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Plastic Media Paint Stripping in Aircraft Maintenance

Plastic Media Paint Stripping in Aircraft Maintenance THE world is becoming so environmen­ tally conscious that any technique that eliminates or reduces pollution is being Plastic Media Paint strictly monitored. Recent trials indicate that plastic media paint stripping may represent one such 'green' technique. Stripping in Aircraft All aircraft, civil or military, fixed wing or rotary have to be painted several times in their lives to enhance Maintenance their appearance and invariably, to update their livery. Typically, an aircraft is paint stripped and then repainted, as multiple passes rather than a continued surfaces and tenacious coatings, whilst several coats of paint may mean software plastic media are used on more attack on one area. Excessive dwelling reduced revenue because of weight delicate parts. Plastic media also vary in results in overheating, with the risk of limitations; particularly relevant in the warpage and even material loss. terms of breakdown. Those plastic case of larger, commercial aircraft. media with limited breakdown rondate As most aircraft structures and there­ Traditionally, the most commonly in operation, thus losing their cutting fore assemblies are mixtures of metallic practicised technique for paint stripping action and developing abrasive peening and composite materials which always of aircraft has been chemical stripping, effects. vary in thickness, it is essential prior to predominantly used methylene chloride. stripping that an appropriate stripping Apart from the problems of safe Several distinctive advances over technique is designated for each area. disposal of materials, operator working traditional techniques The equipment used for plastic media conditions are hazardous and the overall Plastic media paint stripping has paint stripping must satisfy the separation technique is costly. An alternative several distinctive advantages over trad­ requirements necessary to ensure safe method of shot blasting the surface has itional techniques. It is non-hazardous operator working conditions. Thus, it is also been used and although paint in environmental terms. Dependent on necessary to identify what materials are stripping is achieved, the substrate is the specific application, plastic media being removed, how they are likely to invariably damaged. paint stripping is between 2-10 times appear as a mix in the plastic media and In the last few years, in the light of the cheaper than chemical stripping. Unlike whether they can be removed prior to chemical stripping, with selected plastic problems associated with the above re-blasting by air wash, sieve or mech­ media, it is possible to remove paint techniques, many areospace repair and anical separator. maintenance organisations have conduc­ coat by coat, without damaging the The equipment must control delivery ted trials on a new technique of plastic substrate material beneath. sufficiently to enable very low air media paint stripping which in environ­ Plastic media can be used on metallic pressures to be achieved at consistently mental terms is non-hazardous and if and composite surfaces which is contrary high feed rates. Consistency here is of conducted correctly, achieves removal to chemical stripping which is limited to of paint coatings without damaging the paramount importance as small varia­ metallic surfaces only. To date, plastic tions of pressure and feed rate will vary substrate material beneath. media have been used successfully to particle velocity considerably which strip graphite/epoxy, kevlor and fibre- Although several aerospace organisa­ may result in substantial damage, if tions have given approval for the use of glass composite surfaces. Presently, delicate structures are being treated. plastic media, trials are still in progress aerospace repair and maintenance to clearly define the advantages and organisations are only permitted to Metal Improvement Company have remove paint from composite surfaces disadvantages of this technique over been active for over 40 years in the using mechanical means such as sanding. traditional methods. standard aircraft maintenance operation Although sanding has been successful Several types of plastic media are of controlled shot peening and shot over many years, it is a time consuming available, generally made of a thermoset blasting of aerospace structures to technique and one in which damage to polyester, urea formaldehyde or mela- remove corrosion, expose exfoliation the substrate may easily occur. mine formaldehyde. Plastic media vary corrosion, reduce fretting fatigue and in size from 80-8 mesh (approximately Controlled, dry plastic media paint restore fatigue life and stress corrosion 0.13-2.4 mm in size) and in hardness stripping is best achieved manually, resistance. They now include plastic from 3-4 on the mohs scale. As a general using skilled personnel as coat thicknesses media paint stripping in the services guide, harder plastic media are faster vary considerably and it is essential not they offer on site, or at least 3 U.K. cutting and are more suitable for hard to dwell on the surface and to aim at facilities. Metal Improvement Company are an international corporation with 34 divisions worldwide. They believe that plastic media paint stripping can achieve excellent results providing caution, care and control are exercised in the selection of both the type of plastic media and the equipment to be used for each specific allocation. Metal Improvement Company, Hambridge Lane, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 5TU. Tel: 0635 523717. AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING —January 1991 3 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology Emerald Publishing

Plastic Media Paint Stripping in Aircraft Maintenance

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology , Volume 63 (1): 1 – Jan 1, 1991

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0002-2667
DOI
10.1108/eb037044
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

THE world is becoming so environmen­ tally conscious that any technique that eliminates or reduces pollution is being Plastic Media Paint strictly monitored. Recent trials indicate that plastic media paint stripping may represent one such 'green' technique. Stripping in Aircraft All aircraft, civil or military, fixed wing or rotary have to be painted several times in their lives to enhance Maintenance their appearance and invariably, to update their livery. Typically, an aircraft is paint stripped and then repainted, as multiple passes rather than a continued surfaces and tenacious coatings, whilst several coats of paint may mean software plastic media are used on more attack on one area. Excessive dwelling reduced revenue because of weight delicate parts. Plastic media also vary in results in overheating, with the risk of limitations; particularly relevant in the warpage and even material loss. terms of breakdown. Those plastic case of larger, commercial aircraft. media with limited breakdown rondate As most aircraft structures and there­ Traditionally, the most commonly in operation, thus losing their cutting fore assemblies are mixtures of metallic practicised technique for paint stripping action and developing abrasive peening and composite materials which always of aircraft has been chemical stripping, effects. vary in thickness, it is essential prior to predominantly used methylene chloride. stripping that an appropriate stripping Apart from the problems of safe Several distinctive advances over technique is designated for each area. disposal of materials, operator working traditional techniques The equipment used for plastic media conditions are hazardous and the overall Plastic media paint stripping has paint stripping must satisfy the separation technique is costly. An alternative several distinctive advantages over trad­ requirements necessary to ensure safe method of shot blasting the surface has itional techniques. It is non-hazardous operator working conditions. Thus, it is also been used and although paint in environmental terms. Dependent on necessary to identify what materials are stripping is achieved, the substrate is the specific application, plastic media being removed, how they are likely to invariably damaged. paint stripping is between 2-10 times appear as a mix in the plastic media and In the last few years, in the light of the cheaper than chemical stripping. Unlike whether they can be removed prior to chemical stripping, with selected plastic problems associated with the above re-blasting by air wash, sieve or mech­ media, it is possible to remove paint techniques, many areospace repair and anical separator. maintenance organisations have conduc­ coat by coat, without damaging the The equipment must control delivery ted trials on a new technique of plastic substrate material beneath. sufficiently to enable very low air media paint stripping which in environ­ Plastic media can be used on metallic pressures to be achieved at consistently mental terms is non-hazardous and if and composite surfaces which is contrary high feed rates. Consistency here is of conducted correctly, achieves removal to chemical stripping which is limited to of paint coatings without damaging the paramount importance as small varia­ metallic surfaces only. To date, plastic tions of pressure and feed rate will vary substrate material beneath. media have been used successfully to particle velocity considerably which strip graphite/epoxy, kevlor and fibre- Although several aerospace organisa­ may result in substantial damage, if tions have given approval for the use of glass composite surfaces. Presently, delicate structures are being treated. plastic media, trials are still in progress aerospace repair and maintenance to clearly define the advantages and organisations are only permitted to Metal Improvement Company have remove paint from composite surfaces disadvantages of this technique over been active for over 40 years in the using mechanical means such as sanding. traditional methods. standard aircraft maintenance operation Although sanding has been successful Several types of plastic media are of controlled shot peening and shot over many years, it is a time consuming available, generally made of a thermoset blasting of aerospace structures to technique and one in which damage to polyester, urea formaldehyde or mela- remove corrosion, expose exfoliation the substrate may easily occur. mine formaldehyde. Plastic media vary corrosion, reduce fretting fatigue and in size from 80-8 mesh (approximately Controlled, dry plastic media paint restore fatigue life and stress corrosion 0.13-2.4 mm in size) and in hardness stripping is best achieved manually, resistance. They now include plastic from 3-4 on the mohs scale. As a general using skilled personnel as coat thicknesses media paint stripping in the services guide, harder plastic media are faster vary considerably and it is essential not they offer on site, or at least 3 U.K. cutting and are more suitable for hard to dwell on the surface and to aim at facilities. Metal Improvement Company are an international corporation with 34 divisions worldwide. They believe that plastic media paint stripping can achieve excellent results providing caution, care and control are exercised in the selection of both the type of plastic media and the equipment to be used for each specific allocation. Metal Improvement Company, Hambridge Lane, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 5TU. Tel: 0635 523717. AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING —January 1991 3

Journal

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace TechnologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 1991

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