How Metal Sealing Solutions Enhance Aviation Operations
Sealing & Material Innovation
By Arnaud Verger (January 2023)
Aviation is associated with constant flux and innovation—a fact which has been perfectly illustrated by the effects of the ongoing pandemic and regulations. Though COVID-related restrictions have slightly relaxed on commercial flight, there are still challenges to tourism and global travel. However, the aviation industry is notably resilient, and there has been continued innovation throughout this period. Recently, scientists from NASA and Boeing met together to gather data to aid in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) adoption. Like many other key players in aviation industry, they are working to accelerate progress towards a more sustainable aviation system with ultra-efficient aircraft of the future. . Further, research into electric, hybrid, and turboelectric fixed wing aircraft has continued to break new ground .
Central to each of these technological breakthroughs is material innovation. Aviation operations have always been driven by new materials, such as the wholesale adoption of aluminum for aircraft fuselages. Today’s material developments are typically more discrete but are no less important. Metal sealing solutions are technology advancements that are helping to further flight performance and safety.
Key Trends in Metal Seals for Aircraft
Increased uptake of metal sealing solutions for aircraft is largely driven by macro-trends, which govern most decisions in aviation engineering and manufacturing. Namely: The move towards greater efficiency and improved performance, with a bent towards reducing the climatic impact of aviation without sacrificing the bottom line. Light weighting through using materials such as composites is one of the main approaches to achieving this goal, but there are many components in aircraft design where weight is not paramount.
Seals, for instance, may be judged by their temperature resistance, their performance across sharp pressure gradients, their chemical compatibility, and so on. Polymer-based seals sometimes lack an element of robustness in these areas whereas metal seals typically excel.
What Makes Metal Seals So Beneficial for Aviation?
Outstanding temperature resistance: Metal sealing solutions can be engineered to exacting thermal performance requirements, covering a nominal range of -250C up to a maximum operating temperature of 1100C.
Excellent chemical compatibility: Proprietary coatings on metal sealing solutions enable comprehensive resistance to wear and friction.
Superb leakage tightness: The ultra-low permeability of metal sealing solutions is often compounded by a multi-jacketed design for absolute leak tightness.
Common Applications for Metal Seals in Aviation
Given the exceptional thermomechanical performance of metal aviation seals, it should come as no surprise that they are primarily used to enhance jet engines and turbines. Extreme temperatures and high vibration invariably cause stress to engine components such as ducts, vanes and casings throughout the propulsion systems. Metal sealing solutions are proven to enhance the performance of not only engine systems but several subsystems as well.
Have You Been Looking High & Low for Metal Sealing Solutions?
Omniseal Solutions™ has excelled in delivering high-quality seals and materials for critical applications for six decades. Predominantly focusing on advanced polymer materials, we have since expanded our portfolio to include precision metal sealing solutions and enhanced composite materials for complex applications. We pride ourselves on being able to meet the most stringent requirements of aircraft design and manufacturing.
If you are interested in metal sealing solutions and would like to learn more, read our article on the 4 Trends in Aviation Seals, where Arnaud Verger discusses innovations in the aviation industry.