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How Aircraft Seals & Materials Protect & Mobilize eVTOL Applications

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By Mark Scoular (June 2023) 


Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft are poised to revolutionize the world of aviation, offering a wide range of applications from urban air mobility to logistics and emergency medical services. One of the most persistent and challenging issues in eVTOL design is meeting stringent weight requirements – hardly a new requirement in aircraft manufacturing. Engineers have been exploring novel space and weight-saving solutions since the genesis of aviation. Hence, many existing systems have been promising cross-compatibility with emerging technologies. Aircraft sealing and material solutions are one example that are enabling the reliable and safe operation of key eVTOL systems:

1. Propellers & Transmissions

2. APU & Hybrid Power

3. Flight Controls

4. Environment Controls (ECS)

5. Power Electronics

6. Sensors

This blog post will explore the essential role of aircraft seals and materials in the rise of eVTOLs and their commercialization.

Aviation eVTOL Application
Omniseal Solutions' Seals Materials Group

Jet Engine Polymer & Metal Seals: Key Precision Components For eVTOL Applications

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One of the most critical components in modern aircraft design is jet engine seals. These seals provide a tight and consistent seal capable of withstanding high pressures and temperatures, ensuring optimal performance in extreme operating conditions. Our Omniseal® spring-energized seals and metal seals, in particular, have proven to be invaluable in jet engines and gas turbine engines, where conventional seals might fail due to the demanding environment. The high customizability of polymer jacket and spring material or metal ring with coating, plus the ability to adjust spring loads as required, provides outstanding thermochemical compatibility and high-speed dynamics. These are all critical criteria when it comes to pushing the performance boundaries of eVTOL systems.

Turbofan Solutions: Adapting Sealing & Material Technology For eVTOLs

As eVTOL aircraft become more prevalent, there is a growing need for innovative sealing solutions that can meet the unique demands of this emerging technology. Smart materials, advanced manufacturing techniques, and design principles are being employed to create aircraft seals that deliver reliable and efficient sealing performance in even the most challenging environments.

One example of the use of advanced materials in seal design is the development of high-temperature plastics, such as our Meldin® polyimides and Hycomp™ carbon composites. These materials have excellent mechanical properties and can withstand temperatures of up to 500°C, making them ideal for use in high-temperature engine applications. Naturally, eVTOLs do not have a conventional engine as their propulsion is generated electrically using a battery array. Although battery temperatures don’t approach the extreme thermal loads of a jet engine, it is crucial to manage any thermal loads to ensure operational safety.

In seal design and optimization, advanced simulation tools like Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) can be used to model and simulate the behavior of seals under various operating conditions. This enables engineers to optimize the shape, size, and materials of seals to improve their performance and reduce their weight and size. The benefits of advanced design and optimization software are myriad when it comes to research and development (R&D) of new mechanical systems.

​​​​​​​The Future Of Aircraft Seals In eVTOL Applications

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Aircraft seals play a critical role in enabling eVTOL applications and furthering urban mobility. As eVTOL technology advances, the demand for high-performance sealing solutions will continue to grow, driving innovation in materials, design, and manufacturing techniques. Aircraft seals that are used in many different systems will prove essential for the successful commercialization of eVTOLs, providing the necessary reliability and efficiency required for their widespread adoption.

If you are interested in the current state of R&D in aircraft sealing, read our blog post on four different trends in aviation seal technology.

Finding Your Partner in Design Engineering Aviation Seals & Advanced Materials

Omniseal Solutions, with over 65 years of expertise in designing and manufacturing precision sealing and material solutions, is well-positioned to support the rapidly evolving eVTOL industry. Our partners have benefited from our global production footprint, reliable supply chain, and excellence in quality. By leveraging our material expertise and co-development model, we have demonstrated to our customers a reduction of development costs and improvements in sealing, lighter weight, friction, and wear resistance in aggressive temperature, chemical, load, and speed environments.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to collaborate with a leader in aviation sealing technology. Contact us today and push Beyond the Boundaries of Possible®!

Tags: Aviation Wear & Friction Self Lubrication