Challenge

Traditional anti-chafe materials have proven ineffective over time in preventing damage from continuous vibration inherent to rotary wing aircraft. As a result, US Army operators noticed the primer on the tail boom structure was worn away to uncover bare metal, exposing the structure to corrosion. More extensive damage reflects significant chafing and fretting wear requiring maintenance and repair of the helicopter structure

Solution

Working with US Army technicians, Gore engineers applied GORE SKYFLEX Aerospace Tapes, 730 Series between the panels and structure of an AH-64 Apache helicopter. First, the structure was cleaned prior to installation. Then, Gore’s 730 Series was applied to the upper (PN: 7-311122616-601), middle (PN: 7-3111122622-55), and lower (PN: 7-3111122622-53) rib assemblies. The total preparation time and tape application took approximately 75 minutes. However, future tape applications should require less installation time.

Conclusion

Extensive testing proved how effectively Gore's 730 Series provided a sacrificial protective barrier by reducing friction and protecting the underlying helicopter structure from damage. During normal operational use, damage to the structure is to be expected in some places. However, installing reliable tapes that can withstand mechanical forces such as vibration over a longer period can minimize the effects and prevent chafing damage. Protection can be restored by replacing only the damaged tape areas, leaving the undamaged tape in place, thus providing a more cost-effective solution than structural repair or replacement.

GORE SKYFLEX Aerospace Tapes, 730 Series offers the potential to significantly reduce the need to repair or replace structural damage from vibration-related chafing on the AH-64 Apache helicopter. Ultimately reducing labor, aircraft downtime and lifecycle costs.

Learn More About GORE SKYFLEX Aerospace Materials

GORE SKYFLEX Aerospace Tapes, 730 Series, enabled the U.S. Army to significantly reduce the need to repair or replace structural damage from vibration-related chafing on the AH-64 Apache helicopter. To learn how your aerospace application can benefit from GORE SKYFLEX Aerospace Materials, contact us today. Gore’s materials are available in form-in-place (FIP) tapes and gaskets. To get a quote or place an order, contact us or one of our authorized distributors.


FOR INDUSTRIAL USE ONLY

Not for use in food, drug, cosmetic or medical device manufacturing, processing, or packaging operations.