SAE International, a leading engineering society that writes and controls many specifications used in aerospace and other automotive applications, recently held a meeting of their G3 committee in Munich, Germany. This committee is responsible for Aerospace Couplings, Fittings, Hose, and Tubing Assemblies. Astro Pak was represented at this meeting by Dr. Brent Ekstrand, VP of Science & Technology, and Kirk Pilling, Director of Quality. Other companies present at the meeting included Boeing, Airbus, AeroFit, Rolls Royce, GE, and Lockheed Martin. Astro Pak was asked to deliver a presentation on Oxygen Cleanliness to the committee.
Brent and Kirk delivered a thorough overview of why oxygen & oxidizer systems must be cleaned and verified, the methods of inspection and verification, and special concerns about the solvents used in cleaning and verification. Deliberate attention was given to solvent selection in specifications, advising the committee members to frequently revise specifications to reflect changes in solvent availability and to allow more than one solvent in a specification so that the banning of a solvent will not cause all work governed by a specification to stop while a deviation request is written and acted upon.
The presentation was very well received, with the committee members asking a number of questions during the Q & A session. The head of the committee was so impressed with the material presented that he asked if they could use a copy of it as a teaching tool. This was the first time that Astro Pak has been invited to present to SAE International. It is our hope that the partnership between SAE International and Astro Pak will be further strengthened by future engagements. Working with organizations that author and control specifications is very important because it allows Astro Pak to contribute to the success of projects all around the world. It also helps avoid time-consuming and costly delays in the execution of specifications because outdated allowable solvent lists still list chemicals that have been taken out of production for safety or environmental concerns.
Astro Pak also benefits from the exposure to new potential customers who get to see Astro Pak as not just a cleaning company, but also as a resource for highly specialized technical information.