Project Description

QwikSeal®

Pre-sealed aerospace fasteners for use with manual and automated fastening systems

Most fasteners used in the manufacture and repair of aircraft structures are “wet installed” with a qualified aerospace sealant applied prior to fastener insertion to seal moisture out of fuel areas and provide critical corrosion protection. In the conventional wet installation process, a technician must carefully mix a two-part sealant or thaw a batch of pre-mixed frozen sealant. Both forms of sealant have a limited work life before the unused material must be discarded, necessitating sealant mixing and hand application to each fastener or hole individually at the point of installation. Unfortunately, manual wet installation brings into play a number of operator-induced variables as both the volume of sealant applied and area covered are dependent on individual technique. This issue affects the assembly of all sizes of aircraft from small military helicopters to the largest wide body passenger jets such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747.

QwikSeal is a pre-sealed fastener developed by SMRC along with a leading aerospace sealant manufacturer. QwikSeal fasteners are pre-coated with a one-part moisture curable sealant and subsequently encapsulated with a moisture barrier.  The sealant and moisture barrier are applied to the fasteners in a metered volume using an automated application machine in order to achieve a high throughput rate. Upon installation, the barrier coat ruptures and is extruded around the head of the fastener and ambient moisture initiates sealant cure.

  • Use of QwikSeal fasteners significantly reduces labor hours and sealant waste while consistently delivering a high-quality seal.

  • QwikSeal fasteners can be handled immediately after processing without affecting the wet sealant.

  • QwikSeal fasteners are compatible with most currently used pneumatic installation methods (both manual and automated).

  • SMRC is currently working with several aircraft OEMs to transition QwikSeal technology to the manufacturing floor.

  • Expected qualification to an SAE AMS standard by Q1 2015.

SMRC Point of Contact:

Malcolm D. Prouty, PhD
President
(512) 535-7791 x101

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