A lubricant/corrosion protectant used on the USAF P-3 flap tracks, jackscrews and asymmetry detector chains was a light oil. Leadscrews extend and retract P-3 wing flaps.
The light oil broke down almost immediately when exposed to moisture. Since the leadscrews are carbon steel, rust developed within hours. This corrosion resulted in additional wear and binding on the flap tracks and screwjacks so oil had to be applied during each daily maintenance inspection.
To find a product with better corrosion protection and lubrication qualities to extend maintenance periods SuperCORR A (which conforms to Mil Spec 87177A) was tested in operational squadrons as a replacement for light oil on flap tracks, flap screwjack actuators, and asymmetry detector chains. An aerosol spray, the same method of application used for the light oil, the solvent in SuperCORR A rapidly evaporates leaving a coating of lubricant /corrosion protectant that does not run or drip. Initially SuperCORR A was applied daily, but this quickly changed to just once every 28 days after the routine washdown, which involves a pressure spray similar to that of a fire hose, a huge saving in time, labour and material costs.
The most important conclusion from the historical data and testing is the availability of an excellent corrosion preventive compound that has lubrication properties. The application of high quality SuperCORR A on aircraft components can reduce maintenance man-hours, reduce part replacement costs, increase life of aircraft, increase safety, and increase readiness.
If the cost avoidance estimates for the US Air Force fleet can reach $500 million per year, the transition to platforms in all military branches could reach billions of dollars per year. The application locations tested by the Air Force are not normally treated by SuperCORR A. These include electrical connectors that are susceptible to subtle and not so subtle forms of corrosion that interfere with the electrical operation of the F-16. Testing by the Navy at NADEP Jacksonville now incorporates not only electrical connectors, but mechanical and structural components as well. Future testing will also include ground support equipment. The material properties of SuperCORR A are such that it can be used on a wide variety of applications.
If you would like to lubricate and protect rack and pinions chains or leadscrews for positioning in CNC machines, X-ray and MRI equipment, robots, packaging machines or even aircraft click here for more information.