Throughout the year we provide elastomeric component training to customers in the maintenance of helicopters. Recently, we held a free training session at HAI HELI-EXPO in Las Vegas. It is an opportunity we enjoy, not only to present the information, but also to individually interact and answer questions to those in attendance.
Understanding the technology is vital, since elastomeric components are used extensively on all modern helicopters—including the Bell 206B, 206L, 407 and 412—and maintenance personnel and pilots are required to routinely inspect and need to be familiar with the technology.
The information we provide—through the training session and Q&A afterwards—is to prevent premature removal of parts and to educate users on the construction and workings of these complex components. This is why we take the time to reach out to educate maintenance personnel and pilots who may not be familiar with the new technologies. Since these components are not always well understood, many questions can arise.
We’ve found three issues stand out as frequently asked questions by training session attendees. Interestingly, these are found to be the most commonly asked questions at each of session we hold – not just at HELI-EXPO.
1. Is there a product I can apply to the elastomeric bearing to prevent fluid attacks?
The elastomeric components already incorporate additives to prevent degradation from common fluids found on the aircraft. Therefore, nothing should be applied to the surface of these components. Instead, they should simply be kept clean with mild soap as part of regular maintenance.
2. Can a degraded bearing be identified with the use of a HUMS program?
Actually, no, a degraded bearing is not always evident with HUMS. Operators using HUMS have reported finding issues with elastomeric components upon visual inspection, while no noticeable vibration increase was detected.
3. What is LORD Corporation’s recommendation on the replacement of elastomeric components?
The helicopter OEM is responsible for publishing inspection limits. We work closely with OEMs to provide data in the maintenance publications that is available to operators.
Have a question? Contact us, we are here to answer your questions. For more information on our maintenance, repair and overhaul parts click here.