Flying High: Advanced Nonwoven Abrasives Help Airline Maintenance Facility Increase Productivity and Efficiency

by Jim Kraus

Abrasives251MROs are under constant pressure to raise productivity while controlling costs. Specifying the right surface finishing product can allow airline MRO facilities to achieve the performance they need to maintain efficient and effective operations.

Recently, Saint-Gobain Abrasives worked closely with a major U. S.-based commercial airline to demonstrate the performance of their abrasives solutions. A three-part test was conducted at the airline’s maintenance facility to compare the cycle time and performance of Saint-Gobain’s Norton Multi-Air A975 NorGrip Multi-Air Discs, Norton Vortex Rapid Prep quick change discs and Norton Vortex Rapid Prep non-woven quick change discs against conventional competing products.

Designed for demanding dual action (DA) sanding applications, Norton Multi-Air A975 combines dust extraction with a patented ceramic aluminum oxide (A/O) abrasive. This combination results in a vacuum disc product that helps increase productivity and eliminate harmful dust.

Norton Vortex Rapid Prep non-woven products combine high-performance patented Vortex abrasives grain and proprietary smear-free resin technology allowing for faster throughput and reduced labor requirements. “Three-dimensional” construction allows all three faces of the disc to be involved in the finishing, as opposed to conventional products that use just the bottom layer of abrasive. Discs can be used down to the button with consistent cut-rate throughout an extended product life. Norton Vortex Rapid Prep can perform several times better than conventional discs on aircraft repair work including epoxy adhesive removal from carbon fiber inner skin, carbon fiber and copper removal, and aircraft airframe blending mismatch and corner break on aluminum spars.


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