O-rings are easy to overlook, until they don’t work. That’s what happened on Jan. 28, 1986, when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff. A brittle o-ring caused the seal to fail on a solid rocket booster before rupturing the main fuel tank and engulfing the shuttle in a superheated ball of flame. Seven astronauts died and the nation mourned their heroes. Coating Systems explains why the aerospace industry needs perfect o-ring seals.
Modern commercial airliners rely on hydraulics for the many moving parts of an aircraft. For example, pilots control the landing gear with hydraulic systems. Hydraulics require precise o-rings to prevent hydraulic fluid leaks and maintain the right fluid pressure. If there isn’t enough pressure in the hydraulic system, the landing gear doesn’t move. Coating Systems has the right kinds of films and coating for hydraulic applications of o-rings to make sure these types of systems maintain the correct pressure.
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Air circulation is vital to the integrity of passengers on an airplane. Filters, tubes, and hoses in the pneumatic air cycle kits need the right pressure to deliver fresh air to the cabin. Air runs through filters upon entering and exiting the plane. O-rings manage this process by creating seals that keep the air pressure intact. Coating Systems can design films and lubricants for o-rings that allow air to flow properly in pneumatic systems such as air cycle machines.
Jet fuel must travel from the fuel tanks to the turbines to generate enough thrust. Any interruption in that system causes an engine to fail. Obviously, a failed engine isn’t good. O-rings keep the fuel pressure steady and intact during a flight. Coating Systems can create films and lubricants that resist degradation from petroleum-based products such as high-octane jet fuel.
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How Sealants Protect Aerospace O-Rings
Robust dry film, sealants, and lubricants protect o-rings in the aerospace industry. O-rings in airplanes must operate under high pressures and temperatures. They must also withstand various chemicals, such as fuel, oil, hydraulics, and de-icers. Sealants fill in microscopic gaps between machinery and parts to ensure absolutely no fluid or air leaks out. They also make sure no contaminants get inside these crucial systems. In an industry where very small changes add up to very big problems, o-rings for aerospace must always perform at optimum levels and within their tolerances. Coating Systems can design custom coatings that keep your o-rings operating at their best.
Contact Coating Systems for O-Ring Sealants
If you need specialized sealants and coatings for o-rings for aircraft parts, Coating Systems can help. We can mix the right type of sealant or lubricant so you get the most out of your o-rings. For more information, give us a call at 1-800-593-7754 or contact us online today.