Worst of the Elements
Sand and Particulates
Sand and Particulates

A wide variety of airborne particulates – dust, sand, and other pollutants – cause damage through both accumulation and the process of abrasion. Sand and other particulates have an impact on virtually every piece of equipment that relies on moving parts, fuel, water or oil filtration, or having ventilation ports.

Sand, aided by wind, finds its way into every crevice of equipment. Damage results in excessive component erosion and wear due to abrasion and intrusion, including windscreen scratching which reduces visibility, and damage to sensitive hydraulics systems. It’s also destructive at grease points because the sand causes the lubricant to become gritty and abrasive.

Particulate sizes chart

Sand intrusion is particularly detrimental to gas turbine engines found on military tanks and helicopters. Solving these problems leads to a much greater maintenance burden. In fact, engines can require complete overhaul after only 50 hours and some ground equipment requires continuous cleaning and servicing of complex filter systems.

Safety concerns compound the issue, as well. As the components erode, the engine consumes more fuel and runs hotter, increasing the risk of in-flight failure. Engine shutdown often occurs when sand clogs engine auxiliary power units, causing the control valve and starter valves to be stuck open.

Damage results in excessive component erosion and wear due to abrasion and intrusion...