A manufacturer of specialist equipment for the aerospace industry contacted us with a requirement for a bespoke load pin designed to fit within their new helicopter cargo hook. This keeperless hook is one of a new range of cargo hook products the company has designed, and has been based on a core design which has a far higher maximum operating load capacity of 10,000 lb and designed with a greater safety factor. This effectively increases the safety margin of the cargo hook significantly, boosting operator confidence. Also, due to increasing legislation and changes in the market that now demand products that offer new innovative features, the company decided to take on a more integrated systems approach, and hence the new design offers many intrinsic features, one of which is weight indication.
To enable the company to offer a weighing solution, the new hook incorporates a load measuring pin. LCM Systems initially designed a prototype pin for testing purposes, which had a load rating of 10,000 lbf. Due to the application, extensive independent testing by a UKAS approved test house was required for hardness testing, material testing and fluorescent penetration. Passivation process certification was also supplied.
Following successful evaluation, further orders were received for 20+ pins. The customer was extremely happy with both the load pin and the level of service received, stating “you have done a superb job and we are extremely happy with your product and the delivery time; in fact you are difficult to fault. All of your staff that we have had any dealings with have been most helpful. We feel that we definitely made the best choice when we chose LCM Systems.”
The main criteria for the project were as follows:
Load pins must be suitable for aerospace application
Load pins to be certified and tested by an independent UKAS approved test house for the following:
* Hardness test to ASTM E18
* Charpy impact testing at room temperature in accordance with ASTM370
* Charpy impact testing at -40ºC in accordance with ASTM370
* Chemical analysis in accordance with ASTM370
* Tensile testing (yield and ultimate) in accordance with ASTM370
* Fluorescent penetration inspection to ASTM E1417-TYP1
Passivation Process certificate required
Calibration certificate required
Because of this particular application, we were required to get the load pins independently tested for a range of different criteria to ensure their airworthiness, and so the customer could get them certified as a Grade A Airworthy component. Initially a prototype pin was designed and manufactured and sent to the customer for testing, which was successful. The customer then went on to place several further orders, with the plan being to include load monitoring in every cargo hook they manufacture.
The customer was extremely happy with both the service and the product, and in particular with the level of support they received from the entire LCM team.