Aerospace Insulation Provide Fire And Thermal Protection
Insulation is an important component in most aerospace vehicles, as it helps to keep the vehicle comfortable, efficient, and safe for passengers. Insulation also helps to protect components from extreme temperature changes. Many different types of Aerospace Insulation Materials are available, depending on the application and desired properties. In the case of aerospace, there are several unique requirements that must be met, including thermal conductivity and flame resistance.
Thermal Conductivity in Aerospace Insulation
Because of the high levels of heat and vibration that are often present in aircraft, special thermal insulation material is needed for a range of applications. Aerospace insulation is typically designed to be lightweight and durable, with low thermal conductivity to ensure that the vehicle stays cool and efficient even at high altitudes or in the presence of a fire. Other desirable attributes include acoustical insulation to reduce noise transmission and vibration damping to prevent damage to sensitive equipment.
Choosing the Right Insulation Material
The most common type of insulation used in aerospace applications is made from fiber and ceramic “superwool” products, which are available in various thicknesses and configurations. These thermal insulation materials help support safe, reliable function of key aerospace systems, including the engines, electronics, emissions control and weapons systems. They are also employed to protect these systems from fire and harsh conditions while providing acoustical protection, vibration damping, and noise reduction.
In addition to these traditional thermal insulation materials, newer, innovative solutions are being developed for aerospace applications. For example, silica aerogel is a superinsulation material that has the potential to be applied as a coating or embedded into a structure to provide thermal, acoustical and fire protection. This technology is particularly useful for aerospace applications, as it can be integrated into the space suits that astronauts wear during travel to and from outer space.
Another popular form of aerospace insulation is made from film materials. Dunmore Aerospace manufactures a number of aircraft insulation films that are designed to provide thermal, acoustical, anti-vibration and fire-barrier properties. These films are commonly applied to interior trim panels to improve the quality of the cabin environment for passengers and pilots. They also help to increase fuel efficiency by reducing the amount of power needed to maintain a comfortable temperature in the cabin.
Several other specialized forms of insulation are also used in aerospace applications, including molded microporous insulation and fire-resistant materials. Molded microporous insulation is typically pressed into the metallic casings of flight data recorders, which are often known as "black boxes." This type of insulated material is chosen because it maintains the internal contents of these boxes at low temperatures so that the information recorded during a crash or other emergency can be recovered.
Aircraft insulation materials such as blankets, mats and pads can be custom fabricated to meet the precise specifications of specific aerospace applications. Manufacturers of these materials can offer a range of services, including die and laser cutting, stamping, machining, slitting, and assembly. They can also provide custom fabrication, engineering, prototyping, and low- and high-volume production.