May 9, 2013

Posted by in Business | Comments Off on Aviation Tape

Aviation Tape

You’ve seen it before. Strips of what appears to be duct tape stuck to the side of an airplane. You think to yourself “Is that really all that’s holding that plane together?” What you see before you is in fact an aviation tape, not duct tape. One type of Aviation tape, also known as speed tape, is typically an aluminium foil tape used on aircrafts for temporarily repair. The tape was developed for the aviation industry with the aim of providing a short-term fix for superficial blemishes until a more permanent solution can be implemented. Aviation tape is designed specifically for very minor issues like dents, wear due to wind erosion, damage to composite panels, to repair cracks in aerodynamic seals, to maintain fuel efficiency or to prevent curling sealant. It may look like regular old tape, but there’s nothing average about it.

Specialized Design

Aviation tape is manufactured to withstand the conditions that an aircraft is exposed to inflight.

  • withstands extreme temperatures
  • works at high speeds
  • resists ultraviolet radiation, solvents and flames
  • high thermal conductivity
  • durable
  • expands and contracts with its surroundings maintaining a secure seal
  • sticks to oily and wet surfaces

Is Aviation Tape Safe?

It can be unsettling to see tape on an airplane, but the reality is the strength and durability of Aviation Tape makes it ideal to use on minor repairs. The engineers and mechanics that are responsible for screening airplanes before take-off run pressurize tests checking for any leakage prior to using the tape. Usually aviation tape will be added as an additional measure to ensure the plane doesn’t incur further damage inflight. After the tape is apply mechanics will again run tests on the aircraft, this time to make sure the tape stays fastened and will not come loose at any point during the flight.

Its ability to tolerate oily and wet surfaces makes it an ideal tool for emergency repair situations. At times when an aircraft must fly out as soon as possible, aviation tape can provide an effective temporary fix, especially if maintenance workers do not have access a fully equipped hangar. A no point is this tape used as a solution to serious repairs that could jeopardize the safety of a flight.

Where Else Can it be Used?

Aviation tape or speed tape is also often used on race tracks for race cars in need of quick repairs. Pit stops will have a supply of speed tape on hand to tape up minor issues before a race car must re-enter the race.

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