Adhesive Applications

Getting to Know Flashbreaker Tape for Aerospace Application

Getting to Know Flashbreaker Tape for Aerospace Applications

The Aerospace industry is one of the largest industries that requires the utmost level of precision and reliability. From designing to manufacturing, every step in the process needs to be seamless and accurate. An essential technology to aid in these needs is Flashbreaker tape. Flashbreaker tape is a versatile product that has become an integral component in the aerospace industry. Over the years, it has gained widespread popularity for its extensive use in manufacturing high-quality parts used in the industry. In this blog, we will examine what Flashbreaker tape is, what it is used for, and some of its most noteworthy benefits in the aerospace industry.

What is Flashbreaker Tape?

The term ‘flash’ is common in molding and coating applications and refers to the unwanted extra material around edges – mold leak, overspray, etc. Hence, the name ‘flash breaker’ refers to the ability of the tape to be over-coated, sprayed, or painted, then removed cleanly, taking the ‘flash’ with it presenting a sharp, clean edge – even after a high temperature curing (‘baking’) cycle.  Imagine a high temperature, super tough, ultra-high performance painters masking tape!

Flashbreaker tape is typically a high-strength polyester film that has a specially formulated silicone pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) on one side. The adhesive bonds well to a variety of surfaces, and removes cleanly, even after exposure to high heat, pressure, and a variety of chemicals. The end result is a material that has excellent mechanical properties and can withstand extreme temperatures and harsh conditions. The tape is also highly flexible, making it ideal for wrapping around complex shapes or irregular surfaces.

How Does Flashbreaker Tape work in Aerospace Applications?

The common use for flashbreaker tape (and where its name really comes from) is in composite molding. Resin pre-impregnated materials (‘pre-pregs’) such as glass and nomex fabrics are laid into a mold and exposed to pressure and/or vacuum to create the shape, and then cured (baked at high temperature) to turn the pre-preg into a tough, flexible, impact resistant part.  The tape is used to cover the edges of the mold, and/or seal a bagging system that is used to vacuum form the part.  After curing in an autoclave, the tape is removed, breaking and removing the flash around the edges to leave clean, flash free edges.  Flashbreaker tapes are commonly used in the molding of wing sections, propellers, and many other Aerospace components.  Interestingly this type of molding is also commonly used for other hi-tech composite applications such as the shells for Formula 1 cars, and high-end racing yachts.

How to Choose the Right Flashbreaker Tape for Your Application?

When selecting flashbreaker tape for your application, there are several factors to consider. These include temperature range, mold surfaces, mechanical properties, resin types, etc. A qualified and experienced supplier can help you select the right tape for your application and ensure that it meets industry standards and requirements.

Other Uses and Marketings for Flashbreaker Tape

Because of the high temperature, removable, silicone adhesive on these tapes, they also commonly find use in other high-performance applications and markets, such as:

  • Flame spray and other Aerospace coatings
  • Protecting and bundling of wires in Aerospace
  • Electronic masking
  • Splicing of silicone liners
  • And many more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, flashbreaker tape is an essential material for the aerospace industry, providing precision, high performance manufacturing of critical components. Its unique combination of high performance silicone adhesive with appropriate film carrier makes it ideal for use in vacuum molding and many other flashing and masking applications. A qualified supplier can help guide you through the selection process and ensure you get the right tape for your application.