The lack of reliable and effective nonmetallic material removal tools available to maintainers
drives the continued use of unapproved tools and/or methods when removing materials from
aerospace vehicles. The use of metallic tools has resulted in damage to vehicles, both short term
and long term, causing the need for expensive repairs and reduction in vehicle availability.
The University of Dayton Research Institute under contract to the Air Force Research Laboratory
has developed and commercialized a series of nonmetallic material removal tools under the
“EnduroSharp” trademark manufactured from glass-filled Torlon thermoplastic produced by
Solvay Engineered Plastics. The use of this material coupled with the tools’ designs is
responsible for their superior stiffness and durability (resistance to chemicals and heat) and
enhance the tools’ ability to maintain sharp cutting edges, allowing efficient removal of coatings,
boots, tapes, sealants, gap fillers and caulking materials, pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA), and
tape residue without damaging underlying composite surfaces.