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Thread: Need a Reference - Punch/Probing steel tubes

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    Grant's Avatar
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    Need a Reference - Punch/Probing steel tubes

    Can anyone direct me to a reference associated with the common practice of probing steel tubes for corrosion using an awe or punch? We have a need for a reference.

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    The only thing I’ve come up with so far is an AOPA article that specifically says to use an ice pick. Not a good source, but at least it is one.

    In AC43.13-1b in the corrosion chapter, it states to identify the extent of corrosion, but only identify visual with magnification, eddy current, ultrasonic, and X ray.

    Good question. Curious why you need a reference.


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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Didn't Piper issue the SB 528D that spec'd the use of a Maule fabric tester on lift struts?

    Edit: https://www.faasafety.gov/spans/noti...aspx?nid=11606

    Gary
    Last edited by BC12D-4-85; 07-28-2021 at 01:14 PM.

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    Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    Didn't Piper issue the SB 528D that spec'd the use of a Maule fabric tester on lift struts?

    Edit: https://www.faasafety.gov/spans/noti...aspx?nid=11606

    Gary

    They did, but our issue is actually on an aztec, and corrosion of one of the steel tubes of the structure. I know its standard practice but I could not find any specific guidance on the practice. There was one Mooney SB but thats all I could find.

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    Again, why do you need a reference?


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    Hey. As an A&P for a commercial 121/135 air carrier, the FAA requires us to sign EVERYTHING off for return to service using a reference, even if it’s a small, seemingly insignificant common sense item like tightening a screw or changing a light bulb. It’s gotten, in many ways, outrageously ridiculous. No longer is a general reference to 43.13 acceptable, nor is a “description of work performed” good enough. Manufacturers manuals references make the feds the happiest and adjustments are made from there.
    If there is any connection to any type of air carrier or commercial aviation, I can see why Grant is seeking a reference for his testing data. Even beyond that, these days the CYA factor helps a guy sleep at night and keeps the attorneys looking for something else to do where airplanes are not involved.

    As far as the punch test goes, I’ve never been a fan. Maule tester maybe, obviously it is deemed OK on wing struts and seems to work in that context.
    Beyond that, I’ve punched tubing with a most definitely UNcalibrated force (hammer) and punch and have seen tubing thick enough to resist the punch hits but for other reasons that tube was replaced anyway and revealed through the punch test, though it “passed”, it was clearly rotten or mostly so and was glad it was ultimately earmarked for replacement.

    My small contribution, fwiw.
    Cheers,Oz
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    Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    Again, why do you need a reference?


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    Agree- never been a fan of the punch/pick test. Great for determining the extent of rot on a known corroded tube, or before/after blasting but before recoating, but I just don’t like doing it on a covered/painted structure. It’s simply creating a spot for corrosion to start, unless you go after the pick and paint each prick mark...

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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Drill two holes. Suck through one. If you get corrosion products look further. Close holes.

    Gary

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