14 August 2006
14 August 2006
Among the newest products now used at Canada’s Cascade Aerospace is a Huntsman Advanced Materials bromine-free flame-retardant epoxy syntactic that produces high-strength reinforcement of fasteners installed in overhead baggage bins and other honeycomb core parts.
Canada’s Cascade Aerospace Cascade made the change to Epocast 1633-A41/B low density epoxy syntactic in response to the latest environmental standards governing formulations used in flame-retardant epoxies. The lightweight syntactic is the product of several years of research aimed at eliminating the chemical components octabromodiphenyl ether (OBDE) and/or pentabromodiphenyl ether (PBDE) that have been used by manufacturers to produce flame-retardant compounds. In addition to featuring sound environmental characteristics, Epocast 1633-A/B epoxy syntactic products exhibit a compressive strength of 6,500 psi and are qualified to Boeing BMS 5-28, Type 18, Class 2 as well as Airbus AIMS 08-08-001-04 specifications.
Among the aircraft parts that most often need repair are overhead baggage bins. The bins are frequently punctured or crushed when passengers load and unload their bags. Damage is found when bins are removed for “C” checks -- when an aircraft is stripped down to the fuselage for inspection. While bin repairs are cosmetic, airlines strive to maintain interiors that are aesthetically pleasing to passengers.
As part of its completion steps on refurbished bins, Cascade reinforces honeycomb core at points that will be used to mount the bin in the aircraft. Technicians begin by drilling a hole for the insert and then wiping down the area to remove debris. A 50ml dual-barrel cartridge containing premeasured amounts of Epocast 1633 epoxy resin and hardener is then installed in a manual dispensing gun. Next, a tabbed insert is placed over the cavity and the technician pulls the gun trigger to dispense mixed resin and hardener into the first side of the tab. The technician continues adding syntactic until the material flows from the second side of the tab indicating that the cavity is full and the reinforcement complete. After the syntactic cures, the tabbed section is removed, excess epoxy is sanded off, the bin door is reinstalled and the unit repainted before it is put back on the aircraft.
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