Sealant Application Process and Technology Development
Small Business Information
15 Acorn Park, Cambridge, MA, 02140
AbstractSealants are currently applied manually to aircraft which is a time-consuming process that results in unwanted variation in sealant thickness and quality, making a controlled and reliable automated application method extremely advantageous. We propose novel technology for spraying to deliver a controlled high-speed jet of sealant droplets, which will impact and adhere to the surface to be coated. Three fabrication issues which are particularly important in the design process are (i) keeping the spray head small to enable sealant to be applied to target surfaces in confined spaces, (ii) making the application process rapid, and (iii) generating a uniform sealant bead, and we explain how our proposed design satisfies these criteria. We choose a spray method which minimizes nonuniformity in the sealant bead, and additionally propose evaluation of post-processing methods to increase the bead quality after application. The TIAX approach combines successful methods for handling highly viscous materials with spray delivery which is currently used for less viscous fluids. We present our approach and discuss the construction of the device. The proposal also includes a description of a number of features which ensure that the device is reliable, robust, and easy to use.
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