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Articles - Aviation

Paint OEM Warranty Concerns if you use Permagard?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Sometimes we hear about paint manufacturers advising our clients to only use their aftermarket products or the paint warranty will be invalid. In reality we have found this a sales tactic that has little or no bearing on the actual purchase decision.

Some considerations:

  • After the initial paint application, acceptance and certification, what is likely to go wrong with the paint? Maybe paint fade and oxidisation; maybe peeling off. The questions generally asked by paint OEMs at this point to understand if they are really accountable for the product failure are:
  • Who painted the aircraft? Did they follow the correct process, was the substrate prepared correctly, was the paint mixing correct, what equipment was used and where was the paint stored?
  • What do you use to wash your aircraft with and how often do you wash? What wash process do you use and with what equipment? What chemicals are used to clean for inspection during maintenance? Where do you fly and park your aircraft?
  • The core business of non-paint manufacturing companies is to provide aftermarket paint protection products that actually extend and enhance the paint, not to sell more product.
  • If a correctly applied and approved polymer product enhances the paint, why would a Paint OEM not want it to be applied? It is a free hit on enhancing their product endurance and quality. Saying no just diminishes the products reputation and does not make sense, unless the true motivation is increased sales.
  • How long has the paint been available and has it always needed a specific polish or coating before? If it didn’t, then what has the Paint OEM done to change the paint and make it less durable?
  • If the paint has changed to be less durable, are the paint protection products offered by the Paint OEM the latest technology, totally new and different to what has been used previously? What properties now cause it to be incompatible with polymer, which has been successfully used for well over 20 years.
  • What does the warranty actually cover, for how long and what will void the warranty? Ask for it in writing to ensure the claims are company endorsed.
  • How many times have the Paint OEMs been asked by their customers to honour an inservice warranty claim and how often did they accept responsibility?
  • Can the Paint OEM provide names of the customers who they have had their warranty invalidated due to the use of non OEM after sales products, including washing fluids?
  • In Australia, and with most other economically advanced countries, statutory warranties protect the buyer for around 12 months depending on the product. This generally will cover ensuring you get what you paid for, it is as advertised and it is fit for purpose. No matter what is written in the T’s and Cs, companies cannot contract out these obligations in Australia.
  • Another consideration is if you purchased the paint or was it procured via your third-party painting company? Rights and warranties are often not transferable and any claim you may have will generally need to go via this third party.

What Products Are Commonly Offered by Paint OEMs?

In some cases the products offered by Paint OEMs actually degrade your paint by removing the top layers forcing an earlier than scheduled repaint. Look at the product labels and Safety Data Sheets very closely and ask questions about what is in the product to help you decide. Here is some information that may help you in that assessment:

  • Silicon based products, such as diatomaceous earth and amorphous silica, are commonly found in polishing and paint protection products and work by removing the top layer of paint.
  • Silicon in most cases is UV absorbing, so oxidising is imminent. You can tell if it is a silicon based product as the application instructions will advise to not allow the aircraft to get wet for 24-48 hours after application.
  • Wax is one of the most temporary products you can add to any vehicle, let alone aircraft. UV absorbing wax may make the water bead off, but it will oxidise and go white if it lasts long enough on the paint.

Why use Polymer?

Reactive Polymer has saline linkers the same as paint, so it adheres to the substrate or original paint with the same technology paint OEMs use. The main difference is we add a UV resistant/reflective polymer linker to the saline linkers whereas paint manufacturers apply a pigment linker. Quite simple really.

Why use Permagard?

This technology is not new and Permagard has been providing an extremely effective reactive polymer product for over 20 years. It has been used on all types of paint, including aircraft with no warranty claim or issue. It has Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, Dassault, Gulfstream and Cessna Textron approvals and manufactured to ISO standards.

The Permagard reactive polymer formula has been relatively unchanged for over 20 years.While we do R&D to keep a competitive edge, the formula works

Permagard Aviation has a Microbiologist, Biochemist and an Industrial Chemist on staff to support your questions and provide further information to you.

Our company Director summed this up the best in saying “the likelihood of an operator actually being successful in claiming warranty after the statutory warranty period (12 months) is so low, we will honour the remaining paint warrant if Permagard is applied; that’s how much we believe in our product”

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The Germiest Surfaces in Air Travel

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Most flyers know the air travel experience can get downright dirty, literally. Just think about it - every day, millions of passengers from every far-flung region of the globe packed into flying cans not much longer than an Olympic pool and passing through airports brimming with even more people. It’s enough to make you reach for the surgical mask and a sizeable squirt of hand sanitizer (which we hope you’re carrying with you).

But throughout the air travel experience, where are the germiest places?

US-based InsuranceQuotes carried out 18 tests across six surfaces in three major American airports and flights to uncover exactly that.

Measuring the average number of viable bacteria and fungal cells per square inch, and using colony-forming units (CFU) as its barometer, the study found self check-in kiosks to be the dirtiest part of a normal air travel experience, with the standard check-in screen containing 253,857 CFU. Now there's a reason to opt for a traditional check in.

Germinators: the world’s cleanest airlines revealed

The next germiest point during air travel is where you’d expect to find it – in the aircraft bathroom, on the flush button to be precise. Nobody enjoys using a plane lavatory, but with an average 95,145 CFU, you might think twice about placing your fingers directly onto that scary flush button next time.

Airport gate seat armrests (that’s right, where you might lay your head during long layovers), though much further down the scum scale, were found to be the next germiest surfaces, with a score of 21630 CFU, while bubbler buttons were also deemed dirty at 19,181 CFU.

Often reported as one of the germiest points on an aircraft, the tray table came in with a score of 11,595 CFU, while seat belt buckles were the least germy surface with 1,116 CFU.

To put all of this into perspective, regular household kitchen countertops have 361 CFU, while home toilet seats have 172 CFU.

Original article:

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Dirtiest places on airplanes

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

When it comes to flying, nothing about a close proximity to strangers and bathrooms for hours on end feels particularly clean. And while you may not be able to make the flight shorter or the seats bigger, you can make your experience more sanitary by avoiding some of the dirtiest places on airplanes.

It’s worth noting that some people may be more susceptible to getting sick on planes because the cabin air humidity is under 20%, whereas home humidity is generally over 30%, according to the World Health Organization. The dry air exposure affects mucus, the immune system’s front line of defense, leaving people marginally more vulnerable to getting sick. A 2004 study in the Journal of Environmental Health Research found that people are far more likely — 113 times more, by one of the study’s measures — to catch the common cold during a flight than normal ground transmission.

Humidity aside, there are a handful of especially dirty spots, according to research and advisories from travel physicians. Here’s how to avoid them.

Airplane tray tables

The potentially grimiest place on an airplane unfolds right into your lap.

Alarmingly, a 2015 study by TravelMath that tested samples from hard surfaces in planes found that tray table surfaces had more than eight times the amount of bacteria per square inch than the lavatory flush buttons. The trays had 2,155 colony forming units of bacteria per square inch—compared to the 127 cfu/sq. in., which is what the National Science Foundation says is standard for a toilet seat at home.

Dr. Charles Gerba, microbiologist at the University of Arizona, tells TIME that the trays he’s tested through research have had cold viruses, human parainfluenza viruses, norovirus (which can cause diarrhea and vomiting) and the superbug MRSA, which causes skin infections.

The high amount of bacteria is likely linked to plane cleaning crews not having enough time between flights to wipe down the tray tables, the Wall Street Journal reports. And when they do get clean, those airlines may be using general cleaners instead of disinfectants.

In the meantime, to avoid eating dinner off a tray that someone piled used tissues or changed a baby’s diaper on just hours earlier, wipe it down with a sanitizing wipe, Dr. Michael Zimring, director of travel medicine at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center, tells TIME. But if you don’t feel like even touching the table (Gerba does, but Zimring says he doesn’t bother), avoid eating food directly off the surface.

“My food will stay on a paper plate or wrapper,” adds Zimring.

Air vents and seatbelt buckles

Two plane features with frequent usage (that may not receive a regular cleaning) also make the list.

The air vents above each seat are great for circulating ventilated air to each passenger, but the TravelMath testing found 285 CFU/sq. in. on their dials — more bacteria than on the plane toilet flush buttons.

The seatbelt buckles similarly had 230 FCU/sq. in., which isn’t surprising since every passenger touches their buckle at least two times during the flight.

Gerba recommends bringing a small bottle of hand sanitizer on the plane and using it periodically.


Airplane bathrooms are cleaned regularly—United, Delta and American Airlines told the Journal that they get disinfected overnight and between long flights.

But Gerba points out that with roughly 50 people to a bathroom, they’re still an easy way to pick up an infection. He found the fecal coliform E. coli on some of the sinks, flush handles and toilet seats he tested. TravelMath found that the flush buttons had 265 CFU/sq. in. (but no fecal coliform bacteria).

“It’s hard to beat the restroom,” in terms of germiness, Gerba says, “because the water shuts off so people can’t complete hand washing.” The sinks are so small, he adds, that people with large hands can’t even fit them fully underneath the faucets.

Zimring recommends using a paper towel on the door latch on the way out, and says that’s the one precaution he never fails to take.

Seatback pocket

Passengers have been known to treat the pocket on the seat in front of them as a wastebasket, stuffing trash, dirty tissues, used diapers and more into the pouch.

On planes with quick turnarounds on the ground, cleaning crews may not even get a chance to empty out the seat pockets, let alone disinfect the cloth. And one Auburn University in Alabama study found that MRSA germs survive for up to 7 days on seat pocket cloth — the longest it survives on any of the hard and soft surfaces the researchers tested.

Drexel University Medicine only recommends one way to avoid germs in the seatback pocket: “Just don’t use them. It’s simply not worth the risk.”

Aisle seats

Choosing the aisle seat lets you get up whenever you feel like it, but that freedom comes with a little more risk.

The tops of aisle seats are likely harboring germs from every person who walks by them and holds on for support, according to Zimring — and many of those people have just come from the bathroom. So be aware of touching the area next to the aisle headrest, and it’s probably best to not rest your face there as you fall asleep.

Sitting near the aisle puts passengers in the line of fire of any communicable viruses that could break out on the plane.

One study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases analyzed a flight from Boston to L.A. that made an emergency landing due to an outbreak of vomiting and diarrhea. The researchers found that that people sitting in the aisle were far more likely to contract norovirus, but there was no link between contracting it and using the bathroom.

“If you sit by the window seat you have less chance of getting sick,” Gerba confirms.

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