Aircraft Corrosion: Preventative Maintenance and Inspection

Posted on March 22, 2023 James Hinds Aerospace Engine

To ensure that your aircraft remains airworthy, preventative maintenance and inspection is necessary, and since the Wright brothers first took flight in 1903, several improvements have been made to such processes. For instance, the corrosion resistance of aircraft has been enhanced by improving materials, surface treatments, insulation, and protective finishes, and these changes have been aimed at reducing the overall maintenance effort required while boosting reliability. Despite these improvements, the control of corrosion requires continuous preventative maintenance.

How To Prevent Corrosion Through Maintenance

Corrosion preventative maintenance consists of a series of specific functions:

  • Ample cleaning and periodic lubrication of rotating components

  • In-depth inspection for corrosion and failure of protective systems

  • Timely treatment of corrosion and restoration of damaged paint areas

  • Accurate record keeping and logging of material or design deficiencies to the applicable manufacturer and the FAA

  • Use of appropriate materials, equipment, technical publications, and adequately-trained personnel

  • Routine maintenance of the basic finish systems

  • Keeping drain holes free of obstructions and draining fuel cell sumps on a daily basis

  • Wiping down exposed critical areas on a daily basis

  • Proper sealing of aircraft against water during foul weather and sufficient ventilation on warm, sunny days

  • Replacing decayed or damaged gaskets and sealants to prevent water intrusion and/or entrapment

  • Maximum use of protective covers on stationary aircraft

If, at any point, corrosion preventative maintenance is interrupted, the maintenance needed to repair accumulated corrosion damage and bring the aircraft back up to standard can be unprecedentedly high.

Inspection

Based on the points above, the inspection process for corrosion is a continuous effort that must be handled daily. Keep in mind that tackling a corrosion issue where you are only targeting one specific problem area rather than conducting an overall inspection is an unsafe, costly, and troublesome practice. As such, scheduled maintenance checklists provide an exceptional guide for how to carry out a successful inspection. However, there will still be trouble areas where corrosion may still set in regardless of your routine efforts.

All corrosion inspections start with a thorough cleaning of the areas being assessed. To begin, a general visual inspection using a flashlight, inspection mirror, a 5-10x magnifying glass, optical micrometers, and depth gauges should be conducted. Using the sense of touch is also an incredibly effective inspection method that can uncover hidden, but well-developed corrosion. It is important to note that the visual inspection of certain areas may be obscured by structural members, equipment installations, or awkwardly positioned elements. If this is the case, the removal of access panels and adjacent segments may be necessary.

Apart from a visual inspection, there are several nondestructive inspection (NDI) methods, such as liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, eddy current, x-ray, ultrasonic, and acoustical emission methods, that may be useful in the detection of corrosion. These methods have limitations and must be performed only by qualified and certified NDI personnel. For eddy current, x-ray, and ultrasonic inspection methods, it is necessary to have properly calibrated equipment and a controlling reference standard for the means of acquiring reliable results.

Conclusion

ASAP AM Spares is a leading distributor of aircraft products that have been sourced from a conglomerate of trusted manufacturers on our Approved Vendor List (AVL). With over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find items to peruse through, customers can easily meet their rigid time constraints and strict budget parameters. Our inventory is replete with in-demand part numbers, top-requested NSNs, popular manufacturers, highly sought-after FSCs, and more. If you are familiar with the designations associated with your item of interest, go ahead and use our optimized search engine and dedicated filters to narrow down our offerings with ease. When you find a part number that interests you, take advantage of our Request for Quote (RFQ) service for the means of obtaining competitive quotes based on your part requirements. Within 15 minutes or less of submitting an RFQ form, one of our experts will reach out with a customized solution that keeps your needs in mind. For one-on-one assistance, contact us via phone or email today!

Recent Twitter Posts

Semiconductor’s Certifications and Memberships

Thank You for Visiting ASAP AM Spares.

If You Ever Need a Quick and Competitive Quote for Aerospace and Aviation Parts, Simply Fill Out the Instant RFQ form. A Dedicated Sales Representative Will Get Back to You In 15 Minutes Or Less.

Request for Quote

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the amazing experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.

bottom to top