Elastomeric Components

Bearings, isolators and dampers - all three types of elastomeric components have similar inspection and care guidelines.

  • Remove the elastomeric device if it allows excessive motion or vibration
  • Remove the elastomeric device if any of the rubber-to-metal layers are touching each other or are cracked
  • Remove the elastomeric device if more than 25 percent of the bonded area has separated
  • Superficial cracks due to ozone, heat, or sunlight do not warrant removal of the part
  • Any slight oil contamination may be cleaned and the component returned to service
  • Severe oil contamination is always cause for removal of the device
  • Any unusual damage condition should be evaluated by OEM product support

Keeping up with maintenance

To keep up with changes in maintenance techniques, mechanics should seek out continuing education courses given by aircraft manufacturers, OEMs, and component suppliers. Many organizations offer maintenance conferences where mechanics can receive certification to maintain their FAA Inspection Authorization (IA) accreditation.

The key to properly maintaining elastomeric components is periodic visual inspection. Elastomeric parts are basically “maintenance-free” — the only requirement is visual inspection for degraded elements and then a determination to have the part overhauled or replaced. These periodic checks will assure that the aircraft is kept in safe working condition, while providing a vibration-free ride for the pilot and passengers.

Each elastomeric part will degrade differently over time in different environments, so it is important to know the difference in appearance between a properly working part and one that is starting to degrade. Establishing a time frame for inspections will ensure that all parts are kept in good working order. Unscheduled maintenance events cost time and money, but can be avoided with proper inspection of elastomeric components. AMT

For more information visit www.LORD.com.

Douglas F. LeRoy is market and business development manager – Aerospace and Defense for LORD Corporation.

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