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  • Aviation Sealants

    Sealant is a substance used to block the passage of fluids through the surface or joints or openings in materials, a type of mechanical seal. In building construction sealant is sometimes synonymous with caulking and also serve the purposes of blocking dust, sound and heat transmission. Sealants may be weak or strong, flexible or rigid, permanent or temporary. Sealants are not adhesives but some have adhesive qualities and are called adhesive-sealants or structural sealants.

    Sealants, despite not having great strength, convey a number of properties. They seal top structures to the substrate, and are particularly effective in waterproofing processes by keeping moisture out (or in) the components in which they are used. They can provide thermal and acoustical insulation, and may serve as fire barriers. They may have electrical properties, as well. Sealants can also be used for simple smoothing or filling. They are often called upon to perform several of these functions at once.

    A caulking sealant has three basic functions: It fills a gap between two or more substrates; it forms a barrier through the physical properties of the sealant itself and by adhesion to the substrate; and, it maintains sealing properties for the expected lifetime, service conditions, and environments. The sealant performs these functions by way of correct formulation to achieve specific application and performance properties. Other than adhesives, however, there are few functional alternatives to the sealing process.

    Soldering or welding can perhaps be used as alternatives in certain instances, depending on the substrates and the relative movement that the substrates will see in service. However, the simplicity and reliability offered by organic elastomers usually make them the clear choice for performing these functions.

    Aerospace Sealants

    • Firewall Sealants - a two-component, firewall sealant intended for use as a coating, sealant or filleting material in the construction, repair and maintenance of aircraft and is especially useful where fire resistance, exposure to phosphate ester fluids, and/or exposure to extreme temperatures -65°F (-54°C) to 400°F (204°C) are major considerations.
    • Fuel Tank Sealants - High-temperature fuel resistant sealant intended for use on integral fuel tanks with excellent resistance to other fluids such as water, alcohols, synthetic oils and petroleum-based hydraulic fluids
    • Access Door Sealants - Access door sealant intended for use on integral fuel tanks and pressurized cabins with low adhesion characteristics and excellent resistance to other fluids such as water, alcohols, synthetic oils and petroleum based hydraulic fluids.
    • Windshield Sealant - Demonstrated to be a useful sealant in a variety of applications where quick setting is desired, for example, windshield sealants, repair caulks, adhesives, etc.

    Comparison with adhesives

    The main difference between adhesives and sealants is that sealants typically have lower strength and higher elongation than adhesives do. When sealants are used between substrates having different thermal coefficients of expansion or differing elongation under stress, they need to have adequate flexibility and elongation. Sealants generally contain inert filler material and are usually formulated with an elastomer to give the required flexibility and elongation. They usually have a paste consistency to allow filling of gaps between substrates. Low shrinkage after application is often required. Many adhesive technologies can be formulated into sealants.