Lou Brodeur is talking about a new P-3 tank sealant. A German P-3 was the first this new process was used on. Performance Aircraft Service did the work. The new process uses a waterjet to remove multiple layers of old sealant.
It took five days to remove sealant from all five tanks in the wings. After the first removal, Performance Aircraft Service technicians go back in and catch the spots they missed. This process does not leave any moisture under any structure, nor any damage to the part (including not removing the part stamp).
The first P-3 aircraft is expected to be completed by next week -- stripped and resealed. The new seal is a polyurethane material. There are four layers to the seal, including a grout that is essentially a base for the other layers.
He note that the advantages to this process are: (1) Eliminates leaks (2) Corrosion is stopped, particularly under the sealant (3) Reduces man-hours compared to manual stripping (4) No additional damage to structure (5) Saves money now and (6) Reduces cost of future depot maintenance.
The new sealant is self-leveling and allows for easier inspection.
Questions from audience were next. The first concerned weight savings: The answer is that all the sealant from the first German aircraft was captured and weighed and the new sealant resulted in a significant weight savings. On a US Marine Corps C-130 tank reseal, the savings range from 400 to 700 pounds.
The new sealant has the same temperature range as the polysulfide sealant on both the low and high ends.