Press Release Summary:
Designed for Â¼-3/8 in. dia fastener holes, ForceMate 2 Panel Repair System can fix damaged countersunk holes in access panels and other thin-skinned surfaces. It installs 2 nested bushings into hole in one operation via cold expansion tooling to bring fastener holes that have been ovalized, oversized, shifted off-center, or otherwise damaged back to nominal size. ForceMate 2 bushings increase bearing area in hole to reduce repeated stresses.
Original Press Release:
FTI Introduces a new Method for Returning Damaged Access Panel Fastener Holes Back to Nominal Size
FTI has taken its proven ForceMate bushing installation process one step further to create a quick and easy method for repairing damaged countersunk holes in access panels and other thin skinned surfaces. The new process, ForceMate 2 Panel Repair, brings fastener holes that have been ovalized, oversized, shifted off-center, or otherwise damaged, back to nominal size.
Legacy hole repair methods used in the aircraft industry include shrink-fit bushings, large dimpled washers, riveted custom doublers, or bonded patches. These types of repairs have many shortcomings which include higher manpower requirements, longer repair times, unnecessary weight added to the aircraft, unrealiable repair consistency, and difficult field reparability. By comparison, ForceMate 2 Panel Repair offers a simple, lightweight, consistent repair in one-quarter to one-half the time of the other methods.
After repairing an unserviceable fighter aircraft access panel CMSgt. John Rassmussan, Quality Assurance Supervisor of the Oregon Air National Guard, was quoted as saying "In my 33 years this is probably the best thing that has ever come out. You don't need an engineering degree to put these in, you can train anybody - it's easy. And the benefits of this process are huge. You can't see what's going on below a dimpled washer or doubler - now you can fix the damaged hole properly and fix it right the first time."
The ForceMate 2 Panel Repair System offers continued hole protection where repeated installation and removal of fasteners can contribute to wear of the fastener holes. The ForceMate 2 bushings increase the bearing area in the hole to reduce the repeated stresses that ovalize the hole and cause damage.
The ForceMate 2 system installs two nested bushings into a hole in one operation using FTI's cold expansion tooling. Both bushings are fitted onto the end of an expansion mandrel which is then positioned into the cleaned-up hole. The mandrel is then drawn through the bushings expanding the outer bushing radially and then locking the inner bushing into place by using the outer bushing's elastic springback after expansion. It is designed for fastener hole repairs ranging from 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch in diameter and is compatible with most countersunk panel fastener systems (including Milson and Tridair) and some Hi-Torque fasteners. The repair system has proven effective in aluminum, titanium and titanium honeycomb panels.