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Articles - Aviation

Nauru Airlines - the latest operator to introduce the Cyclean engine wash program

Friday, February 26, 2021

Nauru Airlines, the national carrier of the Pacific island Republic of Nauru, has become the latest operator to introduce the Cyclean engine wash program, an industry-wide initiative developed by global aviation services provider Lufthansa Technik to improve aircraft efficiency and sustainability.

Well over 100,000 aircraft engines have been Cyclean-treated to remove accumulated contaminants including sand, salt, chemicals, and unburned hydrocarbons, which impede performance and increase carbon emissions.

The Cyclean engine wash system delivers high pressure, atomised heated water directly into the compressor, and through the gas path to the core, via two revolving nozzle sprays attached to the engine inlet, removing impurities which cause ‘compressor fouling’.

This problem forces engines to work harder, raising operating temperatures, increasing component deterioration, burning more fuel, and creating greater emissions.

The Cyclean system, designed by Lufthansa Technik, and approved on almost 40 engine variants from six manufacturers, precisely targets core components, reducing by up to one per cent the amount of fuel required by the engine and extending component life. Over a year, the improvement is significant.

This process also negates the need for any blanking of engine systems or post engine run requirements after washing, and can be performed quickly at airport gates during stopovers, using mobile treatment units which eliminate the need to tow aircraft to maintenance facilities. Waste water is collected as it exits the engine, further reducing waste.

The first Cyclean treatment for Nauru Airlines was performed this week on one of its five Boeing 737 aircraft, a freighter, at Brisbane International Airport, Australia, and further treatments are planned for other aircraft.

In Australia, the Cyclean program is managed and delivered at both Melbourne and Brisbane Airports by 145 Aviation Services on behalf of Lufthansa Technik. Since 2015, when it started Cyclean services in Australia, 145 Aviation Services, a sister company of Permagard Aviation, has also treated aircraft for airlines including Qantas and Jetstar.

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Paint OEM Warranty Concerns if you use Permagard?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Sometimes we hear about paint manufacturers advising our clients to only use their aftermarket products or the paint warranty will be invalid. In reality we have found this a sales tactic that has little or no bearing on the actual purchase decision.

Some considerations:

  • After the initial paint application, acceptance and certification, what is likely to go wrong with the paint? Maybe paint fade and oxidisation; maybe peeling off. The questions generally asked by paint OEMs at this point to understand if they are really accountable for the product failure are:
  • Who painted the aircraft? Did they follow the correct process, was the substrate prepared correctly, was the paint mixing correct, what equipment was used and where was the paint stored?
  • What do you use to wash your aircraft with and how often do you wash? What wash process do you use and with what equipment? What chemicals are used to clean for inspection during maintenance? Where do you fly and park your aircraft?
  • The core business of non-paint manufacturing companies is to provide aftermarket paint protection products that actually extend and enhance the paint, not to sell more product.
  • If a correctly applied and approved polymer product enhances the paint, why would a Paint OEM not want it to be applied? It is a free hit on enhancing their product endurance and quality. Saying no just diminishes the products reputation and does not make sense, unless the true motivation is increased sales.
  • How long has the paint been available and has it always needed a specific polish or coating before? If it didn’t, then what has the Paint OEM done to change the paint and make it less durable?
  • If the paint has changed to be less durable, are the paint protection products offered by the Paint OEM the latest technology, totally new and different to what has been used previously? What properties now cause it to be incompatible with polymer, which has been successfully used for well over 20 years.
  • What does the warranty actually cover, for how long and what will void the warranty? Ask for it in writing to ensure the claims are company endorsed.
  • How many times have the Paint OEMs been asked by their customers to honour an inservice warranty claim and how often did they accept responsibility?
  • Can the Paint OEM provide names of the customers who they have had their warranty invalidated due to the use of non OEM after sales products, including washing fluids?
  • In Australia, and with most other economically advanced countries, statutory warranties protect the buyer for around 12 months depending on the product. This generally will cover ensuring you get what you paid for, it is as advertised and it is fit for purpose. No matter what is written in the T’s and Cs, companies cannot contract out these obligations in Australia.
  • Another consideration is if you purchased the paint or was it procured via your third-party painting company? Rights and warranties are often not transferable and any claim you may have will generally need to go via this third party.

What Products Are Commonly Offered by Paint OEMs?

In some cases the products offered by Paint OEMs actually degrade your paint by removing the top layers forcing an earlier than scheduled repaint. Look at the product labels and Safety Data Sheets very closely and ask questions about what is in the product to help you decide. Here is some information that may help you in that assessment:

  • Silicon based products, such as diatomaceous earth and amorphous silica, are commonly found in polishing and paint protection products and work by removing the top layer of paint.
  • Silicon in most cases is UV absorbing, so oxidising is imminent. You can tell if it is a silicon based product as the application instructions will advise to not allow the aircraft to get wet for 24-48 hours after application.
  • Wax is one of the most temporary products you can add to any vehicle, let alone aircraft. UV absorbing wax may make the water bead off, but it will oxidise and go white if it lasts long enough on the paint.

Why use Polymer?

Reactive Polymer has saline linkers the same as paint, so it adheres to the substrate or original paint with the same technology paint OEMs use. The main difference is we add a UV resistant/reflective polymer linker to the saline linkers whereas paint manufacturers apply a pigment linker. Quite simple really.

Why use Permagard?

This technology is not new and Permagard has been providing an extremely effective reactive polymer product for over 20 years. It has been used on all types of paint, including aircraft with no warranty claim or issue. It has Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, Dassault, Gulfstream and Cessna Textron approvals and manufactured to ISO standards.

The Permagard reactive polymer formula has been relatively unchanged for over 20 years.While we do R&D to keep a competitive edge, the formula works

Permagard Aviation has a Microbiologist, Biochemist and an Industrial Chemist on staff to support your questions and provide further information to you.

Our company Director summed this up the best in saying “the likelihood of an operator actually being successful in claiming warranty after the statutory warranty period (12 months) is so low, we will honour the remaining paint warrant if Permagard is applied; that’s how much we believe in our product”

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The Germiest Surfaces in Air Travel

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Most flyers know the air travel experience can get downright dirty, literally. Just think about it - every day, millions of passengers from every far-flung region of the globe packed into flying cans not much longer than an Olympic pool and passing through airports brimming with even more people. It’s enough to make you reach for the surgical mask and a sizeable squirt of hand sanitizer (which we hope you’re carrying with you).

But throughout the air travel experience, where are the germiest places?

US-based InsuranceQuotes carried out 18 tests across six surfaces in three major American airports and flights to uncover exactly that.

Measuring the average number of viable bacteria and fungal cells per square inch, and using colony-forming units (CFU) as its barometer, the study found self check-in kiosks to be the dirtiest part of a normal air travel experience, with the standard check-in screen containing 253,857 CFU. Now there's a reason to opt for a traditional check in.

Germinators: the world’s cleanest airlines revealed

The next germiest point during air travel is where you’d expect to find it – in the aircraft bathroom, on the flush button to be precise. Nobody enjoys using a plane lavatory, but with an average 95,145 CFU, you might think twice about placing your fingers directly onto that scary flush button next time.

Airport gate seat armrests (that’s right, where you might lay your head during long layovers), though much further down the scum scale, were found to be the next germiest surfaces, with a score of 21630 CFU, while bubbler buttons were also deemed dirty at 19,181 CFU.

Often reported as one of the germiest points on an aircraft, the tray table came in with a score of 11,595 CFU, while seat belt buckles were the least germy surface with 1,116 CFU.

To put all of this into perspective, regular household kitchen countertops have 361 CFU, while home toilet seats have 172 CFU.

Original article:

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