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Book 7

Module 7A


Licence By Post

For best examination results always use latest issue number.

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B1 EASA 66 7.8 7.9 7.14.1 ISSUE 05 0510

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No part of this study book may be re-produced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a data base or retrieval system in whole or in part without prior written permission from Licence By Post. Books in the LBP series are regularly up-dated/re-written to keep pace with the changing technology, changing examination requirements and changing legal requirements.

AUTHORITY It is IMPORTANT to note that the information in this book is for study/training purposes only. When carrying out a procedure/work on aircraft/aircraft equipment you MUST always refer to the relevant aircraft maintenance manual or equipment manufacturers handbook. You should also follow the requirements of your national regulatory authority (the CAA in the UK) and laid down company policy as regards local procedures, recording, report writing, documentation etc. For health and safety in the workplace you should follow the regulations/guidelines as specified by the equipment manufacturer, your company, national safety authorities and national governments.


Page Sheet metal work Bending Riveting The solid riveting process Blind riveting systems Tucker pop rivets Chobert rivets Avdel rivets Cherry rivets Riveting tools Hand operated Power operated Rigid pipelines Pipe installation Local manufacture of pipelines Heat treatments Pipe bending Flexible hose assemblies Testing pipes general Storage Pipe identification System identification 1 1 11 14 22 23 24 25 27 29 29 29 33 42 45 46 46 50 53 54 54 54

HOW TO TACKLE THIS BOOK This book only applies to the mechanical person (level 2 for the B1 engineer and level 1 for the A line mechanic except that the A line mechanic need not know anything about sheet metal bending and anyway, he/she should read our module set specifically written for the A line mechanic. Most of this book is fairly straightforward and it would help your studies if you could get to workshops and view the equipment being used. If you can, try and observe the following processes (you might be involved in them already of-course): * * * Sheet metalwork. Riveting any form of riveting, including heat treatments if possible. The fitting, testing and manufacturer of pipelines. You might be lucky on the manufacturer and testing of pipelines as this is not done much these days at user unit level.

There is a certain amount of overlap in the syllabus between module 6 and this module (module 7). In general this module deals with the process of riveting and the making up and maintenance of pipelines and module 6 deals with: * * Rivet heat treatments, types and identification. Pipes and unions, types and identification.

In both cases we have kept the information in this book sufficient to be self-standing but if you feel you need more details of the above subjects then please refer to the appropriate book in module 6. For completeness a general description of heat treatments is included in this book. Drawings from CAP 562 may no longer be in that publication due to amendment action by the CAA.

SHEET METAL-WORK Any sheet metal-work the aircraft engineer gets involved with is likely to be for airframe repairs using thin gauge aluminium alloy and sometimes titanium alloy. The process is normally carried out using the aircraft Structure Repair Manual (SRM) and the cutting of the sheet material using a guillotine (sometimes pneumatically powered shears or nibblers) and finishing off to the correct size using a file. It is important to verify the material specification with reference to its markings/stores release certificate. Its gauge is verified using a gap gauge or Standard Wire Gauge. The material is marked out using a soft pencil, holes are centre-popped (not titanium) and drilled for rivets etc. On some occasions the metal has to be bent to a specific bend radius and to meet specific finished dimensions.

BENDING This is carried out using bending bars which are supplied as a set with up to 8 different bend radii available. Bending machines are also available but the radius of bend may not be so accurately controlled. If the fabricated part involves just one bend then this can be formed with the two straight sides longer than required. After bending to the correct radius the two straight sides are then cut and filed to an accurate length. However, if the part needs two or more bends then careful bend allowance calculations are required together with careful calculations for the lengths of all the straight sides.


Where sheet metal has to be bent (with more than one bend) to a particular angle and has to meet a particular size then the overall length of the metal must be calculated prior to the bending operation being started. To calculate the overall length of the metal the lengths of the straight sections and the bent sections are calculated separately and then added together. So there are fundamentally two calculations to do one for the bends and one for the straight sections.


Calculation of Straight Sections This is not really a calculation as such, it is more a deduction. The process involves making a good size drawing of the end of the item that is to be fabricated. Put all the dimensions in accurately (but using freehand will do), and then, by a logical process, work out the length of each straight section in turn.


Example 1 (Bracket figure 2) The actual drawing (from the SRM for example) you will be working to will show the length of the two sides and indicate the radius and metal thickness, for example: Thickness (t) Radius (r) = = 2mm 5mm (usually always given to the inside of the bend but check the drawing).

The Method 1. 2. 3. Make a clear free-hand drawing of the bend showing a large radius the metal thickness (figure 3). Divide the bracket into straight and curved portions and mark these on the drawing (as shown A, B and C). Work the straight sections out as follows: Straight Section A = 30 (r + t) = 30 (5 + 2) = 23mm Straight Section C = 25 r = 25 5 = 20mm



Example 2 (U channel figure 4) Figure 4 shows the end elevation drawing of a U section channel with the straight (A, C, E) and curved (B, D) portions marked in. Remember, at this stage we do not know exactly where they are but they can be marked in as approximations. The drawing will give values of t and r and all dimensions are in inches. t r = = 0.064in 0.25in


Deducing the straight sections gives: Straight section A Straight section C = = = = = = = 2.5 r 2.5 0.25 = 2.25in 3 (2r + 2t) 3 (0.25 +0.25 + 0.064 + 0.064) 3 0.628 2.372in section A, which equals 2.25in.

Straight section E

So we now know the length of all the straight sections. The above process can be applied to a fixture with any number of bends such as Z sections (2 bends and 3 straight sections) top hat sections (four bends and five straight sections) etc. The length of the bends is calculated using a formula.

Calculation of the Length of Bend Material To calculate the circumference of a circle of radius r the formula 2r is used. To calculate the length of the circumference to go round a part of a circle the formula: 2r times the angle is used. 360 = 2r 360 where = the angle of the bend in degrees.


Because the radius is always given to the inside of the bend and because the inside part of the metal contracts during the bending operation we have to calculate our material length to the centre of the metal, so we have to add on half the thickness (t) to the radius in the formula. The formula now becomes: 2(r + t) 360 This will calculate the amount of material to go round any bend given that: r t = = = = 3.142 inside bend radius metal thickness the amount in degrees that the metal is bent through.

Should the bend radius be given to the outside of the bend (rare) then t has to be taken away from the radius. Figure 5 shows the Mean Bend Line or Neutral Line or Neutral Axis of the metal. Note that when the metal is bent the metal on the inside of the bend is compressed (put under a compressive force) and the metal on the outside of the bend is stretched (put under a tensile force). The Mean Bend Line is a line that neither stretches nor compresses during the bending process. It is taken as the centre of the metal, which may not be strictly true depending on how the metal behaves in tension and compression but it is more than accurate enough for bending calculations. For many metals it is in fact 0.455t from the inside of the bend.


Example 3 (figure 6) Calculate the amount of material required to form the bend shown in figure 6. Note. Where an angle of bend is not given it is assumed to be 90.


Fig. 6 EXAMPLE 3 2(r + t) 360 = 2 x 3.142 (0.25 + 0.032) 90 360 2 x 3.142 x 0.282 4 (the 90 and the 360 cancel out to 4 on the bottom line and the 2 and 4 will now cancel to 2 on the bottom line, and the 2 will cancel with the 3.142 to give 1.571 x 0.282 on the top line)



This means that the amount of metal we need to complete the bend is 0.443in from the beginning to the end of the bend.

To Find the Complete Length of the Metal 1. 2. 3. Deduce all the straight sections. Calculate the amount of bend material for each bend using the formula. Add all the straight section lengths to all the bend section lengths to find the total length of metal before bending.

Example 4 (figure 7) Calculate the total length of material required to construct the bracket shown in figure 7 (t = 2mm and r = 5mm). All dimensions are in mm and note that the drawing is not to scale or proportion. Note also the generous bend radii shown to give a clearer picture of what is happening.



Straight section A

= = = = =

80 (r + t) 80 (2 + 5) 80 7 73mm 2(r + t) 360 2 x 3.142 (5 + 1)90 360 9.42mm 50 (2t + 2r) 50 (2 x 2 + 2 x 5) 36mm 30 (2t + 2r) 30 (2 x 2 + 2 x 5) 16mm 30 (t + r) 30 (5 + 2) 23mm Straight section Bend section B Straight section Bend section D Straight section Bend section F Straight section A C E G

Bend section B (= D = F)

= = Straight section C = = = = = = = = = =

Straight section E

Straight section G

Adding the lengths

Total length

73.00 9.42 36.00 9.42 16.00 9.42 23.00 176.26mm


So now we can go ahead and mark out the metal (with a pencil in the case of Al Alloy) to show the beginning and end of each section, and cut the metal to its correct total length (176.26mm). Figure 8 shows the individual lengths marked on the metal. Note that the lengths must be marked as accurately as possible using a rule and fine pencil and for clarity it is best to mark the beginning and ends of bends as a short line near the edge of the metal. When the Sighting Lines are drawn in these are taken right across the metal. After marking all the lengths the metal can be cut to size and squared using a file if necessary. To bend the metal around the correct radius, Bend Bars are used. These are square bars of solid steel with a different radius of bend on each edge. The metal to be bent is clamped between two of these bars and hammered with a hammer and block of wood to bend it over the correct bend radius. The question now is how do we place the metal in the bending machine/bend bars so that when it is bent we know that each bend starts and finishes exactly where drawn? The answer lies in the use of a sighting line.

The Sighting Line This is taken as 1 radius (the radius specified in the drawing in this case 5mm) measured from the beginning or the end of the bend but whichever end it is measured from that part of the metal goes into the bend bars. The metal is positioned in the bend bars so that the sighting line aligns with the top of the bend bar (figure 9). Correct sighting line position can be checked by sighting across the top of the bend bars or using a locally made-up pointer that rests on the bend bar and the metal moved to align the sighting line with the pointer. Accurate alignment is essential. The bend bars can now be clamped and the metal bent knowing that the beginning and end bend lines are exactly at the beginning and end of the bend as calculated and drawn.






The Sighting Line is also known in some American books as the Brake Line.


Why is all marking-out carried out in pencil (except for cut lines on Al alloys? (2 mins) Aluminium alloys are notch sensitive, which means that a scratch, notch, or scribe line will quickly develop into a crack when under load, which will lead to failure. So scribers are not to be used.


Heat Treatments Some metals may be heat treatable to make them more malleable so that the bending operation can be made easier. Steels can be annealed to soften them prior to bending and then further heat treated afterwards to suit the final required condition. Aluminium alloys may be annealed (checked the specification document for actual temperatures, soaking times etc) prior to bending. Annealing makes the metal soft and malleable to be worked on but the metal must not be left in this state as it is prone to corrosion and is weak. Annealed Al Alloys are usually Solution treated after final working (but check their specification document). Solution treated Al Alloys are not as soft as when annealed and can be bent within 2 hours of treatment.

Minimum Bend Radii The minimum bend radius that a metal may be bent around will depend on its: * * * Thickness. Specification. Heat treatment.

The minimum bend radius can range from one times the metal thickness (standard O temper) to three times (standard T3 temper) to 10 times the metal thickness. (The standard temper is a heat treatment designation.) Comprehensive tables are listed in various publications and produced as workshop charts or standard tables and the reader is directed to these for more detailed information. It is important to note that the metal must never be bent over a radius smaller than the minimum bend radius specified. After any bending operation it is important to inspect the bend for any signs of cracking if found the part should be scrapped.


Spring-back When bending it is often necessary to lift the metal slightly in the bend bars after forming it to the original shape of the bend bars, to counteract the tendency for it to spring-back ie not bent down to exactly 90. When using a bending machine it is usual to bend the metal slightly passed the required angle to allow for spring back. When using bend bars the clamping bolts are loosened and the metal raised slightly. The bolts are re-tightened and the metal bent slightly past the 90 position so that it springs back to 90. Some Technical Considerations A Mould Line (American spelling - Mold) is an imaginary line formed by taking a flat plane extension from the flat surfaces either side of the bend. Where these planes meet is called a Mould Line. On an orthographic drawing this shows as a point (Mould Point) (figure 10).






Mould points or lines are positions where measurements can be taken from. Setback is a term used to indicate the distance from a tangent line (the start or end of a bend) to the mould line measured from the outside of the bend. When considering bends that are not at 90 then taking actual measurements of straight and curved sections (tangent lines) is difficult. Standard bend allowance charts are published which gives the values for bend allowance for various metal thickneses and bend radii. Before commencing any bend draw a clear drawing on a piece of paper and draw in the tangent lines (beginning and end of bends) and the sighting lines. Do the same on the metal but, for clarity, only draw the sighting lines right across the metal. The beginning and end of bend lines are only drawn a short distance at either edge of the metal. - 10 -

RIVETING Riveting is a semi permanent form of joining material together and may be divided into three categories: 1. 2. 3. Solid rivets. Blind rivets. Special rivets/fasteners/blind bolting.

Rivets are used extensively on aircraft to secure the various items or components built up from sheet metal or metal tubes. Rivets are less expensive, lighter in weight and more rapidly fastened than bolts, but have the disadvantage of not being suitable for tensile loads, ie loads which tend to pull off the heads. They are supplied with one head already formed; the other head being formed by hand operated or machine tools. While the rivets can be identified by their colour, markings or magnetic properties, the only positive identification is by reference to the specification number or the stores/reference number on the packet containing them. Remember, they must come from an approved supplier, in labelled packets and accompanied by suitable documentation (EASA form 1 etc).

Solid Rivets These need access to both sides of the material being joined during the forming process. They have a good strength/weight ratio but require skill to form. They are water and airtight and are less expensive than other rivet types. They are strong in shear but not so strong in tension. Both British and American rivets are identified by head or shank end markings except where a material is easily identified by its weight or natural colour. Certain British rivets are coloured all over for ease of identification (see module 6).

Blind Rivets These require access to one side of the material only. They are more expensive and require special equipment to form. Some are not water or airtight and some are weaker than solid rivets. They require less skill to form.

Special Rivets/Fasteners/Blind Bolting There is a wide range of special fasteners and many are a cross between a rivet and a nut and bolt assembly. Most can be used in the blind mode. Usually more expensive than blind rivets. Generally stronger in tension and shear and most require special tools to form.

Selection of Rivets When carrying out a repair it is important to select the correct rivet. It must be the correct size, shape of head and material. Check the specific repair drawing in the repair manual or check the repair specification for the type of rivet to use.

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When ordering the rivets from stores it is important to check the correct rivet specification be reference to the stores specification label on the packet of rivets or the EASA form 1. The shear strength of rivets used is not the only factor which determines the strength of a riveted joint. Generally, if the thickness of the sheets is less than half the diameter of the rivets used, failure of the joint will depend on the bearing stress rather than on the shear stress of the rivets. In the absence of specific instructions 3/32 (2.4mm) rivets should be used for 24 and 22 swg (Standard Wire Gauge) material, 1/8 (3.2mm) rivets for 20 and 18 swg and 5/32 (4mm) for 16 swg. If rivets of reduced diameter have to be substituted during repair work, the total number of rivets must be increased to provide an equivalent cross-sectional area. Where 22 swg and thinner material is used and there are no specific instructions regarding repair after a rivet failure, the substitution of mushroom headed rivets for snap head rivets should be considered. When British rivets have to be used in American-built aircraft, rivets of the material with the nearest equivalent shear strength to the material of the original American rivets should be used. If the available British rivets have lower shear strengths than the American rivets either the total number of rivets should be increased or rivets of a larger diameter should be used to make the strength of the joint not less than it was originally. However, an increase in the size of the rivets does not necessarily increase the strength of the join. If the rivet sizes are increased beyond a certain amount, a reduction in strength will result due to the amount of material removed from the metals to be joined. Note: Where the Structure Repair Manual (SRM) cannot be adhered to, permission will be required from the chief engineer of the company, or the manufacturer of the aircraft to carry out any non-standard work.

Countersinking When countersunk rivets are to be used, there are two methods of accommodating the rivet head to ensure a flush fit. Cut-countersinking is employed where sheet thickness is greater than the depth of the rivet head, but for thinner sheets dimpling is used. Where sheets of different thicknesses are joined together it may be found that both methods are used, the thin sheet being dimpled into the cut-countersunk thicker sheet.

Cut-Countersinking The table shows the minimum sheet thickness which may be countersunk for particular rivet diameters and is applicable where 100 and 120 countersunk head rivets are used. Where special rivets are used the aircraft manufacturer may specify a different minimum sheet thickness and when oversize rivets are being fitted it may be recommended that the rivet heads are milled in preference to further countersinking but check the SRM. - 12 -

Rivet Diameter (in) Minimum Sheet Thickness (swg)

1/8 18

5/32 16

3/16 14

1/4 12


Special countersinking tools should be used for cut-countersinking. The tools should have a centralising spigot and an adjustable depth stop which will limit the depth of cut. The rivet head should be very slightly proud of the work before riveting and end up flush with the surrounding metal. This can be set by trial drilling scrap material, riveting up and checking the results. Aircraft manufacturers usually specify a tolerance on head protrusion after riveting and this is usually of the order of 0.005 (0.13mm) maximum above the skin surface. The rivet head should not be below the skin surface.

Milling For countersunk rivets the level of the head should be sufficiently flat with the surrounding metal once formed that no milling is required. However some training publications suggest that this be done. In some American publications the process is called Shaving. The author has only seen the process of milling used to machine off the protruding shank of blind rivets such as Avdel rivets and countersunk rivets are always fitted correctly so that milling is not required.

Dimpling This is a process for indenting thin sheet material (not normally thicker than 16 swg) around a drilled hole to accommodate a countersunk rivet. If correctly formed, dimpling has a beneficial effect on the strength of a joint, but the method of dimpling must be related to the ductility of the material to prevent over stressing and cracking.


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A pilot hole is drilled to accept the pilot of the male dimpling tool. The female die is supported in a vice or by a large block and the male die pilot is passed through the pilot and into the female die. The male die is pressed or hammered into the female die and the plates are formed into a countersink. Once the plates are formed to the correct angle (angle of the dies) the correct size drill is used for the hole. The plates are separated, cleaned, jointing compound applied, and are re-assembled and riveted in the usual way. Some metals are dimpled using heated dies. To ensure correct seating, countersunk head rivets should always be installed in dimples or countersunk holes of the same angle as the rivet head. Rivets with countersunk heads of 70 or 82 included angle are often used in positions where sealing is of primary importance, such as in integral fuel tanks. With these rivets care is necessary to ensure that the correct rivets are used.


THE SOLID RIVETING PROCESS Usually carried out by two people; one person putting the rivet in the hole and using a pneumatic hammer and dolly or block on the manufacturers head and the other person on the other side of the plates to be joined using a reaction block/snap to form the other head.

Rivet Allowance The allowance is the length of the shank of the rivet protruding through the plates which is to be formed into the rivet head; it is stated as a multiple of the rivet diameter (D). The allowance varies according to the shape of the head to be formed and the material from which the rivet is made (the softer the metal, the greater the allowance). In general allowances are: Snaphead Re-action head Countersunk head Tubular rivet Blind rivets 1.5D 1D to 1.5D 0.75D 0.5D Consult rivet manufacturers tables for the grip range for a particular rivet.

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In general, the more plates a rivet has to go through, the larger the allowance. Before doing any repair work on an aircraft it is a good idea to assemble the correct number of sheets (the same as those on the aircraft) out of scrap pieces, clamp them in a vice, drill a few holes and try some practice riveting. Experiments can be carried out to ascertain the best allowance. Tables of allowances are also provided for different types of head and material thickness.

Rivet Clearance This is the difference between the size of the hole and the rivet diameter; rivet holes are normally drilled about 0.003in (0.08mm) to 0.012in (0.3mm) oversize using a clearance drill. Clearance is necessary, particularly with light alloys, to prevent puckering of the sheets owing to the metal spreading when the rivet head is formed. Without clearance it would also be difficult to place the rivet in the hole. Table 2 gives the drill sizes which are used for solid rivets.

Diameter of rivet Size of drill (mm) Size of drill (in) Drill size number

3/32 2.5 0.098 40

1/8 3.25 0.128 30

5/32 4.05 0.159 21

3/16 4.85 0.189 11

1/4 6.4 0.256 6.4mm


The sizes of some (smaller) drills are indicated on the shank by a number and on the larger drill by a letter. The numbering system ranges from the smallest (number 80) at 0.0135 diameter to number 1 at 0.228 diameter. Lettering ranges from A at 0.234 to Z at 0.413 (E for example is a drill). After that they are size designated.

Drilling the Hole/s * * Mark out the plates using a rule and pencil. Centre pop at the intersection of the marking out lines using a centrepunch. Do not centre-punch titanium as this can locally enbrittle the metal. For large rivets use a pilot drill first. Use normal (relatively high) drill speeds and feeds for aluminium alloys and slower speeds and feeds for titanium and stainless steels. For stainless steel use a suitable cutting oil as a lubricant/coolant. Drill point angles should be: general work 118; stainless steel, hard steels, titanium alloys 135 and hard plastics 90. Remember to use the holes in the first plate as a template to drill the second plate, or drill through both plates together. Hold the plates together using gripping pins or panel pins. On completion dismantle the plates, de-burr and clean. Reassemble using jointing compound.

* *

* * * * *

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Forming a Snap-head Rivet The riveter must obtain the assistance of another person to support the rivet in the dolly while the actual riveting is being done. To close a snaphead rivet to join two plates proceed as follows: 1. 2. 3. Drill the correct size clearance holes (see above). Dismantle the plates and with a large drill fitted with a wooden handle remove the burrs from the holes (or use a de-burring tool). After ensuring all swarf is removed, re-assemble the plates using jointing compound and grip together using gripping pins. (Instead of gripping pins some firms use a small spring loaded clamp called a Cleco. These are inserted using special pliers). Insert a rivet of the correct length. (Do not cut and file long rivets to length if the correct length rivet is available; it is time consuming and almost certain that the size of the rivet heads formed will vary and the end may not be exactly square which makes riveting very difficult).




Check the dolly and snap for correct size and condition. One person supports the rivet head in the dolly with the dolly held in a dolly holder (a heavy steel bar that absorbs the hammer blows). The riveter places the Set-up over the shank of the rivet and gives it a light tap with a hammer to bring the plates close together and to ensure the rivet head in the dolly is tight up against the face of the plate. Remove the set-up and check the allowance.

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The riveter gives the end of the rivet one or two heavy blows with the hammer/pneumatic hammer to swell the shank in the hole. Using the snap and hammer the riveter forms the rivet head to the correct shape (see figure 13). (Try to use fewer heavier hammer blows rather than many lighter ones as the latter method tends to work harden the rivet.)

Note. The drawing shows a hammer being used but a pneumatic hammer is usually used fitted with the correct size snap. 7. Remove snap and dolly and inspect the rivet head to see that the manufacturers head has seated correctly and the manufactured head has a small flat around the base. Check that the plates are not marked and there are no faults (see below). If there are the rivet will have to be replaced.

Riveting Faults The chief causes of faulty riveting are (refer figure 14): (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) Too much allowance producing a deformed head. Too little allowance producing a small head and damaged plates. Dolly not straight causing damage to bottom plate. Snap not straight causing damage to top plate. Hole drilled too large. Too much clearance producing a small head. Incorrect dolly or snap causing damage to plates/head. Plates not closed properly causing small head and weak joint. Head in shear causing weak rivet. Shank of rivet not perpendicular to plate prior to riveting, due to hole not being drilled at right angles to the surface of the plates (not in the figure). Holes out of line due to insufficient grippers (gripping pins) (not in the figure).



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Removal of Solid Rivets When removing rivets, care must be taken to avoid damage to the plates, particularly if it is thin sheet. To remove a solid rivet proceed as follows: 1. 2. 3. If the manufacturers head is a snap head, file a small flat the head (it is more likely to be central than the formed head). Support the rivet in a dolly and centre-pop the centre of the flat with a centre punch. Drill the head off using a drill the same size as the rivet shank (eg 1/8 drill for a one eighth rivet). The normal drill size for a hole for a 1/8 rivet would be a clearance drill 3.25mm). CAAIPs also states this but some American publications state the drill size to be that used to drill the hole in this example 3.25mm. Drill the head to a depth slightly greater than the thickness of the rivet head. The head will come off the shank at this point and stay on the drill bit (figure 15). Support the work locally to prevent buckling of the plates (a piece of hardwood drilled with a hole larger in diameter than the rivet head will do).



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Normal practice is to lightly tap the shank out with a hammer and parallel pin punch (figure 16). The diameter of the pin punch should be slightly smaller than the diameter of the rivet. CAIPs (now old and out of date) state that the head is to be chiselled off and the drill size is to be slightly smaller that the rivet shank diameter. (Chiselling the head off will almost certainly cause damage to the aircraft skin and never used on my aircraft [author]). If you get a question on a CAA examination on this subject do read it carefully and if it is ambiguous let the CAA know. (Note. CAAIPs are published by the CAA and CAIPs were published by the CAA but have long since been withdrawn.)


Blind rivets are removed in much the same way except that they have a tendency to spin in the hole when being drilled. Careful holding from the rear with pliers or an ice-pick held on an exposed portion of the head by a second person might do the trick. Removing rivets successively is not an easy task and can lead to an enlarged rivet hole. This makes fitting a replacement rivet of the same size almost impossible. Ideally the hole should be drilled to the next size up and an oversize rivet fitted if allowed in the SRM.

Joints The position of rivets relative to one another and the edge of the sheet is important. The rivets must not be too close together or the excessive number of holes will weaken the joint. - 19 -

They must not be too far apart or there will be too few to take the load. Rivets must not be too near the edge of the sheet or they will tear through the metal when the joint is under load. The distance from the centre of the rivet to the edge of the sheet is termed rivet landing. The usual minimum distances are as follows: * * * Pitch. Distance between rivets in the same row - 4D. Land. Distance from centre of rivet to edge of sheet. Sometimes called Edge Distance - 2D. Spacing. Distance between centre lines of rivet rows - 3 to 4D.

D = rivet shank diameter. Figure 17 shows three typical methods of lap joint riveting. The first shows a single chain lap joint used on lightly loaded members. The second method gives greater strength for more heavily loaded members. The third method is strong and is used where strength and water tightness are required. Note: The distance the rivets are spaced is related to the Sphere of Influence (S of I) of the rivet and the SRM will specify all dimensions. Note also the joggled joint in figure 17 this provides for a more aerodynamic finish where the plates join.


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Reaction Riveting Solid rivets may be closed by the reaction method. In reaction riveting, the pre-formed head (manufacturers head) of the rivet receives the blows. The snap (for a snap-head rivet) or flat punch (for a countersunk rivet) is held against the manufacturers head and struck with the hammer/pneumatic hammer) while a flat metal Reaction Block (Bucking Bar) is held lightly against the end of the shank of the rivet (figure 18).


The block can be any convenient size or shape (in general the heavier the better), but the face held against the rivet must be smooth and flat. The action of hammering the snap causes the reaction block to react against the rivet shank, thus swelling the shank and forming a barrel shaped head on the shank end of the rivet. The depth of the finished head should not be less than 0.5D and its diameter should be about 1.5D. This is a common form of riveting using one person with the pneumatic hammer and another person on the bucking bar. On the production line two people can place rivets at a rate of up to about 12 a minute (in sheets already drilled and ready for riveting) with one person inside the fuselage and the other outside.

Rivet Squeezers These may be pneumatically powered, hand operated, fixed or portable. They squeeze the rivet into its final shape and hence have a strong frame and anvil to go around the edge of the metal to support the other side of the rivet. Can only be used near a free edge of the metal to be joined (within a few inches) so have limited use.

Heat Treatment of Rivets Rivets can only be heat treated when specified in the rivet specification and there is only one heat treatment available that is Solution Treatment. The temperatures and methods of cooling are specified in the rivet specification (see module 6).

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Where would you find the rivet specification? (2 mins) Any good technical (or sometimes non-technical) library.

The best way of heating the rivets is in a thermostatically controlled electrically heated oven, though a salt bath can be used. The following is an example of the solution treatment of a heat treatable rivet. For a specific case you must consult the specification for that rivet material. Heat the rivets (in a wire basket) to a temperature of 495 + 5C for a period (soaking time) of 15 minutes. Remove the rivets and quench in cool water. Wash thoroughly if heated in a salt bath. The rivet will commence to age harden (get stronger and harder) but can be used within 2 hours of treatment. Some rivets must be used within 20 minutes (consult the specification). Age hardening may be delayed by refrigeration (ice-box rivets), eg if the rivets are placed in a fridge at -20C immediately after treatment and washing they can be kept for up to 150 hours before they must be used or re-heat treated. Use within 2 hours of removal from cold storage. Never put rivets back into cold storage once removed. If the rivets are not used within the prescribed time they can be re-treated to a maximum of 3 times. Note. A container with dry ice (-105F) can be used in place of a freezer (some workshops the author has visited use a domestic top loading freezer set at the coldest temperature).

BLIND RIVETING SYSTEMS These are rivets that need access to one side of the metal only and are sometimes called pull-through rivets. There is a wide range of blind riveting systems used in the aircraft industry each has its own special advantages and disadvantages. They all require special tools and procedures to fit but the general procedure is as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Drill the correct size hole (clearance drill) (see above). Check total thickness (grip length) of the materials to be joined. Select correct size of rivet. The length is related to the grip range of the rivet as stated in the rivet manufacturers literature. Select correct forming tool and load rivet/rivet mandrel. Operate tool which may be hand operated or power operated. Form rivet in hole and inspect.

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Grip Length This is ascertained using a special tool placed in the hole in the plates to be riveted. Normally supplied by the rivet manufacture and applies to a specific type of rivet (figure 19). It is placed in the hole of the plates to be riveted and pulled back to hold the lip on the metal. The grip length is then read off the scale.


Most rivets have a grip range that is a rivet will have a range of grip lengths that it will be suitable for.

TUCKER POP RIVETS Each rivet is supplied complete with a mandrel (which looks like a nail) and can be formed by hand using Lazy Tongs or Cranked Pliers or may be formed using power tools. They are a hollow, pull through, non plug-able rivet but may be sealed against the weather. The procedure to form the rivet is: 1. 2. 3. 4. Select the correct tool with the correct size collet (nose) and correct size jaws for the size of the rivet. Check rivet specification, diameter and grip range and insert the mandrel into the jaws of the tool. Place the rivet into the (previously drilled) hole. Hold the tool firmly against the material and square to the surface being riveted. Operate the tool. The head of the mandrel will try to pull through the rivet so closing the rivet and breaking off.

The mandrel can be of two types; Break-head or Break-stem. The break-head type allows the broken head to fall out of the formed rivet. The break-stem type has a waisted shank and breaks below the head, thus the broken head portion is trapped in the rivet. This type is used where it is impossible to retrieve the broken off head of the mandrel. A sealed type tucker pop rivet is supplied for use in pressure cabin construction. Note. Broken mandrel stems, swarf, rivet heads and shanks etc, which are discarded during the repair operation, must be cleaned up using a vacuum cleaner. The rivet will not be as strong as a solid rivet or the more sophisticated blind riveting systems available, but it is cheap and easy to use. Sealants may be used for weatherproofing. - 23 -





CHOBERT RIVETS Supplied in snaphead or countersunk form. These rivets have a tapered inner hole for the mandrel to pass through, the mandrel does not break but is re-used many times. The rivets are supplied without the mandrel with the steel mandrel being supplied separately. The rivet is a hollow pull through plug-able type rivet. The mandrel may be designed to form rivets singly, but more often it is long (nearly 12 305mm) and can be loaded with many rivets. The mandrel is pulled through the rivet by a special riveting tool. A magazine type riveting tool is available which carries a number of rivets end-to-end on the long mandrel, thus avoiding time in threading rivets individually after each closing. This tool can close many rivets with just the one loading. (See the book in this series on hand powered tools).

- 24 -



Chobert rivets can have the same strength as solid rivets (by using a sealing pin) and the general forming process is as follows: 1. 2. Check grip range and size of rivet. Check the steel mandrel that it has not worn beyond limits. Go and NotGo gauges are supplied for this if not available use a micrometer checking with the manufacturers instructions. Thread rivet/s onto mandrel tail first (rivets are often supplied already pre-packed head-to-tail in long sealed wrappers once threaded onto the mandrel, the wrapper is removed). Insert mandrel into jaws of forming tool (opening the front jaws and locking the end of the mandrel in the rear jaws). Place rivet in hole and operate tool. The front jaws are powered forward and will push the first rivet over the tapered end of the mandrel, forming the rivet. On its return the front jaws will open to pass over the head of the next rivet and spring closed behind the head ready for forming the next rivet. To seal the rivet and/or to increase the shear strength, lightly tap a sealing pin into the hole using a hammer. These sealing pins are supplied (figure 22).


4. 5.


AVDEL RIVETS These rivets are similar to Chobert rivets, but each is fitted with its own stem (mandrel). The mandrel is pulled into the body to close the rivet and, at a predetermined tensile load, breaks proud of the manufactured head, leaving part of the stem inside the body in the form of a plug. They are a hollow self-plugging rivet with some types having friction lock stems and others having self-locking stems. Excess stem material is nipped off with end cutters and then milled (shaved) flush with an end miller (stainless steel and titanium rivet stems break flush with the rivet head and milling is not necessary). The action of closing an Avdel rivet is shown in figure 23.

- 25 -



Avdel rivet mandrels are lubricated by the manufacturer and on no account should the rivets be cleaned or lubricated before use. The shear strength of Avdel rivets (as with most self-plugging rivets) is similar to that of solid rivets. To check that the mandrel of the friction lock stem is a firm fit in the rivet after milling a spring-loaded pin tester is used (the spring provides about a 15lb force). If the mandrel pushes out the rivet must be drilled out and a new one fitted. An improved version of the original Avdel rivet is available called the MBC Avdel rivet (figures 24 and 25). It: (a) (b) Locks itself into the hole using a locking ring or collar, and Breaks flush with the surface so no milling is required.


- 26 -


CHERRY RIVETS These are similar to the MBC Avdel rivet. They are a pull-through self-locking stem type rivets and several different types are available. During the final stages of forming a locking collar, located in a recess in the rivet head, is forced into a groove in the stem and prevents the stem from further movement. After forming the stem protrudes slightly above the rivet head and this excess, plus part of the locking collar, may be milled off to provide a flush finish.


- 27 -



Figure 27 shows the forming of a Cherrymax rivet. The main differences from the original Cherry rivet are that a driving anvil (fitted to the stem) causes the locking collar to be forced into a recess in the stem and the rivet thereby locking the stem in place, and there is not a requirement to mill the stem flush. Cherry rivets are identified by a four figure number followed by a figure indicting the diameter in thirty-seconds of an inch and a further figure indicating the maximum grip length in sixteenths of an inch. For example, CR 2162-3-6 refers to a Cherry rivet in aluminium alloy, with a countersunk head and standard stem, 3/32 (2.4mm) diameter and a maximum grip length of 3/8 (9.5mm). Blind rivets are installed using hand or power-operated tools and it is important that the tools are fitted with the correct type of head for the particular size and type of rivet. Details are normally supplied by either the rivet or tool manufacturer.

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RIVETING TOOLS HAND OPERATED For forming solid rivets these include hammers, set-ups, dollies, dolly holders, bucking bars, snaps etc. There are some tools available for use with blind rivets but these are normally confined to tucker pop rivets and include lazy tongs, riveting pliers etc.


POWER OPERATED These are almost all air operated, which is safer as there is no possibility of sparks which could occur if electrically powered tools were used.

Pneumatic Riveting Hammers Used for closing (forming) solid rivets and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. In general air pressure (adjusted to about 60psi but check with instructions supplied with the tool) causes a steel plunger to move up and down inside a barrel. As it does so it strikes a rivet snap secured in the end by a retaining spring. As the plunger moves backwards and forwards so it causes a slid valve to move in the appropriate direction reversing the air supply to the barrel and causing the plunger to move in the opposite direction, so a reciprocating action takes place.


- 29 -

The kinetic energy in the plunger is transferred to the snap, which in turn transfers it to the rivet. The rivet converts this energy into strain energy by deforming hopefully into the correct shape (skill is required). Do not operate the gun without the snap being restrained by pushing it onto a surface (a supported block of wood or the actual rivet to be worked on). This would prevent the possibility of the snap from flying through the air in the unlikely event of the retaining spring becoming loose. It is always advisable to do some test riveting with the hammer on some scrap material before actual use on the aircraft. This allows for improvement in technique, adjustment of air pressure and the checking of rivet allowance etc. Maintenance includes checking the retaining spring for security and serviceability, operation of the unit and the application of a few drops of thin oil in the air inlet before use each day.

Riveting Guns There are many different types of riveting guns available and it would not be possible to try and cover them all in this book. Two have been chosen as examples to give you some idea as to the range available.

The Avdel Riveter and Intensifier (Figure 31) This equipment can be used to form rivets such as Avdel, Chobert etc, depending on the type of front assembly fitted to the gun. The intensifier is supplied with air pressure up to 80psi and this pressure is increased considerably by a hydraulic intensifier. When the button on the gun is operated air is allowed out from one side of the intensifier piston. The piston moves across forcing the oil piston into the oil cylinder. This creates hydraulic pressure to the gun to cause the piston to move rearwards, locking the jaws and pulling the rivet mandrel rearwards thus forming the rivet. Maintenance includes regular checks on the hydraulic fluid reservoir, and checks for leaks and correct operation.


- 30 -


The Chobert Repetition Riveter (Figure 32) This operates at air pressures between 60 to 80psi and because it is multi-pistoned it does not require an intensifier (the 3 pistons give it 3 times the force than just one). It is a repetition riveter and will form up to 50 rivets on one loading. The long (12.5 [317mm]) steel mandrel is loaded with the rivets (supplied packeted in-line ready to load). The loaded mandrel is fed through the front jaw assembly (which is opened by hand) and locked at the rear by the rear jaw assembly. The front jaw assembly is allowed to snap shut behind the head of the first rivet. Note. It is important to check that the rivets are threaded onto the mandrel the correct way (tails towards the mandrel head) before removing the wrapping from around the rivets. If the rivets are found to be fitted the wrong way round and the wrapping removed they have to be re-threaded onto the mandrel individually. When the riveter is operated air pressure pushes the barrel forward forcing the end rivet over the tapered head of the mandrel so forming the rivet. When the trigger is released the barrel moves back; the line of rivets are prevented from moving back by a one-way device called a cursor and the front jaw assembly is forced over the head of the next rivet to snap shut behind it ready for it to be formed. Maintenance includes checking the head of the mandrel for wear. This is done using a GO NOT-GO gauge supplied with the tool, or a micrometer with reference to the manufacturers literature. Worn mandrels are scrapped.

- 31 -


Millers These are similar in principle to the pneumatically operated windy drill except that they are fitted with an adjustable milling head instead of a chuck. Two steadying legs allow accurate milling and the head is adjustable. Several testmills should be carried out on a test piece prior to milling the real thing and adjustments carried out to obtain the correct depth of mill. Used for milling (shaving) rivet heads where permitted and (more usually) for milling mandrels to form a flush fit. Warning. These give off a fine swarf and goggles should be worn. Maintenance includes checking operation, checking sharpness of milling cutters and placing a few drops of thin oil into the air inlet each day.


- 32 -

Nibblers and Shears These both have a motor similar to the windy drill but the drive is used to operate either a nibbling head or a power shearing head. Used for cutting thin sheet metal to shape. The cut edge produced is poor and will need to be finished off by hand using a file.

RIGID PIPES Pipelines may be made of: * * * * * * Al alloy Steel Stainless Steel Copper Tungum a copper alloy Brass

When replacing a pipe it is important to replace it with a pipe made of the same material, diameter, length, shape and gauge. It is also important, of course, that the end fittings are identical with the old ones (check the IPC Illustrated Parts Catalogue). Some pipes can be made-up on site while others have to be obtained from stores using the stores part number and reference number (and EASA form1 and the IPC). The designer of the aircraft and its systems should organise the pipes in such a way that mis-connection is not possible, either by having different length pipes in the same run so that unions, or connections, of one pipe do not occur at the same place as a pipeline next to it; or by having pipelines (and unions) of different diameters so mis-connection is impossible. This is not always done, however, and it is important that all systems are put through a complete functional test after any pipeline replacement/disconnection/reconnection.

Pipe Couplings These can be flared or un-flared. Flared Couplings. Consists of a flared pipe, adapter nipple, collar, outer and inner sleeve. The nipple now in use has a parallel extension (called a skirt) and this should always be inserted into the flared pipe, which has the collar and outer sleeve fitted. Older nipples did not have a skirt and it has happened that the union has been assembled with the nipple twisted around in the union causing it to leak and causing a blockage.

- 33 -



Figure 34 shows some AGS unions. They are not too unlike those of American manufacture the most important difference being the flare angle for pipes made to the (old) American AC standard the angle is 35, for AN unions the angle is 37 and for AGS unions the angle is 32. These angles are close enough so that visually they look the same, so it is important that when making up/connecting these unions that a positive check is made (union ident codes, AMM, IPC etc) to ensure that the flared end is fitted into the correct union. Flareless Couplings. A preset of the correct size is placed over the un-flared pipe end. The pipe is pushed fully home into its union adapter and the union nut is tightened to a specific torque value or by a specified number of turns (the union manufacturer will specify). This causes the preset to bend inwards and form a leak proof compression joint with the pipe. Figure 35 shows a typical flareless coupling not too unlike those meeting MS specifications.


- 34 -



The following is a typical pipe/union system for a commercial aircraft and based on the Airbus aircraft hydraulic system. Pipelines are placarded with Skydrol-resistant identification bands or metal rings, on which are indicated the system colour code; a brief description of the line function, and the direction of fluid flow. A number is marked on each line.

Materials High pressure Rigid pipelines Low pressure rigid pipelines Flexible hoses

Stainless steel

Grey painted aluminium alloy except fire zones which are stainless steel Braided, Teflon lined

Hydraulic components are identified by means of self-adhesive placards showing the component number as given on the hydraulic system general drawing (AMM). As a rule, numbers beginning with 1, 2 or 3 are used for Green, Blue and Yellow system components respectively.

- 35 -



Hydraulic Pipeline Connections These include: * * * Pipe-to-pipe (Harrison or Deutch type permanent union). Pipe-to-pipe pressure bulkhead (Harrison and Deutch type). Pipe-to-component.

The Harrison fittings are used where maintenance work has to be performed so the union can be dismantled and re-assembled. The Deutch permanent unions are used in areas where no dismantling has to be performed. Both unions rely on the swaging of a ferrule onto the pipeline using a special swaging machine. The swaging process causes the ferrule to be pressed into the pipe causing some deformation and forming a fluid tight metal-to-metal joint between ferrule and pipe together with PTFE seals.

- 36 -




- 37 -

Compressed Rubber Couplings. Used with low pressure air (and liquid) systems such as Pitot static systems and fuel systems. The pipe end is held against the shoulder of the recess in the union adapter with a rubber seal held in place by a union nut. Prior to fitting the pipe, the pipe ends should be suitably protected against the corrosive action of the rubber. Copper pipes should be tinned, whilst stainless steel and aluminium alloy pipes should be protected with a varnish such as BSX17. The pipe ends should be square with all sharp edges removed. The union nut must be tightened just sufficient to compress the rubber seal and provide an efficient seal.



Brazed Nipple Couplings. A conical nipple is brazed or silver soldered to the end of the pipe and is held in position by a union nut, which butts against a shoulder on the nipple.



Self-Sealing Couplings. May be of the screw or bayonet type and allow quick release and assembly of the joint without fluid loss or air ingress. When making or breaking the joint of a self-sealing coupling, care must be taken to avoid turning between the two halves, otherwise the seating for the valve in the union half-coupling may damage the seal in the fixed half-coupling. Note. This does not apply to Avimo type self-sealing couplings, which are connected by a bayonet pin and socket arrangement. It is therefore necessary to rotate this coupling to make or break the joint.

- 38 -

Figure 43 shows a coupling connected to a hose with a hose clip (Jubilee clip). The normal method of connection is carried out by special compression couplings either at the manufacturer or at user unit level (if permitted) and Jubilee clips are not used. See later text on Hose Connections. The drawing is shown to indicate the operation of the self-sealing male and female threaded items. When a self-sealing coupling is disconnected, blanks should be fitted to both halves. A leaking half-coupling should be replaced.


Banjo Unions. Used to connect a pipeline often a flexible pipeline to a component, though the union itself provides a rigid connection. The union consists of an inlet union screw, inlet union and two bonded seals or bonded washers. Designed to allow a pipe connection to be made to a component at right angles to the component. The inlet union screw is drilled internally to allow for fluid passage as is the inlet union.


- 39 -

The bonded washers are made up of a metal plain washer to which is bonded an elastomeric seal. This is usually bonded to the inside circumference of the washer and is designed to be thicker than the metal washer. As the union screw is tightened down into the female thread of the component so the elastomeric seal will be squeezed and provide a seal. The union screw is usually torque loaded.

Fuel/Air Conditioning Systems Pipe-work Fuel pipes are not normally required to handle pressures over 50psi (345kPa) with air conditioning ducts experiencing considerably less pressure. They are usually made from aluminium alloy (air conditioning ducts downstream of the mixing chamber where temperatures are lower) with the diameter being large enough to cope with the flow rates. Diameters are typically about 2 (64mm). They may be joined using Vee flange couplings or elastomeric (rubber seals) compression couplings. Vee Flange Couplings. Used on larger diameter pipes where the ends of the pipes to be joined have a Vee section brazed onto them. The pipes and the two Vee sections are butted together and retained by a Vee Flange Coupling. It is important that the abutment faces of the two Vee flange sections are clean, absolutely flat, undamaged and not strained. Couplings for ducting/larger diameter pipes are supplied in a variety of designs so it is important that the AMM be consulted prior to any work being carried out. Figures 45 and 46 show, respectively, a single bolt and a double bolt Vee flange coupling.


- 40 -


The torque loading of these clamp bolt(s) is critical and the clamp halves need to be tightened a little at a time then tapped with a soft-faced mallet, then tightened again, then tapped again. This is repeated until the final torque value is achieved. This process helps relieve the static friction tension that would otherwise build up between the clamps and the pipe flanges.


- 41 -


Pipes are thin walled and need care when handling. Also all pipe-work and couplings must be electrically bonded because of the flow inducing static build-up. Figure 47 shows an example of a rigid fuel pipe coupling and figure 47 shows examples of flexible fuel pipe couplings. There are many types in use and reference should always be made to the AMM for type and fitting instructions. In general: * * * * * * Ensure the correct seals are fitted and in the correct way. Ensure pipes are un-damaged particularly around the seal mating surfaces. Torque load correctly. Ensure correct electrical bonding. Carry out leak and functional check after assembly. May need an engine run. Some airlines require a duplicate inspection on fuel feed leak checks.

PIPE INSTALLATION Before pipes are fitted to the aircraft, they should be inspected for any damage. If damage to the pipe is suspected, the pipes should be pressure tested and the roundness of the bore checked. Checks should be made that the pipes are of the specified type and should have EASA form 1s to identify the pipe. All pipes should be clean and supplied fitted with approved blanking caps. Prior to assembly, all pipes must be blown through with clean dry air and, where applicable, flushed out with clean filtered fluid of the type to be used in the particular system in which the pipe is to be installed. For oxygen systems, a final approved degreasing process must be used to ensure cleanliness, since oil or grease in contact with oxygen under pressure would cause an explosion.

- 42 -

If the pipe is not to be installed immediately, the ends must be blanked with the correct blanking caps. In instances where standard blanks cannot be fitted, it must be ensured that the blank is so made that it is impossible for it to be left in position when the pipe is connected. Note. The use of rage, tape or paper for blanking is not allowed. When installing pipes, they should not be allowed to come into contact with materials which might cause galvanic corrosion. Some Al alloy pipes are treated internally and externally with varnish. Pipes so treated must not be used in fuel, oil, pneumatic and oxygen systems, or in any system where peeling varnish may cause a malfunction.

Supporting Pipes Pipes must be supported in accordance with the AMM. Pipe clamps are used to support pipes. These clamps may be made of fibre, aluminium, moulded rubber or other materials. The two halves of the clamps are usually joined together by bolts, which also secure the clamp to the aircraft structure. Ensure that the clamps are of the correct size to prevent damage to the pipe. Where packing is required between the pipes and the clamps, the material used should be in accordance with the AMM. Typical materials are cork sheet, tinned copper gauze and various types of tape, but leather must never be used, since this will cause corrosion. Rubber may be used for pipes subject to vibration and Teflon is used where the clamp is likely to be contaminated with Skydrol and fuels etc. Some pipe clamps are self-bonding, but if not, metal gauze (bonding strips) or a corkbased material having copper strands interwoven, can be used. Where single pipes require support, standard clips such as P clips can be used. Clearance between pipes and structure should be at least 0.1 (2.5mm) and adequate clearance should be provided between pipes and moving parts, eg landing gear bays (tyres may grow when rotating by as much as 2in (51mm) in diameter and 1in in width). Distances between pipe supports are laid down in the AMM, but in the unlikely event of there being no distances specified then in general terms the larger the diameter of the pipe the greater the distance between the supports and the stronger the pipe material the greater the distance apart eg:



3/16 1/4 3/8 1/2

12 13.5 16.5 19


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Connecting Pipes Before connecting the pipe union nuts, a check should be made to ensure that the pipe end is of the correct type and size, that it is clean and undamaged. Use two spanners when tightening (or disconnecting) a pipe coupling; one to hold the sleeve or adapter and one to turn the union nut. Do not over-tightening couplings. Special tightening techniques and torques, where specified, must be used. Torque values are specified in the AMM chapter 20 (Standard Maintenance Practices) and tables are provided for both flared, flare-less and other types of couplings. Tables also take into account the pipe material specification. Tolerances are also specified. If lubrication of the threads is specified, use only the correct lubricant and ensure it does not enter the bore of the pipe. Some AMMs give correction factors to dry torque values if a lubricant is used. With some systems the lubricant to use is the same as the system fluid. For oxygen systems use either (a) DTD 900/4042, which provides a dry self-lubricating film of graphite and which should be applied to a degreased surface and allowed to air dry before being put into service, or (b) DTD 900/4286, which acts as a sealant as well as a lubricant and has a grease-like consistency, or (c) PTFE tape.

Pipes with Standard Couplings When connecting pipes having standard types of threaded couplings the following points should be checked: a) b) That flared pipe ends are free from cracks, distortion or other damage. That union nuts are free to be withdrawn over their entire length, that they are not impeded by bends or other obstructions and that they rotate freely. That all loose parts such as adapter nipples, rubber glands, washers, etc are fitted to the coupling, are of the correct type and are correctly located. That the pipe end aligns correctly with its mating part. Pipe ends must never be forced into position, since this may induce stress into the pipe and the coupling. That the pipes are never drawn together by their union nuts, since this puts a strain on the flaring which may cause deformation and damage. That the adapter and pipe flare are both compatible that is AC flares for AC adapters, AN flares for AN adapters and AGS flares for AGS adapters.



e) f)

Once a standard coupling has been bedded in initially, less torque will be required on subsequent reassembly to make a leak proof joint. However, should a leak occur, the coupling must not be over tightened in an attempt to stop the leak, but must be disconnected and the cause of the leakage ascertained. Adapter nipples with skirts have replaced those without skirts but it is important to check that the nipple sits correctly before assembly of the union. (It has been known for unskirted nipples to rotate in the assembly prior to tightening thus causing a poor joint and one that is not pressure proof). - 44 -

Couplings are affected be expansion, contraction, vibration and heat and should be inspected regularly for deterioration and freedom leaks. When connectors are to be removed from pipe ends, it is essential that levering with a screwdriver or similar tool be avoided, since this will damage the pipe. After assembly the system should be purged/bled depending on the system and pressure tested. After the system has been pressurised and tested and the union and pipes checked for leaks the union can be locked/wire locked.

LOCAL MANUFACTURE OF PIPELINES Damaged pipelines must be replaced by an approved spare from stores where-ever possible but where allowed and if a spare is not available then manufacture of some rigid pipelines is permissible at user unit level. In general the pipeline must not be damaged in anyway and all appropriate tests must be carried out after manufacture and prior to assembly. The pipeline must also be thoroughly cleaned prior to assembly. Minor damage to the pipe such as small scratches and light corrosion may be classed as negligible (refer to the SRM) and may be blended out using aluminium wool. Damage such as cracks, dents, buckling and leakage will require pipeline replacement. Stock pipe with the correct EASA form 1 is used and this must be of the correct specification, gauge and diameter. It is cut to length, and if more than one bend is to be carried out a calculated bend allowance procedure is used. The free end lengths of pipe-work should be cut about 10% longer than that calculated to allow for any slight variations in manufacture. Cutting is carried out using a fine toothed (32tpi) hacksaw or a tube cutter machine (a roller cutter similar to that used by plumbers). The pipe ends are then filed flat and de-burred. It is most important to ensure that this operation is carried out very carefully as any minute nicks or burrs left can start a crack when carrying out the flaring procedure. The procedure in general is: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Selection of correct pipe from stock. Cutting to correct length. Carry out any heat treatments. Fabrication of any bends. Fit end unions over pipe. Flaring. Inspection. Testing. Fitting to aircraft and function testing of system.

- 45 -

HEAT TREATMENTS Some materials require heat treatments prior to fabrication, others can be fabricated and fitted as supplied. The material specification should be provided in the stores release documents (data from the manufacturers) (EASA form 1) and heat treatment details will be found in the specification (obtained on the internet or from any good library). In general the following heat treatments are used: * Al alloy. Depending on specification may be annealed (to soften) prior to working (heat to 360-420C depending on specification and cool in still air, and then should be solution treated to restore its strength - (heat to 460-540C and quench). Steel. May be softened for working by annealing (heating to a temperature depending on the carbon content and slow cooling in a heated oven). After working, the strength is restored by hardening and tempering (heating to a temperature depending on the carbon content and quenching in water then re-heating to 200-300C and quenching). Stainless Steel. Can be annealed (to refine and soften) by heating to about 1000C (depending on material specification and type of annealing) and quenching or slow cooling. Hardening and tempering is similar to that performed on steel. Stress relief heat treatment may also be carried out. Copper and copper alloys. May be supplied in the softened or half-hard condition. If supplied in the half-hard condition or if the bending is to be severe then the pipe is to be annealed by heating to 600-700C and quenching in water or cooled in still air. Tungum a copper alloy containing aluminium, nickel and silicon. Worked in the as supplied condition and if work hardening occurs then stress relieving is carried out by heating to 400C and cooling in still air.

PIPE BENDING The pipe to be made up must be of the same specification, diameter and gauge as the one that it is replacing. The bend radii and angles must be the same as that on the replacement pipe and the pattern must be identical. To lessen the possibility of kinking pipework over 0.5in (13mm) in diameter - or pipes that have to be bent through an acute angle, or thin walled pipes, are usually filled with a fusible alloy for the bending process. This lead based alloy melts at below 100C so boiling water is sufficient to heat and melt the alloy prior to pouring into the pipe; and to remove it from the pipe after bending.

Loading the Alloy 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Thoroughly clean the pipe bore and dry. Lightly lubricate the bore as prescribed by the manufacturer of the fusible alloy. This helps alloy removal after the operation. Plug one end (bottom plug) and immerse in boiling water to within a few inches of the open end. Melt the alloy in a container in the boiling water. Pour the alloy into the pipe taking care not to destroy the oil film or create air pockets. - 46 -

6. 7.

Cool the pipe in cold water working from the plugged end to prevent the formation of cavities. Allow the pipe to attain room temperature (when the alloy will have solidified), and the pipe is ready for bending.

Unloading the Alloy (after bending) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Remove the top and bottom plugs and immerse the complete pipe in boiling (or near boiling) water. Support the pipe so that the molten alloy runs out. Remove pipe when completely drained of alloy. Allow water to cool and retrieve alloy now solid- to be used again. Thoroughly clean/degrease the bore of the pipe. Inspect the bend for signs of local wasting and buckling.

The Bending Machine Several different bending machines are available - for example, the type A2 for pipes up to 7/8 (22mm) diameter and the type C for pipes from 1 2 (25 to 51mm) diameter. Usually supplied with a set of formers and guides to suit a range of pipe diameters with each former allowing for a mean bend radius approximately four times the diameter of the corresponding pipe. This is the safe minimum for the pipe concerned. Always use the correct former and guide and bend the pipe with a continuous, steady, slow pull on the bending machine handle.


Always inspect the pipe after bending for: * * * Kinking Flattening Damage
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Some flattening is allowed (maximum of 25% reduction of diameter), anything more than this will require the scrapping of the pipe and another one made. The other defects above will also warrant scrapping the pipe. Carry out a pressure test (see later text) of the pipe and carry out a ball test (a ball of 80% of the internal diameter of the pipe should pass through the pipe freely assisted only by gravity).

End Fitting Manufacture For all fittings the ends of the pipe should be finished square and be free from burrs and debris. Flared End Fittings (figure 34).Before flaring commences fit the union adapter and collar the correct way round and in that order (failure to fit them now will mean that if it is the second end on the pipe that is being completed - you cannot fit them at all because they will not go over the flared ends). The pipe is clamped in a flaring tool (with the correct flaring cone fitted) and this cone is rotated and pushed forward by a screw-thread into the bore of the pipe (slowly) to force it out to the flared angle of the cone. The process must be carried out slowly so as to minimise the possibility of the flare splitting or cracking. The flaring process is continued until the flare is a specific size in relation to the collar. In general when the collar is pulled up under the flare, the flare should protrude in front of the collar by a small amount check flaring tool instructions. Check for local splitting, thinning and cracks. Assemble the union and carry out a pressure test. With some aluminium alloy pipes a double flare may be required. This is similar to a single flare (as described above) but the wall of the flare is doubled back on itself using a special tool. Flare-less Fittings (figure 35). This process obviates the need for flaring which is always a tricky operation often leading to cracking of the flared end and subsequent restart of the pipe manufacturing process from the beginning. New flare-less fittings must be preset. To preset a fitting proceed as follows: * Cut, square and deburr pipe. Check condition and that it is the correct specification/part number with the correct stores release documents. Place union nut and sleeve on the pipe in that order. Check union/ sleeve as above. Lubricate threads of union nut and union. Hold the union in a vice and ensure pipe is fully pushed home into the union.

* * *

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Screw the union nut down by hand onto the union until the pilot of the sleeve starts to dig in and grip the pipe. This can be determined by slow hand turning of the pipe until it is held. Finally tighten the union nut, using a spanner, by another one to one and a sixth turns (Al alloy pipes up to diameter) or from one and one sixth turns to one and a half turns (for all steel pipes and Al alloy pipes over diameter). Some union manufactures specify torque values to set the pre-set so check their literature before starting. Undo the union nut and inspect preset. The pipe should extend beyond the sleeve pilot by 3/32 to 1/8. The pilot should contact the pipe or have a maximum clearance of 0.005 (Al alloy) 0.015 (steel) and the pipe should be slightly deformed. The sleeve may rotate on the pipe. Re-assemble and pressure test.

When fitting a replacement pipe always: * * * * Check that the end fittings attach to the rest of the system without any strain. Check that the lay of the pipe is the same as the original. Attach at the same support points and note that it has clearance between it and other pipes; moving items; hot items, etc. Carry out a full functional test of the system and if no leaks are apparent the unions are wire locked.

Pressure Testing Pipes Always check with the AMM. Hydraulic, Fuel, Oil and Coolant Pipes. All pipes and complete systems after manufacture should be proof tested to 1 times normal maximum system pressure or 250psi whichever is the greater. The ideal fluid to use is the system fluid, but fuel pipes may use water. Test pipes in a safety cage and the pressure should be maintained for at least 30 seconds. Flow test systems where valves, particularly non-return valves, are fitted. Carefully release pressure after a pressure test taking greater care if accumulators are fitted. Always flow test completed fuel systems. Compressed Gas Pipes. When testing compressed gas systems/lines, dry air or nitrogen is used with purging of 02 systems with oxygen afterwards. The gas is introduced into a suitably blanked system using a Schrader type valve. Leaks may be checked for by noting the pressure drop over a period of time and/or applying a leak detecting fluid around joints, etc. This fluid may be a proprietary brand or distilled water and a non-acid soapy solution. After pressure testing, pipelines should be inspected to ensure that they have not been displaced by the pressure and that the correct clearance is maintained. The pipe supports should also be checked for security of attachment and local distortion of the pipe at its clamping points.

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Locking When all tests have been completed, the connections should be locked in accordance with the AMM.

Maintenance of Pipelines Check all pipelines for corrosion, particularly aluminium alloy pipes. Special attention should be given to areas under clips and supports. Copper and brass pipes will age harden in service and should be removed for annealing at the periods stated in the Maintenance Schedule. These pipes should be protected with an organic compound. Pipelines should be checked for damage, chafing, kinking, denting and leaks. Also check for correct clearance and security of attachment.

FLEXIBLE HOSE ASSEMBLIES From a designers point of view, the following points should be borne in mind when selecting a hose assembly for a particular purpose: a) b) Maximum system pressure. Maximum system fluid temperature, particularly soak temperatures after system shut-down when fluid temperatures could increase by as much as 20C. Compatibility of hose material (external material and hose liners) and its end fittings with the system fluid and external environmental conditions. This includes fluids to be used in other systems where they may come into external contact with a particular hose installation.


Hose assemblies for high-pressure fluid systems are usually supplied by the manufacturers complete with end fittings which, in most cases, cannot be dismantled or altered in any way. However, there are some types of hose assemblies that may be made up at user unit level. The hose lining is made of a material to withstand the pressure, temperature and to be compatible with the fluid in the system. The hose is strengthened by high tensile steel wire braiding or fabric reinforcement. Only use hose as specified in the Illustrated Parts Catalogue (IPC). Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is used widely as it is chemically inert, is unaffected by synthetic oils and fluids and operates at high temperatures and normally has an unlimited shelf life. PTFE hose is, however, more susceptible to damage from careless handling than rubber hose and care is required during removal, installation and inspection. Hose assemblies fitted in high temperature areas (eg near engines) may be protected by fire protective coverings.

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Hose assemblies often go through a great deal of flexing. They will also age and therefore important that any lives stated in the AMM are not exceeded. The end fittings on a hose assembly are made from steel or light alloy and are designed to exert a grip on both the tube and wire braids so as to resist high pressure, twisting and vibrational loads. They also provide an electrical bonded joint.

Length The length of a hose assembly with straight end fittings is taken as the distance between the extremities of the two nipples. In the case of an elbowed end fitting, the length is taken from the centre of the elbow bore.

Construction of High-Pressure Hose Assemblies (figure 50) A typical high-pressure hose assembly consists of an inner lining covered by one or two closely woven wire braids, either moulded or sandwiched between the synthetic rubber of the lining or woven on the surface of the tube. The whole assembly may be enclosed by an outer cover, the purpose of which is to provide protection for the other parts of the hose, to resist abrasion and the effects of weather and environmental fluids and chemicals and in some cases to provide a degree of fire resistance.



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Low-Pressure Hose Assemblies These are thin-walled and textile-reinforced. They are used for Pitot static instrument lines and especially for instruments mounted on panels equipped with anti-vibration mountings. A rubber or canvas spirally-corrugated hose with a spiral steel spring embedded in the corrugations is often used for systems where there are negative pressures. Ensure that bends are not too acute, since this may result in kinking of the hose. Where a sharp bend cannot be avoided an internal support coil may be fitted.

Installation Ensure adequate clearance between the hose and other parts of the aircraft structure, so as to prevent chafing or galvanic corrosion. The hose may flex when internal pressure is applied, and whip may occur under surge pressure conditions causing possible damage to hose and surrounding structure and systems. The serviceability and life of a hose is affected by the degree of bending of the hose. There may be some variation in the connecting angle and distance between fittings for a particular hose assembly in similar installations, and a check should be carried out to ensure that the bend radius is not less than the minimum specified by the manufacturer. Straight hose runs should be at least 3% longer than the maximum distance between the fittings to which they are connected. The hose must never be fitted under tension. Where a hose assembly is connected to a moving part it is important to ensure that the hose can only move in the plane intended by the designer. The hose should be installed without any twists and this will be seen by the marker line down its length which should remain straight. Any hose clips used must be of an approved type and must fit correctly in relation to the pipe ends or beading. A clearance of between 0.25 and 0.50 (6mm to 13mm) should be allowed between the ends of the pipes so that the ends will not make contact should flexure of the pipe occur. If a new hose to pipe connection proves difficult to fit, it may be lubricated with the fluid used in the particular system, but for some types of pipe, hot water immersion (softens the rubber) in accordance with the manufacturers instructions can be used.

Re-usable End Fittings (figure 51) Usually consists of a socket, nipple and a union nut. When the socket (fitted with the hose) is screwed onto the nipple, hose expands and is clamped firmly against the socket. This is known as a compression seal but other methods of assembly may be used. When cutting a replacement length of hose for the re-useable end fitting it is important to cut it to the correct length using a fine toothed hacksaw blade removing any debris.

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As with stock pipe, stock hose most be made to the correct specification and be of the correct diameter and wall thickness with the lining compatible with the system fluid and have a stores release document. Assembly of the hose and socket is carried out by holding the socket in a vice and screwing the hose into the socket until it bottoms (cannot be screwed in any further). Note. Some manufacturers recommend that, after screwing the hose fully into the socket, it should be unscrewed a quarter turn to allow for expansion when the nipple is inserted. After assembly of the hose to the socket it is recommended that the hose is marked with a grease pencil, paint or tape, at the point where it enters the socket, in order to provide a means of checking that the hose is not forced out of the socket during subsequent insertion of the nipple. The nipple must be screwed into the previously assembled hose and socket. This operation must be carried out with care, as misalignment of the nipple could result in its tapered end cutting into the hose wall. Slices of rubber dislodged in this way have been known to cause malfunction of the system. Nipples are usually tapered over approximately half their length and are often provided with a plain pilot extension to guide the nipple accurately into the hose. When the nipple does not have a pilot extension an assembly mandrel should be used and should extend at least 6mm beyond the end of the nipple. The assembly mandrel also acts as a means of turning a nipple which does not have an integral hexagon or flats. After assembly the hose must be pressure tested.

TESTING PIPES GENERAL The Ball Test. With the hose or pipe suspended from one end, a ball should pass freely through the assembly under its own weight and without lubrication. The check should be repeated from the opposite end and if the ball fails to pass through in either direction the hose/pipe must be rejected. The diameter and material of the ball may be specified by the manufacturer, but in general, a steel ball bearing is used having a diameter slightly smaller than the specified internal diameter of the hose/pipe. The diameter should be: * * 90% of the internal diameter for hose assemblies. 80% of the internal diameter for pipes.

Flow Test. In some cases a ball test may be inadequate and a flow test will show that the assembly is capable of passing a given quantity of fluid per unit time and under the conditions specified. Normally a special test rig is used, but if fuel pipes are used a flow test can be carried out in-situ. Pressure Test. These are carried out as stated on the drawing or in the relevant manual or to 1.5 times the normal maximum working pressure. When testing fuel pipes paraffin may be used as the test fluid. For pneumatic and oxygen pipes water is used. After testing, the pipes must be cleaned and dried.

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Bonding Test. If the hose has metal in its construction a bonding test will be specified. A bonding tester is used (see the book in this series entitled Aircraft Electrics). Inspection. The assembly is inspected at periods specified in the maintenance schedule and in accordance with the AMM. The end fittings are checked for tightness, corrosion, damage and correct locking. Pipes are checked for leaks, damage, corrosion, security of attachment and correct clearance. The hose is checked for alignment (the length-wise marked strip is not twisted), that there are no signs of leaks or fluid contamination. There should be no damage or signs of rubbing. Bend the hose to see if there are any cracks in the surface of the rubber these are acceptable provided there are not too many and depth and length do not exceed the limits laid down by the manufacturer.

STORAGE OF PIPES PTFE hose does not normally have a specific storage life, but rubber or synthetic rubber hose has. The life, depending on the material, is between three and five years. Check storage conditions from the manufacturers manual but generally the following applies: a) b) Keep in original wrapping and issue in order of acceptance (1st in, 1st out). Keep in a dry storeroom away from sunlight and running electrical equipment. (Ozone is the principle-ageing agent of rubber and is generated by running electrical motors/generators, etc.) Check periodically and test before issue in accordance with manufacturers manual. Keep all documentation (EASA form 1s etc). Check for validity and check against hose identification.

c) d)

PIPE-LINE IDENTIFICATION (BS M23) All pipes are marked with date of manufacturer, drawing or part number, inspection stamp, test stamp and name of manufacturer. These markings can be stencilled on the external surface or stamped on a metal tag or band (soldered/brazed to the pipe). The date can be a colour code woven into the cotton brand. Flexible hose assemblies are marked along their length with one or more continuous thin lines to indicate any twist on installation.

SYSTEM IDENTIFICATION Systems/system pipes may be identified by tape or identification labels attached to each section of pipe. The two systems in use include: * The colour/symbol system. This uses words, colours and symbols to indicate the contents/system of the pipe.

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The code system based on the ATA100 (ATA iSpec 2200) chapter numbering system and will indicate: (a) The system (symbol). (b) The component to which the pipe is fitted. (c) The subsystem to which the pipe is fitted. (d) Whether it is suction pressure, etc.

The Code System The numbering system, starting from the end of the pipe, may take the following form: 1st Part 2nd Part 3rd Part 4th Part 5th Part 6th Part 7th Part . . . . . . . Pipe end identification number. System symbol. ATA chapter number. Component key number. Component connection code. Pipe function and subsystem code. Flow direction if applicable.

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