteristics include a sturdy physical configuration, stainless steel & ceramic wetted parts, and variable capacitor technology. They can also be used for high pressure applications such as industrial engines, hydraulic systems, process control, and natural gas pipelines.

The fourth type of pressure sensors are ideal for applications with high shock and vibration. These are solid-state pressure sensors. They are switches featuring a hermetic stainless steel diaphragm. These sensors provide high accuracy measurements where tight system controls are needed, and are more advantageous than electromechanical pressure switches when actuations exceed fifty cycles per minute. They are used in the off-highway, medical, gas, compressor, and other industrial applications.

The final type of pressure sensors are micro machined silicon (MMS) strain gauge sensors. These offer a cost effective solution for low pressures in absolute, compound, and gauge references. MMS pressure sensors feature stainless steel parts in addition to an all-welded construction that is resistant to harsh environments and chemicals. They are most commonly used in applications such as air conditioning refrigerant recovery, gas analysis instrumentation, and medical sterilizers.


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A valve is a device used to regulate, control, or direct the flow of fluid within a system or process by opening, closing, or partially obstructing it. In piping, many different types of valves are used in varying applications. Valves have an important role within piping systems and often account for up to 30% of the overall piping system costs. However, choosing the wrong type of valve for your system can increase costs markedly, making valve selection as essential to the economics of your system as it is to the operation. 

Gate Valve

The first and most common type of valve is the gate valve. These are linear motion valves used to start or stop fluid flow. During operation, the gate valve is either fully open or fully closed. They are used in nearly all fluid services including air, fuel gas, feedwater, steam, lubricant oil, hydrocarbon, and more.

Globe Valve

The globe valve is a type of valve used to stop, start, or regulate fluid flow. These are frequently used in systems where flow control is required but leak prevention is also critical. They provide better shut off than gate valves, but are also more expensive.

Check Valve

Check valves are used to prevent backflow of fluid in a piping system. The pressure of the fluid passing through a pipe opens the valve, while any reverse flow closes the valve.

Plug Valves

A plug valve is a quarter-turn rotary motion valve that utilizes a tapered or cylindrical plug to stop and start fluid flow. They are used as on-off stop valves and are capable of providing bubble-tight shut off. As such, they can be used in vacuum and other high-pressure and high-temperature applications.

Ball Valve

Ball valves are another type of quarter-turn rotary motion valve, but these use a ball-shaped disk to control the flow. Most ball valves are of the quick-acting type, which require a 90° turn to operate the valve. Ball valves operate similarly to gate valves, but are smaller and lighter.

Butterfly Valve

A butterfly valve is a quarter-turn rotary motion valve that can stop, start, or regulate flow. This valve features a short, circular body and a compact lightweight design, making it ideal for large valve applications due to the fact it takes up very little space.

Needle Valve

Needle valves have a similar design to that of globe valves, but feature a needle-like disk. They are designed to provide accurate flow control within piping systems with small diameters. Their name is derived from their pointed conical disc and corresponding seat.

Pinch Valves

Also known as clamp valves, pinch valves are linear motion valves used to start, regulate, and stop fluid flow. They utilize a rubber tube known as a pinch tube, and a pinch mechanism that regulates flow. Pinch valves are frequently used to handle liquids with significant amounts of suspended solids or in systems that pneumatically convey solid materials.

Pressure Relief Valves

These valves, also known as pressure safety valves, are used to protect equipment or systems from overpressure events or vacuums. They are designed to release pressure at a predetermined setting to prevent these from occurring.


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Resistors are one of the most common components for electronic circuit assembly, and they come in many shapes and forms to provide a variety of properties and characteristics that may benefit differing applications. In their most simplistic form, resistors are passive electronic parts featuring two-terminals, and they are used to provide electrical resistance to a circuit. While seemingly simple, the variations in resistor types allow them to take on different roles such as reducing current flow, terminating transmission lines, dividing voltages, adjusting signal levels, and much more.

While different resistors will often be characterized by their ohmic value or other performance properties, the first major categories that serve to separate distinct types from one another is whether a resistor is fixed or variable. Fixed resistors are the most common types found within electronic circuits, and they feature set resistance values that are only slightly affected by conditions such as temperature or operating voltages. With variable resistors, circuit elements can be adjusted with the use of a slider.

Carbon composition resistors are an early fixed resistor type that was once one widely used, and they are often constructed by embedding a solid cylindrical resistive element with wire leads or end caps. To produce the resistive element, powdered carbon is mixed with a ceramic or another insulating material, and a resin is used to bind everything together. To protect the resistor’s body, paint or plastic is used to create a shell and color-coating may be implemented to denote the component’s value. As more advanced resistor types have been released over the years, the carbon composition resistor has become less common due to its inability to surpass the performance and cost of other types.

Carbon film resistors are those that are created by depositing carbon film onto an insulating substrate. With the resistive properties of carbon and a variety of shapes available, such resistors are capable of performing well on a wide range of resistance values. When compared to the carbon composition resistor, the carbon film type can operate with lower noise due to its optimal distribution of unbound pure graphite. With their ability to perform on a wider range of resistances, operating temperatures, and working voltages, such resistors are common to applications needing high pulse stability.

The metal oxide film resistor is a type with similar construction to the carbon composition resistor, though its materials consist of metal oxide film that has been deposited on a ceramic rod. With a superior temperature coefficient, close tolerances, and low noise levels, the metal oxide film resistor has currently established itself as the most widely used type.

Metal film resistors are those that use nickel chromium or other metal film materials for deposition. Due to its similar construction to the metal oxide film type, the metal film resistor is capable of achieving similar performance. With its properties and construction, the metal film resistor is most often used in applications requiring a leaded resistor.

When working with high power applications, the wire wound resistor is a reliable choice due to its characteristics. To produce such electronic parts, a metal wire of nichrome or another material is wound around an insulating core before having its ends soldered or welded to caps or rings. With a protective layer of baked enamel, molded plastic, or paint, the resistor is completed. Due to their materials and construction, such resistors are capable of operating in extremely high temperatures. With their winding, however, wire wound resistors suffer in applications that have higher frequencies.


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Screws are a type of threaded fastener used to join objects and hold them together. A screw consists of a head and threaded section which, depending on the design, may or may not flush out with the surface during fastening. There are many different types of screw heads including flat head, round head, raised head, truss head, bugle head, and more, each designed and used for a specific purpose. This blog will cover the many types of screw heads and their unique characteristics.

In their most basic form, screws are divided into two groups: countersunk screw heads and non-countersunk screw heads. In a countersunk screw head, there is an angular shape beneath the beneath the head, while in non-countersunk screw heads, there is a flat shape. To create the countersunk head, a countersink bit is drilled into the screw to provide the correct head angle. In non-countersunk screw heads, there is no pre-drilled hole necessary. In each group, there are many further classifications. Countersunk screw heads include flat heads, oval heads, and bugle heads, while examples of non-countersunk screw heads are pan heads, button heads, round heads, binding heads, flange heads, and socket heads.

Countersunk Screw Heads

The first type of countersunk screw head, the flat head, sits entirely in the same plane of the mating surface. These screw heads feature a flat top surface and a cone under the bearing surface with a standard of 82 degrees. These are ideal for use in areas where protrusion is unacceptable, such as in a bookshelf. Other applications of flat head screws include steel applications and door hinges. Oval heads are the same as flat heads but feature a dome-shaped head rather than a flat top, making them slightly more aesthetically pleasing without affecting performance. Finally, bugle heads have a flat top surface and a concave curve shape below the bearing to reduce surface damage. These heads are capable of distributing bearing stress over a wider area and are most commonly used in drywall.

Non-countersunk Screw Heads

Pan heads are the first type of non-countersunk screw heads. These feature a flat or slightly round head with chamfered edges and a flat load-bearing surface on the underside. Pan heads have moderate head height and diameter and provide high tightening torques. Button heads are domed, large diameter heads with high resistance to slipping and stripping. These are ideal for lighter fastening operations and will not be suitable for high strength applications. Round screw heads have a high profile and deep drive cut, but a smaller diameter. These were once the most popular types of screw heads but many now consider them outdated.

Binding heads are similar to pan heads, but feature a much thicker bearing surface and deeper slot, both of which increase the screw’s bearing capacity. A flange head can be considered a combination of a screw and washer. The head can be circular or hexagonal with a washer underneath the load bearing surface. This distributes pressure to help keep the screw in position and increase its bearing capacity. Finally, socket heads are the strongest type of screw head. Known for their quality and reliability, they are made from high grade carbon and stainless steel. Screw heads of this type feature a cylindrical head and long vertical sides. Their head height and shank diameters are equal, allowing them to be used in very high-strength endurance applications.


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While computer hardware was often expensive and fairly unobtainable for the standard consumer during the technology’s infancy, prices have since seen a steady drop leading into the present. Now, consumers have much easier access and ability to create more complex and powerful systems with common components available on the market. With a number of consumer motherboards now offering more than one slot for CPU attachment, shared-memory processors can be used to achieve higher system performance for a number of applications.

Shared-memory processors are a type of system that contains multiple processors that may carry out their operations together. Through a shared interconnection network, the processors can utilize the same pool of memory and communicate with one another to carry out various procedures. As such, computers with shared-memory processors can exhibit a significant difference in their computation power as compared to standard work stations with only one processor. As these assemblies are typically geared more towards demanding applications and processes that may require large amounts of program execution, many casual users may not find much use in running a shared-memory processor set-up.

In the case of an internet, database, or network server, however, having the most processors possible is paramount to smooth operations and ensuring that the servers are able to accommodate periods of high usage and user loads. Additionally, shared-memory processors can also serve to streamline certain applications, as a computer system can utilize large amounts of power to conduct a single job rather than computing a high number of small jobs at the same time. When connecting processors together, each processor is joined from their independent data caches to a shared memory pool through a single interconnection network.

Known as symmetric multiprocessing hardware, such components allow for the assembly and pairing of multiple processors so that each CPU has equal control over memory and peripherals. Across most symmetric multiprocessing hardware assemblies, buses and crossbars serve as the primary method for interconnection. In regard to computer hardware, a bus is a component that allows for data to be transferred, and they are commonly seen on many motherboards for the connection of memory, CPUs, and more. A crossbar, on the other hand, is a component containing a series of switches that may be used to conduct information processing applications. Out of the two symmetric multiprocessing hardware pieces, the bus serves as the most convenient and common approach for establishing a shared-memory multiprocessor assembly. With the bus, connections for parts, protocols, and hardware are all provided to facilitate operations with ease. As buses are limited in their ability to handle high amounts of data traffic, it is important that loads do not exceed the performance standards of the bus as to avoid bottlenecking.

With the use of a crossbar, bottlenecking is avoided as multiple paths may operate simultaneously on a grid-like system. As an example, a 4x5 crossbar could allow for up to four active data transfers to be conducted at the same time. By having a higher number of active paths as compared to a singular shared bus, more performance can be achieved. While these advantages are clearly desirable, crossbar components typically range much higher in price, and their cost only increases as the load raises. Due to this, crossbars are mostly reserved for the most high-end applications.


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A chip detector is an electronic instrument that attracts ferromagnetic particles such as iron chips. Chip detectors are frequently used in aircraft engine oil chip detection systems, where they can offer an early warning of imminent engine failure, thus greatly reducing the cost of an engine overhaul. This blog will provide an overview of chip detectors and their functions.

Chip detectors consist of small plugs that can be installed in an engine oil filter, oil sump, or aircraft drivetrain gearbox. Over time, engine wear and tear causes small metal chips to break loose from engine parts which then circulate in the engine oil, causing damage. A detector contains magnets incorporated into an electric circuit. Magnetic forces attract ferrous particles and collection of these particles continues until the insulated air gap between the magnets (in a two magnet configuration) or between the magnet and housing (in a single magnet configuration) is bridged, thereby cutting off the circuit. The result of this is an electronic signal for remote indication which activates a warning light on the instrument panel, indicating the presence of metal chips in the oil.

In applications with a self-closing valve/adapter, chip detectors can be positioned in the application through a bayonet or threaded interface. When the chip detector disengages from the valve, the valve closes, keeping any fluid loss from the system to a minimum.The chip detectors used on aircraft are inspected in every level of check. Inspection may also be done at specified intervals such as every 30 to 40 hours for an engine unit and 100 hours for an auxiliary power unit.

            There are many advantages to using a chip detector. For one, no additional tools are needed to inspect and remove debris. Additionally, chip detectors enable BIT capability by integrating a resistor at the chip gap. Chip detectors utilize blade-type retention, which eliminates much of the wear associated with common ‘pin-in-slot’ type retention methods. Furthermore, strong magnet integrity provides high ferrous capture efficiency as well as significant retention.

To further increase capture efficiency, chip detectors are equipped with flow directional screens. In order to support resistor-based wire-fault, built-in-test functionality, chip detectors feature a circuit board integrated with the chip detector. Finally, chip detectors feature an electroless nickel plating for superior wear and corrosion protection, as well as an axial design which improves the detector’s capture efficiency and ease of chip removal.

To save weight, the chip detector assembly is primarily made from aluminum. There are five main parts of a chip detector’s construction: the flying lead, chip gap, ECD-to-valve- retention lugs, seals, and springs. The flying lead construction features three insulated conductors with an overbraid shield. The chip gap is the area where debris is held. An axial chip gap design is able to collect more debris than a radial type. Retention lugs are designed to FAA approval and are integrated in the valve body where they eliminate assembly errors and provide increased bearing area. The seals, usually o-rings, are used to seal the circuits and connections from oil. Lastly, the chip detector features stainless steel valve piston springs to assist in installation and operation.

For chip detectors and much more, look no further than Aerospace Unlimited, a trusted supplier of parts for a wide range of industries. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we are an online distributor of aircraft parts as well as parts pertaining to the aerospace, civil aviation, defense, industrial, electronics, and IT hardware markets. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, call us at 1-412-212-0606 or email us at sales@aerospaceunlimited.com.


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Within a fluid system, a ball valve serves as a form of quarter turn shut-off valve that may be used to manage the flow of liquids. With a rotary ball that has a straight bore cut through it, fluids can easily pass through the bore while it is positioned along the direction of flow. Once turned 90 degrees, the passage of fluid is removed, blocking liquids from continuing through the system. With this simple operation, ball valves serve as useful components for a great number of residential and commercial fluid applications.

In general, all types of ball valves consist of five main components which are the valve stem, o-ring, valve housing, rotary ball, and valve seat. The valve stem of the ball valve is the rotary shaft that attaches the lever to the ball, allowing for the user to adjust and control flow as necessary. With an o-ring, the stem and housing of the valve can be sealed, ensuring that no fluids escape the system to prevent leakages. To construct the o-ring, various soft materials such as nitrile rubber or plastic may be used.

 The valve housing of the ball valve is what protects the internal components, as well as serves the point in which the valve may be connected to other parts. Metals such as brass and stainless steel are the most common for the construction of the housing, though PVC is also often used. Depending on the application, the housing construction can be one-, two-, or three-piece. The one-piece ball valve is the most cost efficient type, and welding is used to conjoin the valve. As such, they cannot be taken apart for any maintenance and are typically reserved for applications with low demands. Within two-piece style ball valves, parts are connected through threading. As such, these types of ball valve components may be taken apart for conducting maintenance, and the valve can be disconnected from the pipe for disassembly. Three-piece ball valves are those that are clamped together with a bolt connection, and they may not have to be entirely removed for maintenance. While remaining the highest in cost, three-piece ball valve types are the greatest for sanitary needs.

As the rotary ball provides the primary operation of the valve itself, the design of the ball is the most important. Floating ball designs are those that have valve seats that support the ball, and they can serve a diverse set of temperature applications. With a reduced bore type, the flow of liquid is reduced, and thus friction loss is caused. Despite this, the amount of loss is less than other valves and reduced bore design serves as the most common type. Trunnion ball types have support provided to the ball from the top and bottom, thus minimizing the amount of load that the valve seats are subjected to. As such, trunnion ball valve components are useful for high and low pressure applications. The full bore valve design implements a bore size that is equal to the pipe diameter, and this allows for easier maintenance and less friction. Lastly, the V-shaped bore is a design that has a V-shape profile, and this permits precise flow rates that can be optimized for linear flow.

With their simplistic design, reliability, and optimal sealing capabilities, the various types of ball valve components remain beneficial for a number of water and gas applications. No matter your operational needs, the experts at Aerospace Unlimited can help you secure everything you are searching for with ease. As a premier supplier of components for the aviation, defense, marine, medical, electronic, and IT hardware industries, we provide customers rapid lead-times and competitive pricing on all that we carry for their benefit. Get started today and see how we can serve as your strategic sourcing partner for all of your needs.


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Ice can quickly accumulate, as you can usually tell just by looking or using your car on a very cold day. In cold climates, the ice can stick to your windows, blocking your windows. Not only that, but they can also make certain mechanisms stuck (such as a door or a gear) and result in your car not functioning at all, leaving you stranded where you are. These same issues can also affect an aircraft. As an aircraft needs to be functioning at full capacity in order to safely transport its passengers across the skies, the need to apply an anti-icing solution is even more detrimental. The process of using an anti-icing system is somewhat akin to someone applying a deicing solution to the windows of a vehicle before driving. In principle or idea, they are the same, but as you go through the process, you start to notice the differences. In this article, we will break down the process of using an anti-icing system, and also discuss why using these tools is so important.

Plane deicing is a strategy that consists of warming and applying deicing fluid onto the plane windows and wings. The significance of doing this is pivotal because this method ensures the eventual melting of snow that has been cemented onto the plane and, if not removed, could bargain the security of its next flight. The basic idea behind an anti-icing system is to tackle the cause that is making the outer atmosphere conditions to result in ice that can damage your vessel. You can take steps to prevent this by simply hangaring your plane. Hangaring the plane can shield it from ice and precipitation. Before leaving the plane in the safe space, you would need to ensure that there are no traces of water left on its surface, as these surfaces could be at risk of accumulating ice even inside the capacity. That is why it is ideal to clear any traces of water before you store the plane. Various habits by which you can shield ice from forming is by putting wing canvases or covers onto the plane. While it may not be 100% secure against ice, this procedure, notwithstanding the hangaring and water ejection philosophy, can spare time and costs.

There are also some parts and components of the aviation anti icing process and equipment that are important to have for deicing a plane. These constitute stream control valve, deicing boots, heat spread, and pitot tube. The stream valve is significant because it  utilizes a solenoid valve that engages air from the direct to stream into the gadget system. The valve opens once the device is enabled by the de-icing switch. This enables the contraption to work and warm the ice off from the vessel’s edges. Other tools that you can use include deicing boots. They are stretchy rubbery parts that are placed onto the corners of the fuselage, vertical stabilizer and the wing. They work by breaking down any ice accumulating at any point on the plane. Deicing boots are bulky pieces of rubber that are fastened onto the leading edges of an aircraft, typically the vertical stabilizer and the wing. They work by inflating any time there is an accumulation of ice buildup.

Once they’re inflated, snow or ice begin to crack on the surface. Eventually it flies off entirely, leaving no residue of snow. A heat blanket can also be used to cover the surface of an aircraft. The blanket works by trapping heat onto the surface and thus preventing any snow or ice from accumulating. Lastly, the pitot tube is significant because the freezing of these tubes can cause your airspeed indicator to fail. The airspeed indicator receives data on ram pressure but if the pitot tube is frozen over, that can alter the numbers. You may be flying slower than the airspeed indicator perceives. In this case, it is the pilot’s responsibility to descend to altitudes that are free of icing conditions and land, after which aircraft personnel can focus on deicing the pitot tube.

For more information on applying anti icing systems and solutions, contact the team at Aerospace Unlimited. We are the premier supplier of aviation, military, and defense parts. Not only do we provide anti-icing systems in airplanes, but we also stock pneumatic systems and systems for wing leading edge. Get in touch with us today!


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Rivet nuts are a type of internally threaded fastener that is often used for materials that are brittle or thin, allowing for fastening solutions for components that are intolerable of hole tapping. The rivet nut features a one-piece design, allowing for it to be anchored from one side of the component. Rivet nuts were originally developed in 1936 for attaching rubber deicing boots to the leading edge of an aircraft wing, and they have since expanded their use to many more applications. In this blog, we will discuss the various types of rivet nuts and rivet materials that may be chosen from, enabling you to find which is best suited for your needs.

Also known as blind rivet nuts, such fasteners may either feature an open end or a closed end. With a closed end nut, the back end of the fastener is completely sealed out, preventing debris and contaminants from entering. To further protection, sealants may also be implemented to deter moisture and lubricants. When choosing which types of rivet nuts are best suited for your application, it is important to consider the torque value, grip range, rivet material, body style, parent material, environment, strength of the rivet, and size of the rivet.

Aluminum rivet nuts are a type that provides the means for facilitating simple connections and provides clean internal threads once installed. They are fairly easy to establish within components and often do not need finishing as well. In general, aluminum rivet materials have benefits such as resistance to corrosion, decreased weight, and high electrical and thermal conductivity.

Where there is a need for a fastener that provides high strength capability and resistance to corrosion, rivet materials such as stainless steel is very beneficial. Stainless steel is very durable, and its resistance extends to corrosion, fire, and heat. It also provides optimal strength to weight ratios, allowing for powerful fastening solutions without greatly increasing overall weight.

Brass rivet nuts are often reserved for implementation in applications where there is a need for a very versatile metal. For sheet metal, brass rivet nuts may be installed very quickly and provide an effective fastening solution, and they are favorable for a wide range of applications. In regards to their capabilities, brass rivet nuts feature good malleability and resistance to corrosion, as well as exceptional tolerance to temperature.

To install rivet nuts, a compression process is used to attach the fastener to the component. This is typically carried out with the use of a special rivet nut tool which squeezes the nut with in-line forces. Depending on whether the rivet nut body is smooth, swage, hex, or ribbed, various torque values may be utilized to ensure a proper installation that will be strong and effective. As various rivet nut types and materials each provide their own benefits, it is important to consider all aspects of the application so that you may find the perfect fit.

When it comes time to begin sourcing the aircraft rivet nuts that you need for your operations, Aerospace Unlimited has you covered with everything you are searching for. Aerospace Unlimited is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we can help you find the aviation, NSN, and electronic parts that you are searching for, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we're always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. ASAP Semiconductor is an FAA AC 00-56B accredited and ISO 9001:2015 certified enterprise. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@aerospaceunlimited.com or call us at +1-412-212-0606.


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Over the course of a product’s life cycle, the device may require certain changes. Before these changes can be made, a manufacturer must acquire a PMA (Premarket Approval) supplement. A PMA supplement is the submission required for a change regarding the safety or effectiveness of a device for which an applicant already has an existing PMA. Similar to PMA supplements, PMA amendments include all additional submissions to a PMA or PMA supplement prior to approval of the PMA, PMA Supplement, or all additional correspondence after the PMA or PMA supplement.

The type of PMA submission depends on a number of factors, the most common of which is the data needed to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of changes. Despite this, there are many different changes that require a PMA supplement as well as a number of types of PMA supplements. This blog will explain the changes that trigger the need for a PMA supplement, as well as a few of the many types of PMA supplements.

After the FDA has approved a PMA, the applicant must submit an PMA supplement for review and approval before making the proposed changes. Changes for which an applicant must submit a PMA supplement are vast, including but not limited to:

  • New indication for use of the device.
  • Labeling changes.
  • The use of a different facility for the manufacturing, processing, or packaging of the device.
  • Changes in manufacturing methods or quality control procedures.
  • Changes in sterilization procedures.
  • Changes in packaging.
  • Changes in performance or design specifications, circuits, components, principles of operation, or physical layout of the device.
  • An extension of the expiration date of the device based on data obtained under new or revised testing protocols that have not been approved by the FDA. If the protocol has been previously approved by the FDA, a supplement is not needed but the change must still be reported to the FDA.

While there are many types of PMA supplements, the four most common are the PMA Panel-Track Supplement, PMA Supplement (180 Days), Real Time Supplements, and Special PMA Supplements. Panel-Track Supplements are specific to changes that request a significant change in design, performance, or usage of the device. To gain a panel-track supplement, substantial clinical data of assurance of safety and effectiveness is required. 180-day PMA supplements are required for changes relating to the safety and effectiveness of a device, as well as changes in the components, materials, design characteristics, specification, software, or labeling.

Real time supplements are needed when a minor change to a device, such as a change in its design, is requested and the FDA has granted a meeting or similar exchange to review the status of the supplement in real time. Special PMA supplements are required when any changes enhance the safety of a device or the safety in use of the device, or for certain labeling and manufacturing changes that enhance the safety of the device. Special PMA supplements can be placed into effect by the applicant prior to the receipt of a written FDA order approving the PMA supplement.

PMA supplements are critical in any highly-regulated industry. At Aerospace Unlimited, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you source all types of FAA PMA supplements parts through our PMA supplement list and deliver them with some of the industry’s best lead times. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@aerospaceunlimited.com or call us at +1-412-212-0606. Our team of dedicated account managers is standing by and will reach out to you in 15 minutes or less.


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As we continue to move through these unprecedented times during the COVID-19 pandemic, more United States manufacturers are stepping up to aid in the supply shortage of ventilators and masks that are desperately needed by medical professionals and other affected sectors. Leading into June, car manufacturer Ford has joined companies such as 3M and General Electric to aid the medical community in this initiative.

Currently, Ford is not the only carmaker to contribute to the pandemic efforts, as similar decisions have also recently been made by companies such as Tesla and General Motors. Medical equipment such as medical masks and ventilators are a crucial need to treat an increasing number of symptomatic carriers, and shortages have proven to be a major issue currently. With the help of Ford, 3M’s output of powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) masks is to be expanded. With an increase in production, state governments and other sectors may see more supply of needed medical equipment.

Together with 3M, Ford hopes to increase the manufacturing and supply of PAPR masks as quickly as possible, and they seek to utilize established technologies and products from their respective companies to aid in the effort. Ford also claims to be working alongside the health care division of GE in order to create a more simplistic ventilator. Without furthering information, Ford claimed that ventilators could be produced at both Ford and GE locations concurrently. As droplets from a person’s coughing or sneezing may lead to infection with the novel coronavirus, Ford also seeks to begin testing and production of new face shields that may further protect the medical professionals who are in close proximity with affected patients and individuals.

Other car manufacturers, such as General Motors and Tesla, have also been making strides in the production and supply effort with their respective initiatives. Recently, GM announced that they are partnering with Ventec Life Systems, a manufacturer of ventilators, to increase their logistics, manufacturing, and issues to improve output. Tesla has also been aiding in supply, providing ventilators to the state of California in March. For the University of Washington’s Medical Center, Tesla sent around 50,000 3M produced N95 surgical masks.

While companies such as Ford, General Motors, and Tesla have recently joined the fight against the pandemic, they are not alone in their efforts. Through the past months and moving into the future, we are seeing a great increase in United States companies working to fortify the strained medical infrastructure and medical care system. From boosting the supply chain for sourcing supplies and hastening production of highly needed medical materials, many American companies are spearheading manufacturing initiatives to combat COVID-19. As we continue to protect people and various sectors from the devastating effect of the virus, we may see even more companies step in to provide support.

Ensuring that you have the medical equipment that you need for protecting yourself, employees, and others is very important during these unprecedented times. When you are ready to begin sourcing medical equipment and related medical supplies that you need for your operations, Aerospace Unlimited has you covered with everything you are searching for. Aerospace Unlimited is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we can help you find the aviation, NSN, and electronic parts that you are searching for, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we're always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. ASAP Semiconductor is an FAA AC 00-56B accredited and ISO 9001:2015 certified enterprise. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@aerospaceunlimited.com or call us at +1-412-212-0606.


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Within a plumbing or fluid system, valves are important components that are implemented to regulate, control, and direct the flow of fluids within the system. Solenoid valves are a special type of valve that is operated electromechanically, and they may perform many of the same functions of a standard valve automatically. With various types available that offer diverse sets of capabilities, solenoid operated valves may benefit a number of plants, equipment, and applications. In this blog, we will discuss the functionality of solenoid valves, as well as the applications that they benefit.

Unlike standard valves, solenoid valves do not need to be operated manually, and thus they open up the capability of remote control to serve as externally piloted valves. The main components that form the solenoid valve assembly are the subassembly, core tube, bonnet, hanger spring, backup washer, diaphragm, disk, and valve body. Within the solenoid subassembly, there is typically a retaining clip, solenoid coil, core tube, plugnut, shading coil, core spring, and core. Altogether, these parts provide for the automatic control of fluids within the system.

Solenoid valves operate by opening and closing orifices within the body of the valve, either permitting or denying the flow of fluids. The opening and closing of these orifices is done by the plunger within the sleeve tube that is actuated by a magnetic field. Such magnetic fields may be produced by having a current run through the coil of the solenoid, energizing it to create the magnetic field. This magnetic field and energizing of the solenoid is harnessed to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy for valve operations. The seals of a solenoid valve may be metallic or rubber, and electrical interfaces may be present to create an ease of control.

The main benefit of a solenoid valve is the ability to remotely control functions, as well as permit more complex processes within a system. Solenoid valves create the ability to easily shut off, release, dose, distribute, and mix fluids within a system. On top of their capabilities, solenoid valves also tout high reliability and service lives, as well as permit fast switching, low control power, and are compact in design.

Within industries and applications, the use of solenoid valves may range from simple on and off control of dishwashers to plant control loops. Common uses of solenoid valves include applications such as water supply, fuel supply, wastewater treatment, oil and gas burner control, blood analysis instruments, gas mixture regulation, pressure relief and drainage, large heating systems, machine engineering, and much more. Depending on the application, various solenoid materials may be used, such as brass, stainless steel, aluminum, and plastics. Solenoid valves may also be direct current or alternating current powered, as well as may be one or two solenoid valves. Since their debut in the 1910, solenoid valves have been greatly beneficial to a number of hydraulic and pneumatic systems.

When it comes time to begin sourcing the solenoid operated valves and aerospace components that you need for your next project or operation, Aerospace Unlimited has you covered with everything you are searching for. Aerospace Unlimited is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we can help you find the aircraft and marine parts that you are searching for, new or obsolete.


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Aircraft ground support equipment (GSE) refers to the equipment and components that are used to provide servicing and operations for aircraft in-between flights while they are grounded. GSE components and equipment may be used for aircraft mobility, loading operations, ground power operations, and other operations as needed. As commercial aircraft and airliners adhere to strict flight schedules, the efficiency and speed of aircraft ground support services is always a facet that providers strive to improve in order to minimize turnaround times. Over the forecast period of 2019 to 2025, the market for aircraft ground support equipment is expected to increase by $2.2 billion, equaling a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.45%. Altogether, this forecast puts the total market value at $9.7 billion by 2025. From technological advancements of GSE equipment to steadily increasing passenger air traffic, many factors contribute to this upwards growth. In this blog, we will discuss how ground support equipment aids in aircraft servicing, as well as the factors contributing to the market growth for the 2019-2025 forecast period.

In general, aircraft ground support equipment and services are not only tied to maintaining the aircraft’s ability to fly, but also encompass many other services and operations. In-between flights, GSE operations ensure that passenger comfort and safety is established and well maintained. This includes cleaning passenger cabins to remove trash and waste, as well as the restocking of consumables. GSE services also include cycling items such as blankets, pillows, magazines, tissues, and soap to maintain cleanliness for passengers. During this time, security of the aircraft can be established as personnel check for any concerning paraphernalia left behind after a flight. During their normal routines, GSE services will also remove waste from lavatories, cater food and drinks, and even provide electricity and air conditioning for terminal gates for crew and passenger comfort.

Nevertheless, aircraft ground support equipment will also be used for many normal in-between flight tasks. During this time, GSE personnel aid with the loading and unloading of cargo and passengers, refuel the aircraft, examine engines and the fuselage, and perform other ground operations to ensure safety and optimal operation of the aircraft before its next scheduled flight. Often, all of these ground services will be fulfilled by a subcontracted airport or handling agent. With smaller airlines, larger carriers may be subtracted, or they may establish a Maintenance and Ground Support Agreement with another airliner. To perform their operations, ground services utilize GSE components such as dollies, chocks, tripod jacks, service stairs, refuels, tugs, tractors, ground power units, buses, container loaders, and other vehicles and equipment.

Due to their benefits and services for aircraft preparation and operation, combined with an increased amount of air traffic, demand for GSE components and equipment is on the rise. Electric ground support equipment has been seeing increased amounts of interest, especially with the advent of more automated equipment options. Automation with robotic technology is slowly being introduced, allowing for streamlined operations such as automatic shut downs, ID cards for authorization, and electronic check-ins such as seat belt requirements before equipment can be turned on. Robotic handling of baggage is also becoming automated in certain airports across the world. Altogether, automation allows for increased safety and reduction on costs.

As the aviation industry is constantly expanding and moving into developing countries, the need for GSE operations also increases. Emerging economies and markets, such as the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions, are expected to contribute to the non-electric segment of the GSE market. The Middle East has the highest projected GSE CAGR growth, attributable to the amount of airports that are being constructed as air traffic expands. Meanwhile, electric and hybrid GSE markets continue to grow in areas such as North America, which continues to be a majority contributor to the overall market. Major players in the ground support equipment market include JBT Corporation, Tug Technologies Corporation, Tronair, Teleflex Lionel-Dupont, Cavotex, ITW GSE, Guangtai, among others.

With a great amount of markets across the world becoming invested in various GSE market segments, market growth should continue to rise and develop. When you are searching for parts for your ground support equipment operations, Aerospace Unlimited is your one-stop-shop for premium parts and solutions. Whether you need a tool bag, pin assy, or other GSE component, we can help you source everything you need with competitive prices and quick lead-times on even the most hard-to-find parts.


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