Increasingly, airframe manufacturers and airlines are being driven to find Lean targeted approaches in how they seal their aircraft. PPG Industries’ (NYSE: PPG) aerospace business initiated its Customized Sealant Solutions (CSS) program to team with customers and develop innovative product concepts that optimize and simplify the process of sealing aircraft. These CSS products are supplied in unique forms and provide traditional sealing, corrosion-inhibiting and smoothing characteristics while affording significant labor time and quality advantages and even lightning-strike protection, according to PPG Aerospace officials.
Customized sealants should grow to about 10 to 15 percent of applications in the next 10 years, according to Bill Keller, PPG Aerospace global segment manager for sealants.
“When a customer comes to us with a particular need, we develop a customized sealant solution that adds value,” Keller said. “The result is a better sealing method for the customer that may have application for others as well.”
For example, PRC seal caps by PPG were developed for Bombardier Aerospace to enhance quality and uniformity while reducing labor time and waste on the Q400. PRC seal caps are small caps molded from liquid PRC sealant that cures to form a flexible rubber shell. The cured caps are filled with more sealant, and then frozen to arrest curing. The seal caps are thawed and applied over fasteners to cure, affording higher quality, less waste and better uniformity than traditional extruded application, according to John Sands, PPG Aerospace global business platform manager for aerospace sealants.
With the success at Bombardier, PPG’s sales team presented PRC seal caps as a solution for other customers. They now are in use on military, commercial and general-aviation platforms worldwide, with more than 40 sizes in the product line.
Compared with traditional dome sealing, seal caps can reduce application time by 60 percent, Sands said. They have shown excellent adhesion with no sealant voids, and they are now being used for lightning-strike protection, according to Sands.
Another PPG Aerospace Customized Sealant Solution that has become a standard product is FIP Strip sealant tape, an aerospace polysulfide formed-in-place sealant tape that cures faster and is easier to apply, with easier cleanup and reduced waste, than traditional wet-applied sealants, according to Keller.
Uncured sealant is premixed and frozen in one-foot preformed strips that are thawed prior to application. The strips thaw in five minutes to puttylike consistency and cure in four hours to a highly fuel-resistant elastomer. Launched on a U.S. fighter jet for aircraft access doors, FIP Strip sealant tape is available in electrically nonconductive and conductive versions in standard sizes and shapes as well as custom configurations.
New PPG Aerospace sealant products include Semfoam dry bay foam and Semplug sealant for sealing joggles and structural gaps, and SemSpacer sealant for controlling the gap thickness in fabricated door seals.
Semfoam sealant is made with reticulated polyurethane foam, die-cut to specified dimensions, impregnated with sealant, and delivered premixed and frozen. The customer simply thaws and installs Semfoam sealant.
Like PRC seal caps, SemSpacer sealant is made from the same PRC sealant the customer uses to fabricate a formed-in-place gasket access door seal. It is not removed but becomes part of the completed access door gasket to eliminate one step in the process.
Paris Air Show visitors can see PPG Aerospace Customized Sealant Solutions on display at the PPG Aerospace exhibit at Hall 2B, Stand D57. The Paris Air Show is June 15-21 at Le Bourget Exhibition Centre.
PPG Aerospace is the aerospace products and services business of PPG Industries. PPG Aerospace – PRC-DeSoto is the leading global producer and distributor of aerospace coatings, sealants, and packaging and application systems. PPG Aerospace – Transparencies is the world’s largest supplier of aircraft windshields, windows and canopies.
Pittsburgh-based PPG (ppg.com) is a global supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, specialty materials, chemicals, glass and fiber glass. The company has more than 140 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60 countries. Sales in 2008 were $15.8 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG).
NOTE: This news release is part of the PPG Aerospace Paris Air Show press kit, which is available in its entirety at: virtualpressoffice.com/kit/ppg.
FIP Strip, PRC, Semfoam, Semplug and SemSpacer are trademarks of PRC-DeSoto International, Inc.
Jean Verlich, JV Communications
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