What Is The Manufacturing Method of Abrasion Strips?

Welcome to ASAP Aviation Procurement, your solution for aviation and aerospace parts in need of immediate purchase. Commonly applied to rotary aircraft, abrasion strips are necessary for the overall health of a helicopter and its rotor blades. In this blog, to better understand the purpose and function of abrasion strips, we will dive into how they are applied, and discuss visual identifiers you should look out for during routine maintenance inspections which may signify the need for replacement or repairs.  

Commonly applied to the trailing edges of rotor blades, abrasion strips often contain three overlapping abrasion pieces constructed from two inner roll-formed stainless steel layers, in addition to an outer layer which can be sealed by electroformation. Implemented during rotor blade assembly, abrasion strips serve to protect underlying composite materials from impact and erosion damage brought on by shifting weather phenomena. Once installed, abrasion strips are not meant to be removed. As such, they are designed to be used as long as no underlying rotor damage or strip debonding occurs.

Non-structural components, abrasion strips are manufactured to last anywhere from 1,000 to 2,500 flight hours, and can vary in their overall condition based on the model of aircraft being flown. Because helicopters play a vital role in various industries, it is crucial that rotor blades be well protected on the outer surface to mitigate the inevitable intervention of erosion on their leading edges. Erosion, caused by the fast flow of air and particles over a surface, can cause damage that may vary depending on the environment. In the case of operating rotary aircraft in a desert or other similar climates, sandier environments cause erosion faster and can exacerbate cracking along the leading edges of abrasion strips lining the rotary blades. However, blades and their abrasion strips can be damaged from power lines, striking trees, hangar doors, hard landings, sudden stops, and bullet strikes, all of which will determine how they must be restored.    

Requiring different repair approaches depending on how individual abrasion strip damage formed, the processes for repairing abrasions strips can include: a paint refinish or polish and contour of leading edges for erosion, leading edge abrasion strip repair or replacement for strike damage, blade twist and contour measurement with inspection of the blade’s bushings for oblong deformations after hard landings, and a skin patch and core replacement for bullet strikes. If cracks in any abrasion strips require maintenance, a tap inspection will need to be performed upon discovery. However, in lieu of replacing an entire rotor blade, if no cracks or other composite damages are found, repairs can easily be done by covering existing abrasive strips with polyurethane tape. While debonding and rotor composite damages are not uncommon, it is likely that blades with such features indicate impact damage culminated from a wide range of factors. 

When you require additional abrasion strips, receive the parts you need fast when you source from ASAP Aviation Procurement. Working around the clock to remedy unique time constraints, we supply our customers with a myriad of aircraft components such as abrasion strips, rotor blades, wing tips, Bell Helicopter components, and more. Operating with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certification and accreditation, we are the only independent distributor with a NO CHINA sourcing pledge, ensuring our customers can shop with confidence. If you would like to request a quote for your comparisons, you can submit an RFQ form as provided on our website. Upon receipt, a dedicated account manager will quickly review and respond with a personalized solution to your needs in just 15 minutes or less, 24/7x365.   


October 12, 2022