Aviation seals and aircraft insulation are designed and manufactured to withstand environments with high speeds, cold temperatures, and other challenging conditions. These fabricated rubber products are installed during aircraft assembly by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). They’re also installed by maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) crews at repair stations. Even if your company isn’t part of the aviation industry, you’ll learn a lot about rubber by taking a look at how it’s used in the following products.
Aircraft Hatch Seals and Hatch Covers
Aircraft hatch seals and hatch covers provide environmental sealing and insulation around the various hatches that offer access to an airplane’s interior. Each hatch, an opening cut into the exterior of the aircraft, is secured by fasteners or may have hinged cover. Aircraft hatch seals that are water jet cut can easily accommodate the bolt patterns associated with this hardware.
Rubber Aircraft Grommets
Rubber grommets protect wires and cables as they’re fed through openings in the aircraft. These molded rubber products are usually shaped like rings or eyelets but can also be flanged, collared or horseshoe shaped. Dimensional specifications vary with grommet style, but usually include the inside diameter (ID), outer diameter (OD), groove width, groove diameter, and overall thickness.
Aircraft Rubber Extrusions
Aircraft rubber extrusions are lengths of elastomeric materials with a fixed cross-sectional profile. During the extrusion process, they are forced through a die of the required cross section under pressure. Extruded rubber is sold in lengths (coils) and then water jet cut. Aircraft rubber extrusions support gasket bonding as well as value-added services such as parts marking, kitting, and custom packaging.
Extruded Rubber Tubing for Aviation
Rubber aircraft tubing is used for low compression-force sealing and shock absorption. Like other types of industrial tubes, these conduits have a hollow core to permit the passage of fluids (such as air). Extruded rubber aviation tubing is available in different wall thicknesses and can come with reinforcements such as fiber braids or steel wire braids.
Protective Aircraft Boots and Bellows
Protective aircraft boots are designed to prevent surface erosion. They’re used with air conditioner inlets, landing gear parts, radomes, stabilizer tips, and winglets. A high-strength acrylic adhesive backing keeps protective aircraft boots in place. Aircraft bellows are flexible seals that protect aircraft propulsion systems, engine sensors, engine duct subassemblies, and auxiliary power unit (APU) systems.
Aircraft Window Gaskets
Aircraft window gaskets provide extremely reliable sealing and insulation for windows and windshields. These fabricated rubber products may include locking gaskets, lengths of rubber that lock into place to provide a secure seal between stationary glass and sheet metal. Window channels can be cut from rubber extrusions and then bonded so that the finished gaskets have rounded corners.
Rubber Parts for Wing and Aerodynamic Surfaces
Rubber parts for airplane wings and other aerodynamic surfaces include seals for fuselage fairings, external structures that reduce drag. Flight wing seals and sweep wing seals must withstand tough conditions, but rubber gaskets for aircraft canopies need to maintain pressurization while withstanding high speeds and cold air. Rubber parts for aircraft wings may be fabric reinforced. Specialized products are available for aerospace and aviation applications.
Aileron Gap Seals
Gap seals are used with the ailerons, hinged surfaces on the trailing edges of the wings that help control lateral balance. Aileron gap seals reduce air leaks from the wing’s high-pressure underside to its low-pressure topside. This allows the wing to fly at a lower angle with the same amount of lift but less drag. Often, aileron gap seals are sold as kits with rubber gaskets for both the lower and upper gaps.
Aircraft Fire Barriers
Aircraft fire barriers prevent the passage of flames from the cargo area to the passenger compartment. These sewn products usually have a flame-resistant acrylic copolymer coating. They provide venting from rapid decompression, withstand the differential pressures expected during flight, and meet aviation industry requirements.
Aircraft Engine Seals and Fuel Door Gaskets
Aircraft engine seals and fuel door gaskets must also meet extreme application environments. For example, aircraft engine seals may need to withstand the high temperatures or the splash of aviation fluids. Aircraft fuel door gaskets are similar to hatch seals but made of a fuel-resistant rubber like fluorosilicone.
Aviation Seals and Gaskets from Elasto Proxy
Elasto Proxy, an AS9100D certified company, custom-fabricates aviation seals and aircraft insulation. We specialize in low-to-medium volume manufacturing and use water jet cutting so that you don’t have to wait for or pay for tooling. Elasto Proxy also offers design assistance, gasket bonding, and a range of value-added services that can save the aircraft industry time and money.
For more information, contact us.