3 minute read
UK aerospace technology firm innovates new fire seals
A specialist aerospace engineering company has formulated a unique composition of materials for safety critical jet engine fire seals, which passes every industry standard fire test.
Icon Aerospace Technology, based in Retford, has spent eight years investigating multiple modern materials and design processes to develop jet engine fire seals, which can withstand extreme temperatures of more than 1,093 ºC (2,000 degrees Fahrenheit), and as low as -60 ºC. The seals have already consistently passed a series of industry standard tests, including ISO/TR 2685 and AC20-125 where the seal is exposed to a flame at 1,100 ºC, for fifteen minutes, whilst being subjected to vibration, airflow and pressure deltas.
Key to the breakthrough of this unique material composition is Icon’s ‘Face 2 Face’ working philosophy. The company has invested time in its network of fire testing facilities and its customers to listen and respond to their challenges, working together to overcome them. The result is a product which has passed 11 fire tests first time for major aerospace OEM Rolls Royce. Across the industry it is typically up to three tests per seal that are required to achieve compliance.
Dan Bailey, Commercial Director at Icon Aerospace Technology commented: “We have spent a lot of time with our network to really understand in detail, the application of fire seals, to ensure we are capable of designing a product which is highly effective when in use. By understanding everything from the external forces affecting the seals, to the air flow interacting with them, we have been able to design a product which has a very high success rate for passing fire tests.”
The fire seals are designed and manufactured in the UK by Icon, and even the rigs used to perform the tests are designed on these shores to ensure they truly replicate insitu conditions. The testing phase for the seals saw Icon conduct 26 individual fire tests, with every seal successfully concluding a comprehensive test programme.
These products play a vital role on aircraft, containing fire within localised areas to prevent flame spread. This is particularly important when applied to engines and auxiliary power units, where the seal acts as a barrier between the flame and the rest of the aircraft. Icon’s fire seal components are also used in the main fans of aircraft, as well as inside fuel systems.
Steve Rubery, Head of Sales at Icon Aerospace Technology concluded: “As developing engine technologies present greater challenges for seal manufacturers, Icon is committed to working closely with our customers to help them overcome their challenges through collaboration. We have invested a lot of time and resource to create the expertise in formulating the most effective material structure for our aircraft seals, to provide the high levels of performance and reliability demanded by our customers. The result is a product which provides our customers with confidence.”