Creating New Aerospace Products Using Novel Raw Material Compositions

This article discusses the role played by Washington Mills to address the problem faced by a major aerospace company in developing a promising new product.

The Problem

A major aerospace company had spent three years of research to develop a novel aerospace product. It had reached a crucial stage in its research that hinged on developing an innovative raw material input for a high temperature coating.

Since the company was familiar with the potential benefits of the selected raw materials, it wanted to prove its hypothesis that fusing these raw materials at elevated temperatures would result in a robust new material with improved performance properties.

The raw material was a key element in the aerospace company’s new product. Hence, the company wanted to fabricate just a few pounds of the custom furnaced material for product testing. Although the laboratory research results showed the potential of the proposed raw material, the company was not able to test its theory due to lack of the equipment and knowledge in electric-arc furnacing. Hence, the company was seeking help in producing a custom fused material.

Washington Mills’ Innovative Solution

The aerospace company approached Washington Mills to find out the possibility of melting the two raw materials at elevated temperatures to fabricate a few pounds of material for product testing. Washington Mills suggested the services of its new product development group.

The furnace specialists at Washington Mills have vast experience in melting various raw materials and the expertise to rapidly tweak the possible proportions of raw materials and furnace parameters.

Washington Mills’ pilot fusion plant consists of scaled down electric-arc furnace technology that can fabricate 5-100lbs of custom fused minerals. The furnace specialists studied the raw materials and hypothesized the possible reaction of these materials in the furnace. Based on the study results and its vast fusion experience, the group recommended performing a series of five separate electric-arc furnace runs.

The different runs enabled the fine-tuning of material composition as well as the furnace parameters to obtain the right composition suitable for the product concept. The objective was to facilitate product testing and minimize the trial and error time at the furnace.


With the help of Washington Mills, the aerospace company successfully completed the custom furnace runs and produced 5lbs of finished product by melting the raw materials well.

The finished product was then used in the company’s product trials. The company was happy about Washington Mills’ electric-arc furnace know-how, with which it was able to complete the fusions within a week.

By using the services of Washington Mills’ new product development group and furnace specialists, the aerospace company eliminated the large capital investment of procuring new equipment as well as the time and resources required for acquiring the knowledge and expertise necessary to run the equipment successfully.


Washington Mills helped the aerospace company to save a considerable amount of money, resources and time by delivering the fusion technology and expertise to prove a concept.

With the assistance of Washington Mills, the aerospace company is planning to perform more custom fusions in the future.

About Washington Mills

Washington Mills is a world leader in the manufacture and distribution of abrasive materials and fused mineral products. As the largest producer in North America with sales and manufacturing facilities around the world, our capabilities are unrivaled in the industry.

We offer a rich array of abrasive grains and specialty electro-fused minerals. From macro grits to micro grits, to custom specialty fusions, our fused materials are used around the world in hundreds of different industries and applications.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Washington Mills.

For more information on this source, please visit Washington Mills.


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