Space Aluminum Spacers and Bushings
Bearings, spacers and bushings form the foundations of almost every aerospace project. The components are critical to the successful completion of your project, but may require little maintenance. Every component contributes to the overall efficiency of your project, so you should invest in quality components that will withstand the weight of any weight in space. Purchasing materials from reputable companies can be expensive, but you should not have to spend a lot on the components themselves; instead, you should be able to get them for a fair price.
The spacers and bushings for most satellites and space missions are made from high-grade metal alloys. To ensure that they meet the highest safety standards, space-quality material is used. Spacers, which are made from a sturdy material such as stainless steel, are the components that prevent the satellite from stretching during launch and are removed during reentry. Without them, the satellite would be open to the environment and could eventually catch fire. Once the spacers are removed, the satellite will need to be loaded with metal plates, much like a car with tires, to make it fit into the proper spacecraft.
When installing spacers and bushings, you should use them according to their original dimensions. While spacers and bushings for every project may be available in many different sizes, it is important to remember that the small spacers or small bushings are exactly the same in function. If you attempt to fit larger or oversized spacers or bushings, your project could be dangerously compromised. You should measure the spacers and bushings for your project before purchasing, or be sure to measure each component before applying them to the tooling.
You should also make sure that the material that you are using for your spacers and bushings is compatible with various types of tools and equipment that you will use on your project. Stainless steel spacers and bushings are strong enough to withstand heavy duty machining operations, so they are well suited for most cutting operations. However, if you will be using specialty tools and machinery that can damage or warp metal, you should buy stainless steel spacers and bushings that are specifically made for your equipment.
As with any metal product, stainless steel spacers and bushings must be properly cleaned and maintained for optimum performance. Caring for your spacers and bushings can be simple, but it is essential that you follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Many times, the spacers and bushings can last up to five years, but there are some that can last longer. Even if you will not be using your spacers and bushings on an ongoing basis, you should be sure to clean them every couple of months.
Once you have cleaned and maintained your spacers and bushings, the next step is to apply a thin layer of silicone grease on all surfaces. Using a silicon grease pad makes it easier to apply the grease, but it is essential that you do not apply the grease too thickly or too thinly. It is important to do one side at a time, applying the grease as it is needed, then stopping and reapplying as needed. This will help ensure that your spacers and bushings remain in top condition for the longest amount of time possible.
After applying the lubricant, you can then wipe away any excess grease and apply a thin coat of stainless steel spacers and bushings primer to the outer surfaces of the components. The primer helps the spacers and bushings to adhere better to the stainless steel components, as well as providing an even coating. After applying the primer, you can allow the spacers and bushings to dry for several hours before repeating the process on the other side.
With the proper care and maintenance, stainless steel spacers and bushings will provide you with years of service and will endure many impacts in space. However, if you will be performing intricate cutting operations on your project, you should use spacers and bushings with high-strength powder coating to help protect the metal and prevent chipping.