Pili Resin-Based Aircraft Sealant Wins Dyson Natl Award

Pili nut is common in the Philippines, especially in the Bicol region. It is a favorite crispy snack, or as an ingredient in dishes. It is also currently used in cosmetics.

Another part of the pili tree will soon become popular thanks to the innovative research of a former student of aeronautical engineering.

The pili resin was used in research for an aircraft sealant by Mark Kennedy Bantugon, which made him the Philippine national winner of the 2021 James Dyson Prize. The 28 national winners were chosen from the top youngsters. inventors from over 2,000 nominations from 28 countries and regions.

A graduate of the Philippine State College of Aeronautics, Bantugon transformed waste pili resin, also known as “spent resin” or “de-oiled resin”, into Pili Seal as a sealant for the aircraft’s built-in fuel tank.

He began his research on the applications of natural tree resin while still in high school at Batangas National High School and continued it through college.

He explored his study of pili resin as an alternative to polysulfide-based putty which is commonly used by the aviation industry to seal fuel tanks.

“This product is beneficial and effective for the application of aircraft parts such as the integrated fuel tank which acts as a sealant to prevent fuel leakage. Unlike the commercial sealant, it offers safe, non-toxic effects to the health of the user based on a toxicity test, ”the Dyson website said.

Polysulfide sealant is the first aerospace sealant used by the aviation industry for over 50 years and currently used by manufacturers who are resistant to aviation fuels and therefore are useful for sealing fuel tanks.

However, the commercial sealant has been found to be hazardous in several respects based on the hazard statement in Section III of the MSDS due to its chemical composition.

Bantugon’s Pili Seal, Dyson said, is a two-component sealant that serves as a basic ingredient for the production of fuel tank sealant built into aircraft.

It can be applied for specific aircraft parts, especially the integrated fuel tank and other areas subject to contact with aircraft fuels, lubricants, oils, water and / or weather.

As a two-component sealant, the base ingredient and the hardener material are mixed to make the sealant work and function as a sealant.

Admatel tests; complex search

Bantugon enlisted the help of the Advanced Devices and Materials Testing Laboratory (Admatel), a national testing laboratory in the Department of Science and Technology, for its complex research in January 2020, Admatel said on its website. Web.

Its design and research procedures consist of two parts. The optimization process will get the proper and best sealant formulation through the flammability test, which is an important test required by air laws and regulations, especially Schedule 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

In the characterization process, both Pili Seal and commercial sealant underwent 20 different standard tests: organoleptic test (color, odor and appearance test), instrumental color measurement test, point test. flash, tack free time test, cure time test, toxicity test, Shore A hardness test, Shear strength test, Tensile strength, Tear strength test, Peel strength test, Peel test knife, Pull-off test, Differential thermal analysis test by thermogravimetry, Differential scanning calorimetry test, Calorific value test and Viscosity test to analyze its material properties, including physical, chemical, mechanical, thermal and rheological properties .

“The result shows that the properties of the Pili Seal material are much more effective as an integrated aircraft fuel tank sealant compared to commercial sealant,” said Dyson.

Admatel said it took 38 Bantugon formulations before he could move on to the next part of his study, citing the impact of the rigorous process on his final year at college.

“I took my 7 [am] to 2 [pm] then after my class from 5 pm to 11 pm I stay up at school to formulate every day… Even on weekends, I work from 7 am until 11 pm. This is how I devote myself to my research, ”he quoted, quoting Admatel.

Thanks to his hard work, he was able to move on to the next part of the study – subjecting the experimental sealant to different standard tests to prove its effectiveness, Admatel added.

An important aspect to consider was the thermal property of the sample. He used thermogravimetric-differential thermal analysis (TG-DTA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) from Admatel.

DSC reveals the melting point of the sealant, while DTA reveals thermal stability and / or degradation temperature.

Bantugon was able to identify the thermal properties of its experimental sealant to prove its stability in the application procedure.

After 10 months, 38 formulations, 20 different standard tests, nine lab visits and 43 competitors in total, Bantugon has completed his research.

The project first earned him the winner of the Alfredo M. Yao Intellectual Property (AMY IP) Awards Collegiate in 2020.

“I didn’t expect to win [the AMY IP award]. I’m still speechless thinking about how it all turned out, how it ended smoothly, succeeding. [I] just trusted the process. I have worked really hard to give my research a good end and a good trip, ”he said in Filipino.

The AMY IP Awards, through the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, are working together to patent Bantugon’s research and possibly test its application.

The research also won for Bantugon the Grand Champpion (Cardinal Innovator) -Cardinal Challenge 2021, Mapua Design and Innovation Competition.

Pioneering study

The innovative Pili Seal is considered a pioneering study in the aviation industry.

Since it uses waste as the main ingredient in formulating the sealant, Dyson said it is cheaper and affordable than commercially available aviation sealants.

In analyzing its application and effectiveness, Bantugon’s product “exceeded all data results of commercial sealant used in the integrated fuel tank of aircraft, including testing of physical, chemical, mechanical, thermal and rheological properties.”

“One of the unique characteristics of this innovation is that it provides safe and non-toxic effects on the health of the user, including aircraft mechanics and technicians since this product was tested for toxicity.” , said Dyson.

In addition, this sealant displays “guaranteed qualities and performance because it has undergone 20 different standard tests”.

Further study

Bantugon plans to do a more in-depth study for the application of the sealant on other aircraft parts or on different sectors [like construction, building, wood, metal sheet roof] maximize its use and function.

He said this innovation can be used to build an aviation sealant manufacturing business in the Philippines as the country imports aviation sealants from other countries.

“With these goals and vision, it can help our local farmers have new job opportunities and new income, as they will play a vital role in making this putty for aviation, including planting.” of pili and the extraction of its resin necessary for the production of putty, ”said Bantugon.

Image courtesy of Dyson.co.uk screenshot

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