To prepare a surface by roughening, sanding or other means.
An ingredient included in the formulation to accelerate the rate of sealant cure. It is also used separately in a mixture to accelerate surface curing only of applied polysulfide sealant referred to as a TACK FREE ACCELERATOR also used occasionally as an alternate term for CURING AGENT or CATALYST.
The physical bonding of a material to a surface -- i.e., both chemically and mechanically.
A material applied to a surface to chemically enhance adhesion of sealant. The largest portion, by volume, of sealant adhesion promoters consists of a mixture of organic solvent and various coupling agents. Adhesion promoter may also refer to certain chemicals contained in the sealant formula to enhance ADHESION.
The bonding of faying surfaces to each other using a structural adhesive in the form of a tape or a film.
The airframe is the main body of an aircraft, separate from the engine. It is the structural framework of a plane, and in fixed-wing aircraft, includes the fuselage, the wings, the stabilizers, and the undercarriage.
Aerospace Material Specification published by the Aerospace Division of SAE.
Also called a “thread-locking compound” or a “retaining compound,” this is a fastener sealant in which cure is inhibited by exposure to air. The sealant can be applied to the faying surface and will not cure until the surfaces are joined.
Also called “work-life,” this is the time available for the sealant to be applied and wet the bond surface, immediately after mixing or thawing. Acceptability limits for the application time of Class B and Class C sealants are based on minimum extrusion rate [expressed in grams/minute or cubic centimeters (cc)/min], which is determined at, or immediately after, the required application time. (Sealant applied after the application time is exceeded tends not to wet the surface well and thus not to form a good bond.) Acceptability limits for application time of Class A sealants are based on an increase in the material’s viscosity to a specified level.
Also called “squeeze-out time” and “squeeze-out life,” assembly time refers to the amount of time available, after sealant mixing, before faying surfaces must be joined (or assembled) to obtain squeeze-out of the faying surface sealant. If the time is exceeded, the cure will have progressed too far (i.e., the material will have become too firm) to permit squeeze-out of the faying surface sealant. Note that while the application time of a faying-surface sealant may be only 8 to 48 h, the assembly time can be 20 to 336 h (or 2 weeks), depending on the formulation of the particular Class C sealant.
A seal on the dry side of the fuel tank. It is considered a secondary or redundant seal; and it never is designated as a primary seal.
This is the major polymeric component of a two-part fuel tank sealant that cures upon mixing with the accelerator.
The distance a sealant sags (or slumps) on a vertical surface within a given period of time. A two-part sealant is thoroughly mixed at standard conditions into the cylindrical recess of a vertically positioned metal test fixture. The test fixture is calibrated in tenths of an inch to measure sagging, flow (or slumping) of the sealant within the specified period of time (usually 30 min).
Small disc-shaped specimens made with sealant extruded from each mixed sealant cartridge onto cardboard or paper prior to freezing the cartridge. It is used as an indicator of the condition of the sealant in each tube -- i.e., uniformity of mix (or homogeneity), presence of air, cure rate, durometer hardness upon completion of cure.
A polyethylene cylinder with one end open the full width and the other end necked down to a 1/8" IPS female thread used to attach various nozzles. May be used alone for pre-mixed and frozen sealants or with other components as a TWO-COMPONENT PLASTIC INJECTION KIT
An injection-sealing groove machined along the fastener line.
(a) A groove machined in a faying surface to accept a uniform bead or section of sealant. Usually, a noncuring fluorosilicone-based fuel tank sealant is injected from the exterior of the fuel tank through the injection ports leading into the channel. (b) A passage formed by a structural discontinuity, such as the opening under a joggle or some other void.
A leak that develops at a source located some distance from the leak exit point.
COHESION or COHESIVE STRENGTH
Refers to internal forces holding a sealant together. For example, when peel tests are conducted on samples of sealant bonded to a surface, a strip of canvas cloth or wire screen is embedded in the sealant. The specimen is clamped in a testing machine, secured, and pulled at 180°. Assuming the adhesive bond of the sealant to the panel does not fail, the force necessary to tear the sealant, making it fail within itself, is the cohesive strength.
Tests required for insuring the conformance of sealant material to the specification see ACCEPTANCE TESTS
Any solid or liquid substance that can interfere with the function of the sealant, coating, adhesion promoter, etc.
Degradation of structure by oxidation. Corrosion of aircraft parts often is induced by a reaction of airframe structure with the environment -- which includes oxygen, moisture, and other oxidizing chemicals -- or, in the case of galvanic corrosion, by joining electrochemically-dissimilar materials.
The component of a two-part curing-type sealant that causes the base compound to polymerize.
RATE, CURE TIME The time required for a sealant to polymerize and develop the end-item physical and mechanical properties specified by engineering. It also is the time required to reach a hardness called for by a specification. Curing rate, Cure time generally relates degree of a sealant’s hardness to the time required for full cure. Polysulfide fuel tank sealants are fully cured when they reach a Shore A or a REX A hardness of at least 35.
The part of a two-part plastic injection kit that has the appearance of a spoked wheel. It is the dasher that mixes the material when stroked.
The part of a two-part plastic injection kit that contains the catalyst, curing agent. The dasher rod is inserted through the neck of the cartridge.
These are nutplates with a mechanical seal at the base and a cap over the top; both the seal and the cap provide a fuel tight seal. Dome nuts are commonly used for attaching screws or bolts to inaccessible areas or to access doors.
See END CAP
FAIRING or FEATHERING
Also called “TOOLING,” this is the shaping of applied sealant to produce a smooth transition from one angular direction to another; or the act of producing this smooth contour. Its purpose in tooling sealants is to ensure good contact with the surfaces and to minimize air entrapment.
A faying surface is one of the surfaces connected at a joint, often secured by some type of sealant or adhesive. Faying-surface sealants are used to prevent corrosion, and, in conjunction with fillet seals, to prevent a leak path from extending through a faying surface to another area. When modified by a groove, a faying surface seal has been used as a primary seal. A faying-surface seal is a pre-assembly seal installed between two mating (overlapping) surfaces.
A fillet seal is a primary seal applied at the juncture or edge of two adjoining parts or surfaces. It is applied along the edges of faying surfaces as a continuous bead of sealing material. It can be applied over, along the edges of, and between installed parts. When applied correctly, a fillet seal will withstand joint movements and cyclical pressures of sun, wind, snow, and ice.
See BLOCK FLOW.
A sealant based upon a fluorosilicone polymer. The following types of fluorosilicone sealant are used in integral fuel tanks: A one part, moisture cured polymerizing elastomer used in brush coating and filleting (extrusiontype) applications. A one-part noncuring channel or groove sealant, It can be prepacked into the grooves in the faying surface in assembly or injection though external ports.
FUEL TANK BOUNDARY
Also called the “sealing plane,” this is the fuel-tight primary structure of an integral fuel tank, including skin panels, tank-end ribs, and tank-end spars.
A post assembly seal formed by injecting a noncuring fluorosilicone based or polysulfide-based sealant into a groove machined in one faying surface of the mating or overlapping structure.
A seal that is produced by injecting sealant into holes, joggles, channels, grooves, and other voids formed upon assembly of fuel tank structure. This seal is used to provide fuel tank seal continuity where fillet seals are interrupted by structure and to fill structural cavities.
International Organization for Standards formerly (International Standards Organization)
INTEGRAL FUEL TANK
A load-carrying structure of an aircraft absolutely sealed to provide for fuel containment. It exists as a major structural compartment in a wing or in the fuselage, or both.
A secondary seal used to isolate potential fuel leakage paths, in order to prevent channeling of fuel along a leak path between structural members. It can be a repair seal installed to reestablish seal continuity in areas of direct contact with the fuel.
A structural cavity formed when stepped, angled, or otherwise contoured members are mated to a flat part. Joggles are sealed by prepacking during preassembly, whenever possible; otherwise, joggles must be sealed after assembly by injection sealing.
The landing gear is a part of the undercarriage and is used during takeoff and landing. Aircraft landing gear is the main support of the aircraft during takeoff, landing, and taxiing.
The path a fuel leak follows from the leak source to its external exit.
A seal, as in access door structure, produced by an elastomeric O-ring or other molded or extruded shape when pressure is applied to the seal. Applied pressure causes the seal to mechanically deform, thus filling the gap between parts assembled with the seal.
Aircraft parts and components are made up of many metals and alloys, such as titanium, steel, aluminum, and other metals. Aviation metals refers to the various metals used in forming the various components and parts of aircraft.
(or RELEASE AGENT) A material that prevents sealant from bonding to a surface. Therefore, parting agent is used only when installing removable seals in accordance with the applicable engineering drawing.
A cup like piston inserted into the big end of the cartridge it is used to force sealant material out of the cartridge. See PLUGGED WIPER PLUNGER and WIPER-PLUNGER
A brushable (Class A) sealant, which provides a base coating for a fillet seals and other types of fuel tank seals.
High molecular weight molecules which, essentially, are precursors (or base compounds) for polymeric materials used in sealing of integral fuel tanks. When catalyzed, prepolymers undergo a chemical chain extension reaction that ultimately forms the polymeric sealing material.
A seal which, in combination with fuel tank structure, forms a continuous, durable, and absolute seal in the SEAL PLANE and requires no additional seals for fuel containment.
Tests required by a specification to qualify a sealant material to the SPECIFICATION. These tests are performed in order to place a sealant material on the aircraft.
QUALIFIED MANUFACTURES LIST (QML)
A listing of manufactures qualified to produce certain materials. Currently the QML for AS and AMS specifications is maintained by PRI.
QUALIFIED PRODUCTS LIST (QPL)
The rod provided with two part plastic injection kits used to expel the catalyst, curing agent from the DASHER ROD
Installation of supplemental sealing, which serves as a backup for the primary seal and contributes to maximizing the potential for preventing fuel leaks and corrosion during the air vehicle’s operational lifetime.
A negative contact angle between a fillet and its substrate caused by improper or insufficient tooling (fairing or feathering) of applied fillets.
The hardness of a sealant as measured by a REX hardness gauge. The reading is valid only if the sealant thickness is at least 0.25 in (6.4 mm).
A replaceable aircraft part that can be used many times after repairing and restoration. Rotables are assigned a unique serial number and data plate in order to be fully traceable from cradle-to-grave.
Society of Automotive Engineers
The slumping or drooping of a sealant after it is applied to an overhead or vertical surface. See BLOCK FLOW
Closure of an aircraft fuel tank to make it leak proof and corrosion resistant by application of sealant to fasteners, seams, and any other possible leak paths. Seals may also be accomplished by compression of premolded seals — such as O-rings and elastomeric seals installed into grooves and counterbores machined into the fuel tank structure.
Sealants are substances that are used to block the passage of fluids through openings in materials. They are used to make materials airtight or watertight. Different types of sealants offer different benefits. In aviation, aerospace-grade sealants are a unique class of substances designed to withstand long-term exposure to jet fuel and reinforce the structural integrity of aircraft.
All surfaces of a tank that establish fuel seal continuity and are in immediate contact with fuel. These surfaces are, generally, composed of structure, permanent fasteners, and fuel tank sealing materials.
A seal that, by itself, does not constitute an absolute seal. It is sometimes used in conjunction with a primary seal.
Copyrighted product name. See description under “TWO-COMPONENT PLASTIC INJECTION KIT.”
SHORE A HARDNESS
A measurement of sealant hardness using a Short A hardness gauge. The gauge has a dial, a blunt tip (or foot), and a pin that protrudes slightly through a hole in the face of the foot. The foot is pressed against a sealant specimen of at least 1/4 in (6.4 mm) thickness.
Formation of a thin, hardened layer on surface of the base compound. This is caused by oxidization of the surface of the base compound skinning will be aggravated with sealant storage at high temperatures -- i.e., approximately 130 to 150 °F (54 to 66 °C).
See BLOCK FLOW.
A document delineating the performance requirements of a material or the procedure to be utilized when performing a specified test. The custodian for specifications may be Industry ANSI, ASME ASTM, SAE, ISO or other consensus entity. Specifications may be Government known variously as MIL-SPEC, NAVSEA or controlled by the individual air frame builder. The specification may have a QPL or it may be a PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATION.
A rare phenomenon with fuel tank sealants, characterized by swelling and blistering, that may be observed after exposures to fuel soaking, thermal cycling, and other environmental conditioning. Sponging should not be confused with a layer of bubbles caused by an insufficient cure time between layers of built up sealant.
STORAGE LIFE (SHELF LIFE)
The length of time any kit of unused sealant can be stored at supplier recommended storage conditions and still retain the properties (in the unmixed and mixed state) required by the applicable engineering specification or as advertised in the sealant manufacturer’s product data sheet. You can check the shelf life of sealant with the help of our sealant shelf life calculator.
The time required for a curing sealant to lose surface tackiness, or stickiness; this is determined by placing a small piece of polyethylene sheet on the slant's surface, then peeling away the sheet. The sealant surface is tack free when no sealant is carried with the sheet.
The property of a non sagging sealing compound that permits the sealant to be moved -- i.e., stirred or extruded -- with less force than would be required with a Newtonian fluid. Non-Newtonian pseudoplastic materials, such as non sagging fuel tank sealants, stand like whipped cream -- i.e., the sealants do not gravitate to a specific level -- but they flow easily from a sealant gun under relatively low pressure.
TOOLING A FILLET
This is the shaping or fairing of a sealant fillet after the fillet has been applied to structure. The goal is to ensure formation of a contoured (or feathered) edge where sealant meets with structure to eliminate voids and entrapped air, and to minimize the weight impact produced by sealing the air vehicle.
TWO-COMPONENT PLASTIC INJECTION KIT
A kit, for two-part fuel tank sealants, Available as a 2-1/2, 6, or 12 fl oz (74, 177, or 355 ml) polyethylene cartridge fitted with a plunger at one end and a hollow dasher rod extending through the throat at the other end. The polymeric base compound is contained in the cartridge. The catalyst is packaged within the hollow dasher rod that is closed on the inside end with a "DASHER" or ”agitator.”
Any opening, small crack, or crevice occurring at the juncture of structural members, this includes (but is not limited to) structural cavities, holes, recesses, joggles, and gaps.