Traditionally pressure washers have been used in the cleaning of planes, but a new and emerging opportunity is to clean planes with laser technology. We explore this topic in our latest question and answer guide.
What is aviation traffic film?
Just like cars, planes get dirty. Everybody knows this, but what is in this dirt (also known as film)? There are a range of undesirables, which can attach to the exterior of a plane, these include airborne dirt and sand, bird excrement, unburnt fuel, soot, chemicals in rain, oil residue, smoke from industry, volcano residue and much more!
How often are plane exteriors deep cleaned?
According to information released by British Airways, planes require a deep clean of the exterior every 6-8 weeks. Areas such as the engine and exhaust are particularly vulnerable to accumulations of film. Planes should be cleaned on a regular basis for many reasons, regular cleaning will reduce rust and corrosion, improves the aerodynamics of the plane and can increase certain areas of safety as well as provide aesthetically pleasing benefits.
How does a fiber laser remove traffic film?
The process of removing traffic is through an ablation process. An area of the plane is focused upon by the beam of the laser. Layer by layer the contaminant film is systematically removed. The laser operator has absolute precision and control over what they remove, this ensures they do not cause any damage to the underlying substrate material.
Traditionally high-pressure water has been used to clean planes, but these can struggle to gain access to the “hard to reach places”.