Automate/Mechanize Current Manual Fuel Sealant Application Methodology
ABSTRACT: Aircraft fuel tank fasteners are currently sealed using manual, labor and time intensive processes including extrusion based handheld sealant gun application to hand applied sealant caps and hand operated sealant cup applicators. TIAX proposes the development of an automated and mechanized sealant applicator gun which leverages their core applicator technology for viscous materials. The proposed design will utilize extrusion of the sealant to a fastener specific applicator. Through mechanized delivery a regulated, consistent, and specified quantity of sealant will be delivered to each fastener. As a result of either electronic or mechanical sensing the device will self regulate the flow of sealant to the applicator and thus to the fastener. The Phase I effort will include the characterization of current methods practiced and sealants used, preliminary development and analysis of solution concepts. BENEFIT: The current process of military aircraft fuel tank fastener sealing is labor and time intensive, and of varying quality. Thus the current process incurs future maintenance and failures, as well as increased costs per plane. The TIAX proposed development, by improving the quality of the sealant application in a reduced amount of time, will create costs savings at the production and maintenance levels. Additionally, it will increase the quality and consistency of the sealant application. At the commercial level, the TIAX proposed applicator can provide similar benefits to the civilian aircraft industry. Outside of the aircraft industry the applicator with or without applicator modifications could provide similar savings in the civilian and military construction and automotive industries.
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35 Hartwell Avenue Lexington, MA -
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