As hundreds of aircraft remain grounded due to plummeting air travel demand amid pandemic restrictions, the question becomes: How can airlines preserve as much value as possible while high-dollar assets sit idle for an indefinite period?
Though everyone hopes for the best, it is also important to prepare for the worst, as lower travel rates are expected for some time and may take years to rebound. In the face of unexpected losses, good preservation is vital to avoid further damage and keep aircraft ready to put back into the air on short notice.
To address this critical need, Cortec Corporation has designed an aircraft preservation guide based on the practical advantages of VpCI Technology. VpCI Technology protects by forming a molecular corrosion inhibiting layer on metal surfaces to which it is directly applied (contact-phase protection).
In many cases, it also encompasses vapor-phase action by which Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitors diffuse through the air to deliver protection to all exposed metal surfaces within a void space, even those to which they are not directly applied. This is particularly useful for airplane internals such as cockpits, baggage compartments, passenger seating areas, and electronic systems, where VpCI molecules can be used to condition entire enclosures with a protective atmosphere. VpCI preservation does not require continuous monitoring and, in many cases, eliminates or reduces the need to remove preservation materials upon commissioning.
Cortec’s aircraft preservation guide recommends externally washing down jets and helicopters with VpCI-415 prior to layup. This flash-corrosion inhibiting cleaner conforms to Boeing D6-17487 Rev P and is also a MIL-PRF-87937D Qualified cleaner/degreaser. After cleaning, VpCI additives should be added to fuel tanks, gearboxes, and hydraulic systems. VpCI-111 Emitters, VpCI-308 Pouches, and VpCI-337 fogging fluid should be applied in electronic systems, and engines, respectively.
Some components, such as engines, may also benefit from shrink-wrapping in VpCI-126 HP UV, with VpCI dosed into the flow path. A temporary coating such as VpCI-369D will provide lubrication and corrosion protection for moveable joints such as wing flaps, ailerons, door hinges, and landing gear. Cortec also suggests biological odour control solutions in the form of Bionetix International’s ECO-SEPT and PORTA-TREAT for toilet and holding tank systems.