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How Baffle Seals Helps in Cooling OFF Aircraft?

Keeping the engine in any aircraft cool is a critical part of maintaining performance and safety. For piston-powered aircraft, this means using a system of baffles and baffle seals to regulate airflow through the engine compartment.

In early aviation history, where aircraft were powered by uncovered radial engines, cooling was provided by having the engine’s cylinders exposed to slipstream as the plane flew. This method, known as “velocity cooling,” was good enough for low-powered radial engines. However, velocity cooling is insufficient for higher-powered and horizontally opposed engines, which are long enough that the rear cylinders get far less air than the ones closer to the front. Aeronautical engineers soon developed a new process for cooling, called pressure cooling.

The process begins at the nose of the airplane where air flows in through openings in the nose bowl (this is because engines in modern aircraft are tightly cowled to protect against the elements). Once inside, a system of rigid aluminum baffles and flexible baffle seals made from rubber work together to create a chamber of high pressure above the engine’s cylinders and a chamber of low pressure below the cylinders and behind the engines. Heat naturally rises up from the engines into the high-pressure chamber even as the baffle seals direct air from the high-pressure area to the low-pressure area. This creates an airflow that travels from top to bottom and ultimately back out the airplane through openings in the cowl.

An important component of maintaining a healthy engine temperature is making sure the baffle seals are up to date and functioning properly. Baffle seals become loose and brittle with age and eventually, can’t keep air from leaking past the seal. A warning sign for weak baffle seals is abnormally high cylinder-head temperature or oil temperature. A simple visual inspection by lifting up the engine cowl should reveal any flaws or defects in a baffle seal. Older examples tend to be thin and black, while newer seals made of rubber silicone are typically reddish orange.

At AFR Enterprises, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the baffles and baffle seals for the civil and defense aerospace and aviation industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at purchase@afrenterprises.com or call us at 1-714-705-4780.


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