Silicone for Aerospace

Silicone, a resilient and versatile rubber compound, plays a vital role as an efficient sealing solution. In the aerospace industry, the significance of every component, seal, and material cannot be understated, as they directly impact the success of each application. Silicone emerges as the optimal choice for sealing devices due to its robustness and remarkable resistance to extreme temperatures.

Designing and engineering within the aerospace sector is a complex undertaking, demanding dependable materials and precise execution to ensure the safety of large airborne objects. With so much at stake in every design, silicone has established itself as a trusted rubber compound capable of withstanding the challenges posed by such demanding applications. Let’s delve deeper into the key applications of silicone in the aerospace industry.

The Main Benefits of Silicone for Aerospace

Silicone offers numerous advantages, particularly in aerospace applications. Its exceptional thermal stability allows it to endure both high and low temperatures without compromising its flexibility. This characteristic makes silicone thrive in the extreme temperature environments of the aerospace industry.

In addition, silicone boasts several notable benefits that are highly valuable in aerospace applications:

  • Excellent resistance to acids, bases, chemicals, water, oil, and fungus.
  • Low outgassing.
  • Flame repellency.
  • Low chemical reactivity.
  • Electrical insulation: Acts as an excellent electrical insulator, making it ideal for use in electrical components, panels, and lighting.
  • Noise and Vibration Dampening: Exhibits resistance to compression set, remaining resilient to effectively dampen vibration and sound, acting as a protective barrier.
  • Easy moldability into customized shapes.
  • Water Resistance: Does not absorb water or transfer moisture, safeguarding electrical components and cabin interiors.

These distinctive features render silicone an excellent sealing material suitable for a wide array of applications in the aerospace industry.

Aerospace Silicone Applications

The application history of silicone in the aviation industry

First used on the Mercury Project over six decades ago, Momentive’s silicones have continuously progressed and have been utilized in every manned spaceflight undertaken by the United States since then. Presently, silicone is accessible in an extensive range of formula variations. Momentive’s silicone products can be tailor-made to suit the requirements of nearly any aerospace application and are packaged in a manner that promotes time efficiency, reduces material wastage, and enhances worker safety.

|| A1 Silicones is a global distributor of Momentive Silicone products. With 13 years of experience in the field of Silicone, we are committed to providing customers with genuine products and good prices on the market.

Maintaining pressure, forming seals

Maintaining cabin pressure during flights at high altitudes is of utmost importance. Depressurization not only difficult/impossible for passengers to breathe but also poses a significant risk, as low oxygen concentration can incapacitate or even endanger pilots and crew, potentially leading to a catastrophic plane crash. To prevent such scenarios, an effective solution is needed to retain pressurized air and prevent its exchange with significantly thinner external air.

This is where silicone proves invaluable. Silicone is utilized in the fabrication of gaskets for cabin doors and windows due to its ability to withstand extreme temperatures and its flexibility in being molded into precise shapes. These silicone gaskets ensure a completely airtight seal around windows and doors, while still allowing for their smooth opening and closing when the aircraft is not at altitude.

In addition to maintaining cabin pressure, silicone is also employed in the construction of gaskets for aircraft engine systems. These gaskets play a crucial role in transporting and storing the necessary chemicals and fluids within the engine, while ensuring they are maintained at the correct pressure. Silicone’s exceptional heat resistance is particularly advantageous in this application. Unlike other commonly used elastomers for gasket construction that would rapidly corrode under the extreme temperatures experienced by aircraft engine components, silicone retains its structural integrity, effectively preserving a reliable seal.

Silicone’s unique properties make it an indispensable material for maintaining cabin pressure and forming secure seals in critical areas of aircraft, enhancing the safety and operational efficiency of air travel.

Electronics and cockpit instruments

Every component of an aircraft, from electronics to cockpit instruments, plays a crucial role in ensuring the aircraft’s safety and the well-being of passengers and crew. Therefore, it is essential to protect each component from the harsh and unforgiving conditions encountered at high altitudes, where planes typically operate. The failure of a single component can have a domino effect, potentially leading to a catastrophic outcome. Different components require varying levels of protection from a range of environmental threats.

Printed circuits, for instance, face numerous hazards even at ground level. The elevated altitudes increase the likelihood of these hazards and the associated risks. Silicone sealing provides a safeguard against these risks, protecting delicate circuits from the intrusion of harmful conditions such as excessive moisture and extreme temperatures

In addition to printed circuit boards, many electrical components cannot withstand exposure to moisture, extreme heat, or cold. Silicone is frequently employed to offer supplementary protection to these components. Electrical systems in aircraft also contend with challenges such as ice buildup and dust ingress. Silicone acts as a protective sheath, preventing wires and electrical components from shorting in the event that dust or ice manages to penetrate the inner workings of the aircraft. Silicone’s exceptional sealing properties, which resist biological growth, and environmental conditions, and provide excellent electrical insulation, make it highly suitable for this purpose

Silicone finds application in the construction of cockpit instruments as well. Pressure gauges and other instrumentation rely on silicone’s resilience and resistance to function reliably. Additionally, silicone safeguards other instruments from potential adverse environmental conditions in a similar manner.

However, silicone’s benefits for electronics and instrumentation protection extend beyond the attributes mentioned above. Silicone also excels at shielding coated items from high pressure and the effects of compression, acting as an effective cushioning material. The extent of this advantage depends on the specific item and its location within the aircraft.

Silicone’s remarkable properties make it an invaluable material for protecting electronics and instrumentation in aircraft. Its use ensures the integrity, functionality, and longevity of critical components, contributing to the overall safety and performance of the aircraft.

Interior motives

Air travel inherently generates significant noise and vibrations. The high speeds, landing impact, and potential maneuvers at high altitudes necessitate measures to ensure ongoing safety and passenger comfort. This is where silicone comes in as its anti-vibration and noise-reduction properties make it an ideal material for bolstering and supporting passengers and crew during flights. It forms a protective layer, shielding them from the stresses and demands of high-speed travel.

Silicone finds application in providing support against vibrations and excessive noise for various facilities and equipment within an aircraft. Its elastomeric properties are particularly advantageous in this regard, as its flexibility allows it to fit into small gaps, ensuring comprehensive protection against vibration and shaking when required. The exceptional heat resistance of silicone, coupled with its resistance to UV rays and exposure to ozone, makes it a superior choice compared to other elastomers. In the aerospace industry, where even the smallest margin for error is unacceptable, silicone’s additional resilience further solidifies its status as a reliable option.

Many equipment and facilities rely on silicone for protection against shock and vibration damage. This includes seals on infotainment systems and LED lighting. Additionally, silicone is used in overhead lockers, vent ducts, and hatches for their seals, benefiting from its environmental resistance, kinetic resilience, and ability to form tight closures.

Given its remarkable versatility and consistent performance, it comes as no surprise that silicone has been a steadfast supporter of the aerospace industry for decades. Even today, silicone remains one of the most reliable sealing materials trusted by the industry. Its widespread use continues in applications that demand challenging sealing solutions.

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