Corrosion of avionics can creep up without warning since most aircraft electronics and instrumentation are tucked away unseen in various compartments, boxes, and instrument panels. As planes take off and land, these critical avionics may be subject to fluctuating temperatures, humidity, and condensation that could lead to corrosion damage and, in worst case scenarios, equipment failure. To avoid these unpleasant and dangerous surprises, Cortec® suggests a few simple rust prevention technologies and strategies that can go a long way toward saving aircraft from the time, repair costs, and potential hazards of corroded avionics.
Corrosion Protection During Distribution
The best place for avionics protection to start is at the manufacturer. Similar to flight conditions, unpredictable shipping environments can potentially damage electronics and instrumentation before they ever reach the field. The easy answer is to package components in VpCI® Film such as EcoSonic® VpCI-125 HP Permanent ESD Bags, which combine a permanent anti-static agent with corrosion protection. Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitors in the wall of the bag fill the package and adsorb on multi-metal surfaces as a corrosion inhibiting layer that does not interfere with physical or chemical properties of the electronic component. Protection continues in storage until the component is removed from the bag.
Protecting Avionics Compartments
Once installed in the airplane, avionics can be protected with a different form of Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitors. VpCI® Emitters come in different formats and sizes and are easy to place inside electronics enclosures based on the size of the compartment. The VpCI®-101 Device is a small self-adhesive piece of foam infused with enough Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitors to protect 1 ft³ (28 L) of space. The VpCI®-105 Emitter is a self-adhesive cup that emits Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitors through a breathable membrane and is designed to protect enclosures of 5 ft³ (0.14 m³). The VpCI®-111 Device is a slightly larger cup of the same design with enough protection for 11 ft³ (0.31 m³). Each device conditions the enclosure with corrosion inhibiting vapors that form an invisible molecular protective film on all accessible metal surfaces.
Cleaning Corroded Electronics
When it comes time for maintenance, avionics that have begun to corrode due to inadequate protection can sometimes be cleaned off using a cleaner such as ElectriCorr™ VpCI®-238 or 239. These aerosols can also be used for ongoing protection. After cleaning away any rust or grime, maintenance workers can spray circuit boards and electrical contacts with ElectriCorr™ VpCI®-239, which dries to a thin protective film. Such protection can be especially important on instrumentation that is not enclosed and therefore cannot effectively trap and create a protective environment of Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitors.
Simple but Powerful
Cortec® VpCI® protection is extremely simple and easy to use; yet it can be a powerful means of slowing the attack of corrosion on sensitive electronics and instrumentation. Contact Cortec® if you have questions and need further help preventing corrosion on avionics.
Keywords: corrosion protection, avionics corrosion, corrosion protection for avionics, Cortec, cleaning electronics, removing corrosion from electronics, corrosion inhibitors, VpCI Emitters, aircraft electronics, maintaining aircraft instrumentation
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