Fire Sleeves and Their Importance for Aircraft
While aircraft are traveling high up in the atmosphere, it is critical that they have systems and resources in place to combat any issue that would deter safety. One major hazard that an aircraft may potentially face is a fire, that of which can result from improper fuel combustion, system issues, or other various reasons. While exceedingly rare, aircraft fires are highly dangerous due to the difficulty of manually combating them, as well as how fires may affect the aircraft’s ability to remain airborne. On a typical aircraft, various forms of fire protection systems and elements will be present for safety, each having its own role and capabilities. One notable form of fire protection is the fire sleeve, that of which comes in the form of a hollow tube.
Manufactured with fire-resistant materials, fire tubes are used to guard assemblies such as wires, cables, and hoses from fire damage. Fire sleeves have been used for quite a long time now, first finding implementation in military aircraft during the 1970s before their use permeated the commercial and private aviation sectors. Fire sleeves may be procured in a number of variations, and they are regularly produced with a combination of material blends to alter their resistance capabilities. For example, most feature a heavy-duty material as the base for the component’s rigidity, while one or more materials will be used as surface coatings to enhance qualities. These surface treatment materials are often synthetic rubber or natural rubber due to their optimal fire resistance. Lastly, a fiberglass inner core may be added to the fire sleeve as well.
Despite being designed for ample wire protection, fire sleeves are still quite flexible. As such, they can be bent to a certain degree for an easier time routing wires, cables, or hoses around the interior of spaces. This flexibility also allows them to be installed and removed with ease, all without risking damage to components or assemblies. Wires, cables, and hoses easily become damaged when faced with extreme temperatures, their sleeves rapidly breaking down and burning from nearby flames. As this can quickly lead to the degradation and failure of conductors, fire sleeves with ample heat resistance are essential. Some of the strongest types of fire sleeve components are those classified as incombustible. Generally, these sleeves can withstand intense heat levels that source from a flame, lasting under temperatures as high as 500 degrees Celsius before breaking down.
Fire sleeves are also beneficial for protecting any line transporting jet fuel, preventing such wires from coming into contact with other components. Additionally, the sleeves prevent the chance of an oil fire if there was a leak in a fuel line. While fire protection is a major concern for wires and other assemblies, it is not the only source of damage they may face. As vibration, rubbing forces, and other stressors can deter their integrity, the fire sleeve further increases general protection.
Fire sleeves play a very simple, yet paramount, role in protecting critical parts of aircraft systems, thus pilots should always ensure that their aircraft has them installed and in good condition. If you find yourself in need of fire sleeve products, aircraft fire protection system parts, or other various aviation components, let ASAP Distribution be your strategic sourcing partner. On our website, we offer over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts for purchase, all of which trace back to top global manufacturers we trust. To request a quote on items for your comparisons, fill out and submit an RFQ form as provided on our website, and a dedicated account manager will reach out to you within 15 minutes or less to offer a customized solution based on your needs.