Innovative lightweight silicone material for aerospace airframe applications launched
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions launches an innovative lightweight silicone material specifically designed for aerospace airframe applications. Typically 20 percent lighter than standard silicones used for aerospace airframe seals, the material contributes to weight reduction and the aerospace industry’s drive to improve efficiency and meet environmental needs.
Uniquely, the silicone material is available in three hardnesses, shore 50, 60 and 70, meaning it can more effectively be matched to an application’s requirements. With properties that are at an equivalent level to the material’s higher weight counterparts, in most cases, the lighter material can be specified without changes to drawings or further homologation.
Materials of choice
Director Product Management Aerospace, Global Operations Elastomers, Richard Everett says: “Lightweight compounds will increasingly become the materials of choice for aircraft manufacturers. When you consider that a large airliner contains around one ton of rubber elements, a 20 percent drop equates to a 200 kilogram weight saving. That will have a significant effect on lowering fuel burn and overall CO2 reduction.”
Engineered with ease of processing in mind, the silicone lightweight materials can be manufactured as a wide range of components; from simple solid rubber grommets to highly complex three dimensional composite seals. Typical applications include leading edge, trailing edge, empennage and access doors. The material is formulated to meet industry specifications and can be utilized on both new generation lightweight aircraft as well as for retrofit seals supplied to legacy aircraft.
Outperforms other organic elastomers
With a temperature range of -60°C to +200°C/ -76°F to +392°F (with excursions to +250°C/ +482°F), the new silicone material has exceptional compression set as well as outstanding weathering and ozone resistance, allowing it to outperform all other organic elastomers. The lightweight technology utilized also leads to a material with a lower coefficient of friction and improved oil resistance compared to standard silicone.