Q. How important is it to use approved chemicals to clean aircraft?
A. Approved chemicals have been tested by an accredited laboratory on various aircraft substrates to ensure that no damage or corrosion is caused on an aircraft. Typical car care products contain chemicals like ammonia and sodium hydroxide to boost the cleaning power of the product. These chemicals do no harm to cars etc, however they are both very corrosive to aluminium. Corrosion on aircraft can cause an aircraft to crash resulting in possible fatalities.
Q. Your website says that Bacoban for Aerospace lasts for us to 10 days on surfaces. Why is this important?
A. If you use a standard disinfectant to disinfect a surface, any traces of viruses and bacteria will be destroyed. The problem is that after 10 minutes, someone with a virus can contaminate the surface, the next person to come along and touch this surface will run the risk of becoming contaminated. If Bacoban for Aerospace was used to clean and disinfect this surface initially, the initial contamination would not occur as the residual effect of the Bacoban for Aerospace will destroy the virus or bacteria therefore preventing the spread. Although Bacoban for Aerospace will protect surfaces for up to 10 days, we recommend regular cleaning and re-application as the product can be removed.
Q. What is the difference between Bacoban DL and Bacoban WB?
A. Bacoban WB is used as an economical product to mix (supplied as a concentrate) and use to disinfect surfaces. The problem with this version is that it HAS to be used the same day, it CANNOT be kept overnight to be used the next day. It does not remain stable for longer periods. Bacoban WB is not used inside aircraft as some staining and discolouration has been known to have occured on sensitive surfaces. Bacoban DL on the other hand is supplied ready to use, it has a 2 year shelf life when mixed, it does not discolour or stain sensitive surfaces. Bacoban DL is the ONLY type of Bacoban that should be used inside an aircraft. Other suppliers (who do not have aviation knowledge) will suggest Bacoban WB, if you choose to use this version, it is at your risk.
Q. Is there a specific procedure to follow when polishing aluminium?
A. No, there is no specific procedure to follow as such. The reason is that there will be different degrees of oxidation present on the aluminium. The level of oxidation on the leading edges, intakes or even if polishing Airstream Caravans will be different all the time. The degree of oxidation will dictate which product (Nuvite NuShine) to begin with. Coursed grit particles will remove deeper more extensive corrosion on the aluminium. The finer grades will reduce the swirl marks which will eventually result in the mirror finish. We have a large collection of instructional videos, downloadable guides on our website to assist you with your polishing process.
Q. On your website you have two types of aircraft cleaner listed. A cleaner / degreaser and a cleaner / polish. Whats the difference?
A. A cleaner / degreaser will clean and degrease the aircraft fuselage removing insects, oil, skydrol, pollutants, dust etc etc as you would expect from any cleaning compound. The Cleaner /polish will do the same cleaning, however it will leave behind either a wax or a polymer protective layer on the painted surface. This layer offers a number of benefits, the layer is sacrificial and will reduce damage by harmful rays from the sun which will fade paint, the surface will take longer to become dirty again and most importantly, the surface of the paint will become smoother which reduced drag and improves the fuel efficiency of the aircraft.
Q. What are the things that we should avoid when cleaning an aircraft?
A. Quite simply, non-approved cleaning products. Different chemicals have different approvals depending on which part of the aircraft is being cleaned, ensure you use the correct chemical for the application. Additionally to this, do not clean pitot tubes, static wicks, angle of attack sensors etc. These should be kept clean by the engineers. Many years ago there was an incident where aircraft cleaners masked the holes of one of the sensors, after cleaning the tape was not removed. The instruments ended up displaying incorrect information to the pilots which resulted in the aircraft crashing. Another area be aware of are the aircraft brakes. Never spray anything into them, if hot they can crack, if cold the chemical can remain there and freeze during flight. When landing tires can be blown again resulting in an accident.
Q. What is the importance of cleaning the aircraft internally and externally?
A. As the aircraft cabin is relatively small and cramped, viruses and bacteria will be carried on board by passengers all the time. Food and drink is consumed at the seat, multiple people use a number of limited rest room facilities. All these factors are not ideal for passengers health, it is the duty of care of airlines to ensure that passengers well being is a priority. It is important to maintain a clean exterior of the aircraft to ensure that maintenance can be carried out effectively, dirt and contaminants can cause damage to the aircraft, clean aerodynamic fuselage surfaces have shown that fuel savings can be made, and importantly it is the airline image, a clean shiny aircraft will appear to be safer than a dirty grubby aircraft.
Q. What is aircraft dry wash?
A. Technically, a ‘Dry Wash’ is where the cleaning chemical is applied by various means, the surface is agitated and then the chemical with the dirt is manually removed with a cloth. Nothing lands onto the airport apron or goes into the storm water drain causing pollution. A ‘Wet Wash’ is similar, except that the chemicals and dirt are washed off the fuselage with a hose pipe of high pressure wash onto the airport apron. They then run off into storm water drains causing pollution. With the current environmental issues, Dry Washing will save many thousands of litres of water per aircraft. This runs into thousants of tons of water wasted per year! Traditional wet wash can consume 8000 litres of water per aircraft. With a Dry Wash, this is reduced to only a few litres.
Q. How often should you clean an aircraft?
A. This will depend on the hours flown by the aircraft. Regular cleaning will always be a benefit, keeping the aircraft looking new will help with maintenance, fuel efficiency and longer term resale value.
Q. Can I use Windex on my Aircraft’s windows?
A. No. Windex contains ammonia which is corrosive to aluminium which is the main metal used to manufacture aircraft. Only approved products must be used. Aircraft cockpit windows have a special coating called ‘Rain-ex’ which is a hydrophobic coating repelling water during flight through rain as due to the airspeed, wipers if present, cannot be used.
Q. How long is the Bacoban cleaner effective for on surfaces?
A. Bacoban remains active for 10 days on a hard surface provided it is not physically removed. It is effective on fabrics for a year, again provided that it is not removed. Bacoban is tested to an internationally accepted standard test method ASTM E 2180.
Q. Does Bacoban offer protection against Covid?
A. Yes, Bacoban has been tested and is effective against all encapsulated virus types, additionally, the active ingredient which is a Quaternary ammonium compound benzyl-C12-16-alkyldimethyl is listed by the WHO and EASA as effective against Covid and numerous other viruses (including EBOLA, H5N1, H1N1, Rotaviruses and many more)
Q. What is Bacoban disinfectant?
A. Bacoban is a patented disinfectant against viruses and bacteria, it remains active on hard surfaces for 10 days or more provided it is not removed. Bacoban is extensively approved and used across the aviation industry.
Q. Where is Bacoban for Aerospace manufactured or who makes Bacoban?
A. Frasers Aerospace manufacture Bacoban for Aerospace in the United Kingdom. The primary ingrediant for Bacoban is manufactured in Germany by Ropimex.
Q. How do you use Bacoban?
A. Heavily soiled areas or surfaces must be pre-cleaned with a suitable degreaser of cleaner. Ensure that the surface is fairly dry after cleaning. Bacoban can then simply be sprayed onto the surface and wiped with a clean cloth or microfiber. Do not wipe totally dry.
Q. How do you fog with Bacoban?
A. Select a suitable fogging / nebulising machine. Different machines will be used in different ways. There is one point however which is important, the optimum droplet size which must be between 20 and 30 microns. The finer
the droplets, the better the coverage is. Personal protective equipment (PPE), follow the instructions on product labels. Ask your safety-clothing supplier to help you get the right PPE. Respiratory protective equipment
(RPE) is needed. Make sure respirators have an Assigned Protection Factor (APF) of 10 or more, and are CE marked. Seek advice from your RPE supplier. Replace RPE filters as recommended by the supplier. Throw away disposable RPE after one use. Make sure you know how to check that RPE fits correctly. Keep RPE on until you have left the work area. Wear protective gloves – single-use nitrile gloves are acceptable. If you must use latex
gloves, use only ‘low-protein, powder-free’ gloves. Throw away single-use gloves every time you take them off. Use protective goggles to protect eyes. Wear a hooded coverall – cotton or porous polypropylene is probably the best material. Skin creams are important for skin protection and help in washing contamination from the skin. These are not ‘barrier creams’. After work creams help to replace skin oils.