Removing Aircraft Sealant with Rotary Cutting Tools
April 29, 2022
Sealant is used to reinforce aircraft parts and help prevent corrosion, fluid and air leakage, water and dust intrusion, and the spread of flames. It takes a heavy duty class of adhesives to accomplish all these things, which makes removing the sealant all the more difficult.
When it comes time for aircraft repairs, we want to be able to remove sealant as quickly and efficiently as possible, without fatiguing ourselves or employees. While hand scraping remained a viable removal option in the past, new tools and technologies have since emerged that are increasing in popularity due to their speed and efficiency. Keep reading to find the method and/or tools best suited to your sealant removal application.
Manual Sealant Removal is OutIn the past, sealant was often removed manually using plexiglass scrapers. While these tools offer the durability needed to scrap away tough material, the process of removing sealant by hand is time consuming, expensive, and inconsistent. Hand scraping is a highly labor intensive task, often leading to stress induced injuries for employees whose job it is to get it done. Additionally, aggressive and repeated scraping can cause significant damage to the aluminum on aircraft parts, weakening the overall integrity of the plane.
Rotary Sealant Removal Tools are InWith the rise of high torque drills, a new sealant removal method emerged: rotary cutting. In this process, a rotary drill is used in conjunction with a specialized cutter to quickly and efficiently remove sealant from wing panels, fuel tanks, and other aircraft surfaces. Not only is this process safer and less damaging than hand scraping, but it also produces cleaner and smoother results in about half the time. While rotary cutters are significantly more efficient than hand scrapers, they’re also more expensive. For this reason, it’s important to take the construction, cost, and lifespan of rotary cutters into account to ensure you get the most out of your investment.
Composite Sealant Removal: The New & Improved Aircraft Sealant RemoverWhen thinking about the different types of rotary sealant removal tools on the market, there’s one line that stands out above the rest. Composite sealant removers from Bron Aerotech remove aircraft sealant directly at the bond line, offering 50% longer tool life, 50% less removal time, and no rework costs for damaged parts.
Made from durable Torlon® material, CSR offers increased longevity and strength compared to other plastic cutters. While other options on the market cut away sealant, composite sealant remover is designed to gently grind it away, preserving the integrity of the aircraft. By directly targeting the bond line, these cutters can remove large pieces of sealant with each rotation, resulting in less debris and faster cleanup.
Torlon® Composite Sealant Removal Tools for Controlled SpeedBron’s Composite Sealant Removal tools are designed to avoid heat buildup and provide added control when removing sealant in hard to reach areas. CSR is available in two models, both of which attach to standard air tools.
- BA4110 for use on aircraft protective coatings and structural materials
- BA4115 for removing sealant from fasteners.