Fine Tubes to showcase titanium tubing innovations at AIRTEC in Germany

Published on: 4th November 2013

Fine Tubes, a leading manufacturer and global distributor of precision tubes for critical applications, has been supplying the aerospace industry for over 50 years and is renowned for both innovative design and first class product quality. One of the few suppliers, for example, qualified to produce the high strength titanium tubes used in the hydraulic systems of the Airbus A380, Fine Tubes is also involved in the development of the high pressure hydraulic tubing for the Airbus A350 XWB due to go into service in 2014.

Besides the company’s involvement in the commercial and military aerospace sector Fine Tubes also supply various space programmes set to take its products beyond the earth’s atmosphere.

Fine Tubes was selected as the supplier for the high quality seamless titanium tubing required for the Chemical Propulsion System (CPS) of the Solar Orbiter. Due to be launched in 2017, the satellite will perform close-up observations of the Sun and, during its 7 year mission, will experience levels of sunlight thirteen times higher than satellites orbiting the Earth. Fine Tubes was selected for the project because of its ability to develop tubing that can meet the exacting requirements of space – cleanliness; survivability in a hostile environment; zero maintenance.

With its expertise in the manufacture of the tiny tubing essential for pre-cooler systems, Fine Tubes has also been working in partnership with Reaction Engines on the development of the aerospace heat exchanger for the SABRE (Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine). Combining jet and rocket engines in a single power plant, SABRE is being developed to enable Skylon, the world’s first reusable space plane, both to take off and land on a runway and to exit the Earth’s atmosphere. Each engine will require over 2,000km of tubing and Fine Tubes custom-made a high pressure tube from the nickel alloy Inconel. With a wall thickness of just 40 microns the tubing minimises weight and is also strong enough to withstand the heat and pressure involved.

Fine Tubes is now planning to exhibit some of its latest technological innovations at AIRTEC 2013, the international aerospace supply chain fair which is being held in Frankfurt, Germany from 5th to 7th November. AIRTEC will provide the company with an excellent opportunity to showcase its expertise in high precision tubes – including seamless titanium 3Al/2.5V, 6Al/4V, 4Al/2.5V and CP Grade 2 – for a wide range of demanding aerospace applications, including:

• Hydraulic and pneumatic control systems
• Cryogenic heat exchangers
• Torque control rods
• Transmission tubes
• Landing gear
• Fuel pipes
• Instrumentation tubes

Paul Mallett, Fine Tubes’ Aerospace Business Development Executive commented: “As one of the leading innovators in metal tube fabrication, we’re looking forward to exhibiting some of our latest product innovations at AIRTEC 2013, including new, higher strength grades of titanium offering substantial weight savings compared to the current industry standard.”