BAE Systems graduate has developed an advanced new low cost time saving masking tape which can save costs up to US $70 million (£45 million) over the next two decades.
The solution addresses a common problem of adhesive residue being left on engine parts when traditional heavy aluminum tape is peeled away, which can be time-consuming, damaging and costly to remove.
The tape was developed by a team including engineering graduate Sam Ashworth, who manufactures parts for the new F-35 Lightning II aircraft at site in Samlesbury, Lancashire, the company said in a statement.
After extensive testing on a wide range of adhesives and solvents, Sam and his team engineered the new tape made of a light, pre-cut vinyl treated with different chemicals to leave no residue on the surface of parts.
Sam Ashworth, one of our Structures Engineers said: “It is really exciting to work on an advanced project like this so early in my career. There is a real satisfaction in developing a practical solution to a real problem, knowing that the finished product will result in significant time and cost savings for the F-35 Lightning II program, and potentially other platforms across the sector in the future.”
When put into use, the new tape did not leave a film and was easily peeled away by hand, removing the need to use sharp tools and reducing the shop-floor process for each part from 11 hours to just two-and-a-half hours.
The tape has been so successful that it has already been put to use in the production of the new F-35 Lightning II, saving around US $23,000 (£15,000) per aircraft, and the Company is implementing it into the Hawk and Typhoon aircraft production processes.