A sealant is a substance that is often used to block or prevent the passage of fluids between surfaces, joints, or openings in materials. In some instances, they can be used to block sound, prevent dust from making its way into crevices, and have the ability to impede the transmission of heat. In aircraft, sealants are typically used to maximize convenience, durability, comfort, and safety. As aircraft have a myriad of components that necessitate technical reinforcements, acquiring the proper sealants is paramount. With this in mind, this blog will cover three of the most common types, distinguishing features among them, and their unique applications.
While some sealants are made to withstand high or low temperatures, others sealants are designed to contact fuels and lubricants. With varying consistencies and cure rates, sealants are made for a diverse set of applications. Cure rates are an incredibly important feature to consider as a faster curing time can enhance a sealant’s convenience but reduce its effectiveness. Longer curing times, on the other hand, are generally needed when joining larger sections of a plane, such as a wing. As aircraft sealants are required for structural reinforcement, durability is the primary factor when crafting these sealants. Often expected to endure high vibration, sealants must be flexible and strong.
Bonding sealants can be utilized across multiple materials, adhering to substrates common in the aerospace industry such as metal, composites, and thermoplastics. A number of bonding sealants are equipped with high mechanical qualities and have the ability to withstand varying temperature extremes that aircraft are often subjected to.
Versatile in nature, foam pressure-sensitive adhesives are designed for honeycomb-core finishing operations for aircraft. They are often utilized to close out or reinforce localized edges and splicing cores. Due to their versatility, foaming adhesives can be formulated using oven, press, or autoclave processing methods.
More than that, these sealants are made available in sheets of varying thicknesses as well as in rounded or squared-shaped extruded beads. They cure with a smooth finish, and their innate stickiness requires no additional additives for pre-bonding. Moreover, their malleability makes them ideal for various geometric parameters and pre-impregnated fiber-polymer materials such as aircraft epoxy or phenolic resin.
Panel Reinforcement Sealants
The last type of sealant is especially important for the lightweight honeycomb-core panels within the interior of an aircraft. Reinforcing these panels is paramount in order to apply them in strategic areas, such as edges or spaces that necessitate the use of inserts or metal hinges as well as for insert bonding and border enhancement.
As panels are typically made of non-metallic materials, they must meet flame-retardant industry standards. In addition, panel reinforcement sealants are required to have toughness, strength, and low fatigue. These adhesives can be applied as a high-viscosity paste or in a low-viscosity state by using a mechanized pump.
It becomes clear that such sealants are incredibly important for various structures within an aircraft. As sealants are typically selected based on their durability and flexibility, choosing the right one for your operational needs is of the utmost importance. Similar to other aircraft components, sealants have limited service lives and should be routinely checked. In most cases, mechanics and operators look over both the internal and external structures of an aircraft, ensuring that every component is working properly. However, if they find that a part needs to be replaced or repaired, rely on RFQ Experts.
If you find yourself in need of the various sealants listed above, or other adhesives necessary for standard aircraft operations, look no further than RFQ Experts. RFQ Experts is a premier purchasing platform with an ever-expanding inventory of in-demand, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts and components sourced from thousands of trusted manufacturers. Moreover, we proudly operate with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certification and accreditation, and our NO CHINA SOURCING pledge ensures you always receive items you can depend on with ease. As our supply chain network stretches across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, even our most remote customers have the opportunity to purchase from RFQ Experts. Kickoff the procurement process today with a competitive quote for your comparisons and a dedicated representative will reach out to you within 15 minutes of receiving your request. Alternatively, if you have questions regarding the parts or components you wish to procure or about our other offered services, you can call or email us directly; we are available 24/7x365!
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