By Dr. Cameron Chai
3M Aerospace has launched enhanced polyurethane protective tapes to protect the wet areas of the aircraft, which is exposed to substructure corrosion. These tapes cover the seams present in the joints of the floor panels. Also, the company has introduced wide-area tapes for protecting bigger regions that are exposed to moisture.
These protective tapes are flame retardant and blocks moisture for a very long time. Tough thermoplastic elastomer, which is resistant to puncture, coated by means of a pressure sensitive adhesive is used to make the 3M’s wet area protection tapes. Expensive corrosion damage in the aircraft floor systems is avoided by these tapes, which can be quickly and easily installed for several applications that include beam and wide wet area protection and seam sealing. The tapes have exceptional conformability, due to its high elongation, and give effective coverage to the contoured regions. The outcome of the tapes’ dual liner construction is high production and the tapes create less bubbles or wrinkles during application. As the seam sealing tape is transparent, it has allowed for the easy visual analysis of floor panel sealants.
FAA’s new policy statement for 14CFR 25.853 is met by these protective tapes. The company has been a key player in developing this policy statement and will unveil the new polyurethane protective tapes at Aviation Week’s MRO Americas Conference, which will be held from 3 to 5 April, 2012 in Texas.
In the Aviation Week Innovation Challenge, Clearfix Aerospace’s 3M Aviation Window Restoration System was chosen as a finalist. This system is user-friendly and involves a three-step method, which solves safety problems identified around window clarity. It decreases the aircraft downtime and expenses for replacing the window and removes hazing, scratches and other flaws found in polycarbonate and acrylic aircraft windows.