Rubber testing in the aerospace industry is important for many reasons. Material testing helps aerospace companies comply with OEM submissions and regulatory requirements. Analytical and physical rubber testing services also help with research and development.

And, most importantly, thorough rubber testing assures aircraft operations run smoothly, ensuring the safety and satisfaction of customers and crew.

O-Rings

O-rings, while seemingly simple, are a foundational component of an aircraft. With thousands of o-rings on a typical commercial jetliner, their efficacy is extremely important.

O-rings seal out moisture and environmental contaminants, mitigate friction by separating surfaces, and make sure essential fluids stay where they need to be. Due to their many uses and widespread use throughout an aircraft, o-rings in aerospace applications have to be trustworthy and high performing.

This is why rubber testing for aircraft o-rings is so essential. Rubber testing can help determine a material’s performance in the many different environments it may encounter when used in aerospace engineering, including high and low pressure, extreme temperatures, and fluid exposure.

O-ring test methods provide important information about the physical properties of o-rings, as well as changes in these properties as the material ages. ACE commonly recommends ASTM D1414, which identifies considerations to take into account for successful further o-ring testing. Further testing may include ASTM…

  • D297
  • D395
  • D412
  • D471
  • D573
  • D865
  • D1329
  • D2240
  • D3767

Gaskets

Aircraft gaskets are tough sealing solutions, designed to withstand the many challenging environments involved with flight. High speeds, cold temperatures, and chemical exposure are just a few of the conditions gaskets must endure in aerospace applications.

Aircraft gaskets provide a strong protective seal against environmental conditions. All aircraft gaskets should provide some level of…

  • Corrosion protection
  • Degradation resistance
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Heat or flame insulation
  • High temperature resistance

The exact levels of these properties will depend on the material selected. A rubber testing laboratory like ACE Laboratories can help you decide on the best material for your application and desired rubber qualities.

Without proper rubber testing, you cannot rely on aerospace gaskets to perform these crucial functions. It is extremely important to perform rubber testing on gaskets to increase the safety of flight crew members and passengers.

For example, flammability testing helps ACE differentiate the flame characteristics of dense or cellular elastomeric compounds used in gaskets.

UL94 provides data that allows ACE to characterize materials based on their ignition rate and self-extinguishing rate. This helps drive material selection.

Window Seals

Window seals can be found in many applications throughout a plane. From exterior flaps to cockpit windshields, seals are crucial components of an aircraft. If they fail, they can threaten the plane’s performance, posing setbacks at best, and at worst, safety hazards.

Without proper rubber testing, window seals are prone to air leaks. Air leaks commonly occur in the windows and windshield of an aircraft. Over time, airplane window seals wear out and allow air to enter the plane.

This can cause many issues, from an uncomfortable flight to cabin depressurization. Rubber window seals must be carefully tested to be sure they can withstand the typical pressures of flight operations.

One common test for window seals is the temperature retraction testing (ASTM D1329). ACE uses this test to evaluate the gaskets retraction properties in low temperatures. The average temperature at cruising altitude for an airplane is -40°C.

ACE Laboratories

ACE offers a wide variety of physical and analytical tests for the aerospace industry. Whether you need a material tested for OEM submissions or are looking to develop an innovative new aerospace product, you can trust ACE to be a responsive and diligent partner.

Click here to learn more about ACE’s aerospace services.

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