Nutplates are commonly used on aircraft to allow installation and removal of components and panels for maintenance and repair. The use of bonded nutplates over riveted ones reduces manufacturing complexity and leads to weight savings.

Preparation of these bond surfaces is often accomplished through a manual abrasion process or by using chemical solvent wipes. These methods are difficult to control and can lead to variation in the performance of bonded nutplates. Successful installation of bonded nutplates requires the generation of a highly clean and active bonding surface.

That’s why Performance Plastics in conjunction with the University of Dayton Research Institute developed the EnduroSharp® Nutplate Abrasion Tool “NAT”.   The NAT consists of six components: 1 each upper handle (top), 1 each lower handle (base) and 4 each nutplate base inserts.

An alternative to traditional abrasion methods, the “NAT” was specifically designed to allow maintainers to quickly abrade the bond surface of CR series nutplates. The tools radially abrade the bond surface of the nutplate, ensuring that 100% of the bond surface is abraded uniformly in a manner of minutes.

This new technology eliminates interfacial bond failures while increasing pushoff strength and torque-out strength when compared with manual abrasion. Furthermore, the device has been shown to reduce preparation time, decrease variability and lower the instances of nutplate failures both in manufacturing and in the aircraft service environment.

The NAT is available with or without a convenient carrying case. For more information on the Nutplate Abrasive Tool or any other Performance Plastics product, please contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Performance Plastics at rreed@performanceplastics.com or call 440-785-7122.

 

Operation of the Nutplate Abrasion Tool

Performance Plastics’ Senior Design Engineer, Brian Black, walks through the key points of injection molding Torlon®.

Torlon

PAI (Polyamidimide) Torlon®

Torlon® is a high strength, high performance, melt processable plastic material. It’s ability to perform under severe stress combined with its resistance to elevated temperatures makes it ideal for various applications across many industries

Solvay Torlon® features superior creep resistance and mechanical strength over a wide range of temperatures and a very low coefficient of linear thermal expansion. It is an amorphous material with a glass transition temperature of 537°F.  Torlon’s resistance to chemicals, high-energy radiation, hydrolysis, and UV combined with its ability to maintain physical properties under extreme temperatures make Torlon® ideal for applications exposed to severe environments.

Torlon® is optimal for parts that need to perform under conditions generally considered too severe for thermoplastics. Typical applications include aircraft hardware and fasteners, automotive transmission and powertrain components, and oil & gas exploration and recovery equipment. The material’s excellent electrical insulating properties have made it a common choice for semiconductor fabrication and testing as well as electrical and electronic components.

Typical Applications Include:

  • Semi-conductor machinery parts
  • Aerospace components
  • Pump and Valve parts
  • Compressor Components
  • High Temperature Insulators

At Performance Plastics, we are experts in injection molding, specializing in high performance plastics.  Torlon® is a reactive polymer, which can cause complications during the injection molding process. A specific set of conditions, equipment, and processing procedures must be followed to effectively injection mold Torlon®. Our proprietary tool design software, processes and equipment enables us to injection mold components having complex geometries made from challenging ultra, high-performance thermoplastic materials, and reinforced compounds.

We utilize a unique combination of extensive material knowledge, mold flow analysis, a design system and process expertise to eliminate or minimize the need for secondary operations. Our expertise in process control allows us to effectively injection mold Torlon® in parts with extremely tight tolerances. This gives us the ability to provide an injection molded part made from the highest strength and stiffness of any commercial thermoplastic.

Torlon® is one of the many high performance polymers Performance Plastics manufacturers.  For more information on Performance Plastic’s capabilities, please contact Rich Reed, our Vice President of Sales and Marketing at 513.321.8404 or email at rreed@performanceplastics.com.

Adhering to a preventive maintenance plan is the number one recommendation of most experts. The current business atmosphere has idled many military, commercial and business aviation programs.  Travel restrictions have caused a huge decline in flying, with many planes put in extended storage. However, best practices dictate that preventive maintenance should not be postponed, even during a pandemic.

In general, the experts recommend keeping aircraft ready to fly in case needs arise such as increased demand, humanitarian flights or other needs They emphasized the importance of storing the aircraft properly, out of the elements in proper working condition.

Experts urge maintainers to review OEM guidance on flight-ready and long-term storage, saying that just walking away from the aircraft probably does not comply with manufacturers’ maintenance instructions.

When storing an aircraft, experts suggest the following preventive maintenance::

  • Use pitot tubes and engine covers, as appropriate, to keep insects, birds and rodents out of those orifices
  • Remove and replace adhesives and sealants regularly to prevent leakage.
  • Exercise the aircraft regularly by conducting a preflight check and normal start-up procedures
  • Allow the aircraft to run long enough to check all systems, update databases, etc.

Performance Plastics, in partnership with various suppliers, has developed a suite of tools packaged in convenient cases for aircraft maintainers to assist in the quick and efficient removal of adhesives/sealants on aircraft structures.

The EnduroSharp® line of non-marring maintenance tools are ideal for use in regular preventive maintenance.  Our ABNIR and ABNIR Fly Away Kits are designed for routine maintenance and are recommended by OEMs for their ability to complete the task without harming the substrates.

The entire line of EnduroSharp® maintenance tools are competitively priced and are designed to be economical and reusable.  From scraper blades, reamers, and gap blades, EnduroSharp® tools offer a proven solution.

For more information on the EnduroSharp® line of non-marring maintenance tools, please contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at rreed@performanceplastics.com.