Air Leakage Detection Around Aircraft Windows

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Air Leakage Detection Around Aircraft Windows

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Air Leakage Detection Around Aircraft Windows

12 Aug 2021

Air leakage in large vehicles such as aircraft, ships, boats, trains, trucks, and buses is a serious matter. Manufacturers and Maintenance Centers spend millions of dollars a year ensuring that vehicle's windows and doors do not have any air leakage to maintain worthiness to operate. The transportation industries follow standard compliance tests before their vehicles are declared fit and airtight for the next operation.

A good example is a requirement for air leakage detection around windows and doors in a transport aircraft.  The standard compliance test is currently conducted by pressurising the whole cabin and checking for air leakages by ear. This air leakage detection process takes more than 3 hours. It is usually repeated 2 or 3 times for a passenger aircraft in maintenance centres. Typically, it will take 8.3 hours to complete the entire process for a civil widebody aircraft. This test, while necessary, takes up a lot of time and resources. Only certified professionals are allowed in the cabin while the test is ongoing, meaning technicians must stop all other activities inside the cabin and around the aircraft. Furthermore, should air leakage be detected, the aircraft fails the test. Technicians must locate the source of air leaks and take remedial actions to undergo the entire test again.


Air leakage detection is also required for some windows of high-rise buildings. Reliable airtightness tests are needed to estimate the level of air infiltration in such buildings.

Conducting a pre-compliance test to check for air leakages before taking the official one increases the likelihood of passing the standard compliance tests.


Thus, TME Systems, in collaboration with Republic Polytechnic, has developed an innovative air leakage detection solution to detect air leakages in windows and doors quickly and efficiently.

Introducing TME Systems' Reusable Flexible Vacuum Blankets with particle velocity method for air leakage detection around windows and doors of large vehicles and high-rise buildings!


How it works

  1. Vacuum Pressure Test - Create an airtight environment on the window
  2. Check if pressure is stable at 0kpa
  3. Localise the source of air leaks (if there are) using the particle velocity method

Vacuum Pressure Test

  • A breather is placed on the window, followed by a vacuum blanket, creating a space between the vacuum blanket and the aircraft body.
  • A silicon rubber seal tube is placed around the vacuum blanket. This creates a sealed, airtight environment under the vacuum blanket.
  • Using 2 vacuum ports, ½-inch hoses and a vacuum pump, air is pumped out to create a vacuum.

Plane RP


Any air leakage can then be detected by a drop-in vacuum pressure on the pressure gauge attached. A wholly sealed airtight environment will not produce any leakage. As soon as the vacuum pressure under the blanket is stable at 85kpa or more, you can move on and create the same set-up on the next window. Each set-up takes no more than a minute.

tesing-orange-silicon-rubber-vacuum-blanket-on-window-table


Localise the Source of Air Leaks using Particle Velocity Measurement Technique

The particle velocity measurement set-up uses a Scan & Paint camera and software, and a reusable, flexible vacuum blanket and a vacuum pump. You will be able to locate air leaks around windows and doors precisely and easily. The vacuum blanket is sucked onto one side of the window. The Scan & Paint camera is positioned on the opposite side of the window to see the entire frame. The Scan & Paint camera and software will point out where possible leaks are and the magnitude of the leakage and size of hole/gap on the seal of the window or door.


microflown-scan-and-paint-experiment


By using this novel technique, the maintenance crew will find the leaks and fix any air leaking issue almost immediately. Performing the pre-compliance test and repairing the air leak around windows and doors before performing the compulsory compliance tests required by authorities saves time, money and manpower.


​​​​​​​Suppose you constantly seek new ways to rise above your competitors yet still adhere to increasingly stringent regulations. In this case, TME systems have the right innovative solutions and practical procedures for you. Contact TME Systems today!

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