team photo

Figure 1
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Figure 2
project photo

Team 72

Team Members

Faculty Advisor

Christian Falck
Josef Womelsdorf
Kyle Zimmerman

David Giblin


EA Patten

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Tube Wear Sleeve And Braze Foil Pre-Assembly

E.A. Patten is a world leader in custom metal tubing used in aerospace, medical, commercial, sporting, and numerous other applications. Clamps are added along tubes in certain applications to reduce vibrations. Over time, rubbing of the clamps can cause the tube to wear. To prevent this possible damage, wear sleeves are attached to the tubes at the clamping locations. The wear sleeves are brazed to the tubes to prevent them from moving. Currently, the process of cutting the braze foil and placing the wear sleeves is all done by hand. This project creates a solution to automate the cutting and attaching of braze foil to the wear sleeves. A wear sleeve is placed in one end of the device. A dispensing system, similar to that of a printer, feeds the correct length of foil over the wear sleeve. The cutting mechanism then lowers. A razor blade attached to the cutting mechanism is able to cleanly slice through the foil. Meanwhile, the foil gets pushed into the wear sleeve and becomes temporarily tacked. Three major benefits of this automated process can be seen. First, the foil cutting is much more accurate than by hand. The stepper motor dispensing system allows the foil to be dispensed with accuracy of a fraction of an inch. This leads to less failed brazes and significantly less wasted foil. Next, the process allows for the wear sleeve and foil assembly to be made in advance. This means an operator can simply pull the wear sleeves from a premade batch and immediately attach them to the tubes. This leads to the most important benefit which is saving time. The automated process allows operators to significantly reduce the time it takes to attach each wear sleeve. The reduction in time along with the decrease in waste will allow E.A. Patten to continue producing their high-quality products while allowing for more resource allocation elsewhere.