Tips for Preventing Corrosion

The average age of a commercial aircraft in the United States is over 15 years old, with many more private and general aviation aircraft much older than that. While that may be surprising, proper check-up, aircraft maintenance, and repairs can keep a plane virtually as good as new for a very long time. However, over time, all aircraft can fall victim to corrosion. Aircraft are most vulnerable to two types of corrosion, galvanic and concentrated cell.

Galvanic corrosion is the result of two different metals contacting one another in the presence of an electronic charge of any type. When this happens, the weaker of the two materials, usually aluminum, begins to erode. Concentration cell corrosion, also called crevice corrosion, occurs when moisture is present between two non-porous surfaces. If not addressed quickly, this can rapidly become a much larger problem as it advances to a more catastrophic form of corrosion.

Unfortunately, many of the materials a typical aircraft airframe is made of are prone to corrosion, and the more an aircraft flies, the more it will be exposed to humidity, salt, heat, and other airborne debris. Aircraft are equipped with barrier coatings such as paint and zinc chromate to combat corrosion, but once those begin to wear away, corrosion comes with a vengeance. For this reason, technicians have a critical role to play. It is important that every inspection includes a thorough corrosion check, especially in older aircraft. Preventing corrosion is far easier than dealing with it after it has made its presence known.

Corrosion is an issue that won’t be going away anytime soon. While you can’t totally eliminate it, you can slow it down. For instance, many new cleaning chemicals have anti-corrosion properties that leave a protective film over the aircraft after application.

At Purchasing Management 360, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the corrosion prevention materials for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries.


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