Environmental Study of External Aircraft Fuel Tanks Stored in Rigid Polyurethane Foam,
AIR FORCE PACKAGING EVALUATION AGENCY WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OHIO
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External aircraft fuel tanks were foamed-in-place by Sacramento ALC for the purpose of testing totally encapsulated items. Four tanks were received by the Air Force Packaging Evaluation Agency AFPEA and subjected to the aggressive saline atmosphere and severe weathering environment at an Eglin AFB test station located on the Gulf of Mexico. Although the tanks had been transported and stored outside in open wooden crates, and more recently in improved galvanized slotted angle steel framework, for extended periods of time, approximately 20 of the assembled tanks were corroding, leaving much room for improvement. This study indicated that the method of encapsulating the items in polyurethane foam is not only more cost effective but shows marked improvement in corrosion resistance and affords physical protection as well.