Volume 40, Issue 1 (January 2012)
Development of a Novel Test Rig for the Evaluation of Aircraft Fuel Tank Sealant
A key concept for the future evaluation of sealant materials for commercial aircraft is to expose realistic sealed joint systems to typical dynamic and environmental parameters representative of actual flight conditions. The development of a mechanism to undertake the full range of test parameters for the evaluation of sealants for current and future aircraft is described in this paper. This mechanism, or model sealed system (MSS), consists of an axial stress machine into which vibrational fatigue, high and low temperatures and pressures can be programmed for automatic operation. The test coupons, within the MSS, can be stressed to simulate flight conditions along with the flight pressures and temperatures. The MSS is described and the results of sealant evaluation to date are presented.