Honeywell Expands Capabilities for Growing Coatings Business at Aerospace Facility in South Carolina
Honeywell (NYSE: HON) is expanding the capabilities of its aerospace facility in Greer, SC, with the installation of a second electron-beam physical vapor deposition coater for thermal barrier coatings. A third coater is also scheduled to arrive by mid-2020.
The electron-beam physical vapor deposition (EBPVD) coaters are equipped to provide both standard and next-generation thermal barrier coatings (TBCs). These coatings, which use advanced materials, are applied to aerospace engine parts and other metallic surfaces to dissipate heat. There is increasing demand not only for higher conductivity, as companies build higher-performing and efficient engines that run at higher temperatures, but also for more durable and thinner coatings that can handle the environment.
Aside from preventing engines from overheating, Honeywell’s next-generation TBC has longer life than the current industry-standard coating. It helps keep existing turbine airfoils cooler and last two to four times longer, reducing maintenance and lowering overhaul costs. The TBC also has improved toughness and can withstand temperatures up to 1,700 degrees Celsius (3,092 Fahrenheit). New and future engines have the added advantages of being reconfigured to run hotter to extract up to 10% more specific power, or up to 1% improved specific fuel consumption. Honeywell is also developing an air plasma spray version of the TBC to provide similar benefits for other parts in turbine engines.
“Commercial, military and government aircraft operators rely on Honeywell to provide the best engines and services to increase efficiency and safety,” says John Sandfort, site leader, Honeywell Aerospace. “With this investment, Honeywell is expanding its ability to bring next-generation technologies, like our coatings, to customers across many industries, including aerospace, power, oil and gas.”
An investment of approximately $50 million in the Greer facility will allow for the addition of 10,000 square feet of manufacturing space in addition to the two EBPVD coaters. Honeywell expects to expand further over the next three years, doubling that added space by 2022. The additional resources and investments have also allowed the facility to hire 25 employees, a number that will grow with the installation of the third EBPVD coater.
The investment provides a larger capacity to better serve the market demand in the aerospace, industrial, and oil and gas industries. The Greer facility in South Carolina is a hub for the company’s machining, special processes, and maintenance, repair and overhaul services for commercial and military aircraft.