A standard procedure as a part of routine aircraft maintenance, compressor washes are essential for their role in prolonging an engine’s life cycle as they are performed to ensure peak part efficiency is always achieved. To guarantee the removal of built-up contaminants along the compressor section of an engine which can lead to impacted performance and equipment failure, personnel should always perform compressor washes with part-specific Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) chemical solutions.
Often performed on a mandated wash schedule established by an operator, the frequency of washes can vary depending on the conditions and phenomena an aircraft is regularly exposed to. For example, location-specific flight routes like those over the trans-Atlantic are prone to ancillary impacts such as inorganic deposits and salt buildups; therefore, they require additional upkeep and frequent chemical washes to ensure airworthiness. Whether performed daily, monthly, or every 6 months, the number of washes an engine should receive ultimately depends on the region an aircraft is primarily exposed to and the amount of salt present in the atmosphere.
Although OEMs influence compressor wash procedures, typical protocol involves a chemical wash, followed by a water rinse, and a subsequent engine test-run. After the appropriate components have been procured for a routine wash, one begins by first injecting the approved chemical into the engine while the compressor is in motion. From here, the ingested chemicals will interact with contaminants, working to break apart molecular bonds forming unwanted particles inside the apparatus. Once adequate time has been given for the chemicals to take effect, fresh water is then pumped through the system to flush out loosened debris. Despite following up this step with an engine test-run to test part function, it also serves to further dislodge contaminants and dry the engine.
If operators and maintenance personnel forego standard compressor washes recommended by an OEM, loss of thermal efficiency among aircraft engines in operation will be inevitable. As gas turbines are used for their capability in promoting thermal efficiency to minimize fuel consumption, compressor contamination and accumulation diminishes their potential due to affecting the engine’s air intake, inlet temperature, and compression ratio.
While beneficial for aircraft, using improper chemical solutions during a wash can lead to airframe or engine deterioration over time, proving to be more detrimental than effective. To make sure you choose the proper product each and every time, avoid unapproved engine wash solutions to mitigate the chances of engine corrosion, acrylic crazing, and hydrogen embrittlement. However, if you require further assistance regarding which wash products are best for your operations, our market assistants are here to assist you via phone or email, 24/7x365.
When you are in the market for specific compressor wash components and applicable chemicals, alongside other aircraft spare parts, ASAP 360 Unlimited is here to provide you with all that you need. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, our online database is home to over 2 billion aerospace, defense, electronic, and industrial items. Harboring in-demand new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts, we invite you to browse our catalogs at your leisure, and to begin the procurement process on any part(s) of interest, simply submit an Instant RFQ form provided through our Instant Quote service.
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