With icing season approaching, it is important to complete de-icing system functional checks to ensure that your pneumatic and electrothermal de-icing systems are working properly. When performing visual inspections of the pneumatic boots, you may find the following types of common damage that reduce optimal performance of your de-icing system.
Cold-cracking occasionally occurs when the de-icers are cold-soaked below their designed operating parameters (-40 °F/-40 °C) and inflated when brittle. Long slits or cracks on the de-icer that appear relatively straight and are usually in the middle of the air tubes may be cold-cracking.
Cold Impact Damage
Similar to cold-cracking, cold impact damage may also occur when de-icers are cold-soaked below -40 °F/-40 °C. These small dents or cracks, which are often in a curved or half-moon shape, are caused when environmental foreign objects, such as ice crystals or hail, are encountered in flight.
Neither cold impact damage nor cold-cracking are warrantable defects, and while they may be repaired if within the repair limits, the damage often extends beyond approved repairs.
Broken stitchlines can occur due to foreign object damage either in flight or on ground. It is important to inspect for this failure as even a single broken stitch requires de-icer replacement to prevent further breakage caused by inflation cycles.
For more information on these and other types of common pneumatic de-icer damage, click on the icon below to refer to Collins Aerospace, Goodrich SNL 05-064. This document provides examples as well as details regarding repairability and warranty.
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