Accession Number : ADA308279

Title :   Fungal Contamination of H-53 Aircraft.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : NAVAL RESEARCH LAB STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS MICROBIOLOGICALLY INFLUENCED CORR OSION SECTION

Personal Author(s) : Lavoie, Dennis M. ; Little, Brenda J.

PDF Url : ADA308279

Report Date : 15 MAR 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 32

Abstract : Fungal contamination of aircraft interior surfaces has the potential to influence corrosion of airframes, cause acute or chronic health problems in crews, and causes excessive maintenance efforts. Nine genera of microfungi were isolated from H-53 aircraft in various stages of the depot maintenance cycle at Naval Aviation Depot, Cherry Point, NC, in October 1995. The results of this study support previous studies that demonstrated a potential for corrosion of unprotected structural aluminum due to fungal and bacterial growth. The most immediate concern, however, appears to be cleaning maintenance procedures because of the waste of manpower and the potential for corrosion damage from unauthorized procedures, particularly the use of bleach to eliminate 'mildew' stains left behind after physical removal of fungal growth. It is not known if mildew staining is a problem specific to the older, lacquer paint or if it occurs on the newer, polyester urethane (polyurethane 36321) paints as well. At least one of the fungi isolated from H-53 interior surfaces is known to discolor paint. No physical degradation of polyurethane and lacquer coatings was observed in this short term study, and standard cleaning procedures with alcohol appeared to remove surface fungi effectively. Recommendations for immediate actions are: (1) continue current procedures to disinfect and clean painted surfaces with possible minor changes, (2) repaint interiors of aircraft undergoing depot maintenance with gloss polyurethane to make cleaning easier, (3) identify additives/inhibitors already proven to be effective by the paint industry for immediate use in problem areas such as bilges and other areas difficult to reach during normal maintenance, and (4) conduct research to further evaluate specific inhibitors of staining fungi.

Descriptors :   *CORROSION, *FUNGI, *CONTAMINATION, *ROTARY WING AIRCRAFT, *MICROBIOLOGY, *MICROORGANISMS, MAINTENANCE, NAVAL AVIATION, REMOVAL, INDUSTRIES, AIRCRAFT, DAMAGE, DEGRADATION, PHYSICAL PROPERTIES, STRUCTURAL PROPERTIES, BACTERIA, HEALTH, CYCLES, SURFACES, COATINGS, MANPOWER, SUPPLY DEPOTS, INTERNAL, ALUMINUM, PLANT GROWTH, AIRFRAMES, PROTECTION, ADDITIVES, PAINTS, WASTES, CLEANING, INHIBITORS, POLYURETHANE RESINS, POLYESTER PLASTICS, RETARDATION, GROWTH(PHYSIOLOGY), URETHANES, BIODETERIORATION, BIOCIDES, DISCOLORATION, LACQUERS, BILGES.

Subject Categories : Microbiology
      Helicopters
      Properties of Metals and Alloys

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE