AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

The Importance of Engine Washes and How They Are Carried Out

As aircraft conduct operations, they will slowly grow dirtier with each flight, as they are faced with weather, operational byproducts, dust, and other such substances that stick to or collect on surfaces over time. While much of an aircraft’s body can simply be power washed with ladders and manpower to start, engine assemblies are more complex. In fact, one cannot simply enter the engine assembly to conduct a manual cleaning and full disassembly because it is a timely and costly procedure. As such, it is important to know how such cleaning operations are carried out.

While all parts of an aircraft must be cleaned from time to time to avoid issues like corrosion, special attention is given to the engine for its complexity and critical role in providing the thrust necessary for lift and forward momentum. Additionally, engines are often exposed to elements and stressors that make air travel a complex endeavor. As engines contain a wide variety of parts with varying sensitivity, it is paramount that maintenance and cleaning is carried out with as much care as possible.

To conduct engine cleaning, the engine will first need to be opened so that water pumped into it can escape after being used. After this is done, the engine is set to a slow RPM cycle while freshwater is pumped into the turbine. In a sense, one can understand the process of cleaning a turbine engine in a similar fashion as to how washing machines work with their washing cycles. This washing operation is then carried out until the water exiting the assembly is clear.

Upon finishing the washing cycle, engineers will then test the engine output with monitoring systems to see if there is a tangible difference in terms of power. While washing may be necessary when it is not the most convenient, the best time to conduct such operations is during the overhaul process when the powerplant is already set to be taken apart and looked at. This is because, once all essential components have been approved for use, they can be deep cleaned before reassembly.

While metallic surfaces, turbine blades, and other such assemblies tend to do fine with water, such fluids should not be used to clean assemblies with sensitive electrical components. Nevertheless, there are instances in which flowing water and detergent may still be used without issue, and one should simply be wary of what the manufacturer recommends when carrying out such procedures. In recent years, various special solvents have come about, those of which allow for effective cleaning with the breakdown of particles while ensuring that engine components remain unaffected.

If one cannot take the time to conduct a cleaning during a process like overhauling engine components, then one may simply rely on equipment that permits on-site cleaning to be conducted. To best be prepared for such procedures, one should make sure that they have all required equipment for maintenance, as well as a resource to ensure that any required replacement parts can be purchased right away if needed. Luckily for you, Hardware and Fasteners has everything you require to ensure that your projects can be carried out safely and efficiently from start to finish.

Hardware and Fasteners is a website owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we present customers access to an unrivaled inventory of over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find items that trace back to a number of leading manufacturers that we trust. Take the time to pursue our offerings as you see fit, and you can always request a quote on items of interest through the completion and submission of an RFQ form. Get started today and see why so many customers steadily rely on Hardware and Fasteners for their needs.


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