As aircraft are continuously used and subjected to extreme forces and environments, they can slowly begin to wear and tear over time. With many aircraft relying on metals for their construction, corrosion is a possible threat that can eat away at parts and spread rapidly if not treated immediately. When corrosion is allowed to take hold of an aircraft, it can cause structures to become weakened and fatigued, creating a safety hazard for flight. Due to the immense damage that corrosion poses, it is important to understand what types there are to look out for, as well as how to prevent it.
Corrosion typically results from when an electrolyte action occurs on the surface of a metal or within it. With this process, affected sections of the metal are changed into a salt that lacks strength. For corrosion to be carried out, there needs to be a metal, dissimilar conductive metal, conductive liquid, and electrical contact between the two dissimilar pieces. As such, removing any of the major factors of corrosion will halt its spread and damage.
When operating an aircraft, there are a number of common corrosion types that one should be aware of to avoid. Pitting corrosion is one of the most common types faced by aluminum aircraft, and it can be spotted by its distinct white powdery deposits on surfaces. With pitting corrosion damage, the deposit can be wiped away to reveal holes in the metal’s surface. Galvanic corrosion is another common type, and it occurs when dissimilar metals are placed together and come into contact with an electrolyte. Depending on the metals’ sizes and levels of activity, the rate at which galvanic corrosion can occur will change.
To successfully enact corrosion prevention and treatment, it can be useful to know the factors that affect it. Generally, design, operating environments, operating conditions, and maintenance all affect how corrosion may act upon an aircraft. When manufacturing a particular model, it should be ensured that there are little to no lap seams, blocked drains, dissimilar metal assemblies, or other structures that may lead to rapid corrosion. Additionally, the environment and conditions of the aircraft and its surroundings can also have effects on corrosion prevention during flight operations. Generally, high humidity and coastal areas lead to the most damage, due to the amount of salt and moisture that may be present in the atmosphere. Lastly, having properly trained maintenance individuals inspect an aircraft regularly is important, as it is crucial that they can regularly check for signs of corrosion and make repairs and replacements as necessary.
By understanding what types of corrosion may occur and why they do, enacting corrosion prevention can be much easier. Nevertheless, one should always have their aircraft regularly inspected and maintained by qualified individuals to ensure proper treatment and protection. At ASAP Aviation Hub, we can help you source the aviation parts and components that you need to prevent corrosion and combat operational damage. On our website, customers can find competitive pricing on corrosion kits, fuel cell parts, and other highly sought-after parts. Get started today and see how we can fulfill your operational needs quickly and easily at ASAP Aviation Hub.
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