1688. Adhesively Sealed Fuel Tanks, R& D to Production


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F W Auld: 1688. Adhesively Sealed Fuel Tanks, R& D to Production. 1986.



General Dynamics Fort Worth Division (GD/FW) is engaged in the production manufacturing implementation of a major process change which will reduce the dry weight of aircraft integral fuel tank structures and at the same time improve their fuel sealing reliability. This change is being accomplished on the F-16 multi-national fighter production program. After the manufacture of almost 1600 aircraft using a conventional integral fuel tank sealing system, F-16 fuel tanks have been converted from polysulfide sealing system to a thermo-setting nitrile phenolic adhesive sealing system. This change was an outgrowth of an Air Force Wright Aeronautical Laboratories (AFWAL) funded program conducted by GD/FW. That program was the subject of a presentation at the 43rd International SAWE Conference in Atlanta, GA, in May 1984. This presentation will address the following topics associated with the production manufacturing change: 1) A brief review of the goals and results of the AFWAL program. 2) A discussion of concerns and activities which transpired during the period between completion of the AFWAL program and the authorization to proceed with a production change. 3) A discussion of areas of interest which have been encountered during production implementation of the change. The fact that this manufacturing process change has occurred well into the F-16 production program has introduced a number of unique concerns and considerations. Also, five foreign nation F-16 co-producers, in addition to the GD/FW operations, are involved in the manufacture of these adhesively sealed fuel tank assemblies. The advantages offered by this sealing system – weight reduction and improved fuel tank sealing – plus successful implementation of this change at mid-production break-in point on the F-16 program are expected to result in the consideration of this sealing system for future GD/FW programs.


SKU: Paper1688 Category: