Donaldson IBFs Block Salt from Helicopter Engines

Donaldson IBFs Block Salt from Helicopter Engines

25-Sep-2013 Source: Donaldson

Recent testing by Donaldson Aerospace & Defense, a subsidiary of Donaldson Company, Inc. (NYSE: DCI), has demonstrated the ability of its Inlet Barrier Filter (IBF) systems to prevent airborne salts from degrading the performance of helicopter turboshaft engines and increasing their maintenance costs.
Turboshaft engines on helicopters flying low or hovering over the ocean and coastal and inshore regions ingest airborne salts that combine with the heat of their turbine sections to corrode blades and other components and increase exhaust gas temperatures. Missions that expose engines to salt-laden air include firefighting, offshore transport, search and rescue operations, anti-submarine and port security patrols, and vertical replenishment work. Exposure to these environments increases the need for aggressive engine washing, reducing aircraft availability; it also drives up maintenance and overhaul costs of the aircraft.
Donaldson, which for several years has investigated how salt ingestion affects helicopter engines, recently concluded a series of extreme tests that exposed an IBF-equipped engine to a high-volume sea water spray. The test used a wind tunnel with a sea water injection system coupled with an aerodynamic particle-size analyzer and a flame photometer to maintain and verify the size and concentration of salts in the airflow.
At the system’s designed test airflow, more than 115 grams of salt was fed into the engine filter. Previous engine testing had demonstrated that the ingestion of 30 grams of salt could lead to a 9 percent increase in exhaust gas temperature. The recent testing showed that the oiled filter media in Donaldson IBFs – which today fly on thousands of civil and military helicopters worldwide – allowed 4.5 grams of salt to penetrate the IBF.  This salt capture prior to turbine entry can reduce the damaging effects of salt ingestion on an engine.
The positive test results reinforce the benefits reported by many Donaldson maritime IBF operators worldwide over the years.
“Donaldson IBF systems can keep helicopter engines on a salt-free diet,” said Eric Erickson, General Manager at Donaldson Aerospace & Defense in St. Louis. “This recent testing demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that Donaldson’s customers can perform a wide range of critical missions reliably, affordably and safely.”
For nearly a century, Donaldson has been developing and manufacturing lightweight, compact, advanced filtration solutions. Their products meet or exceed original equipment manufacturers’ specifications and international quality requirements and keep flight-critical aircraft components running efficiently and effectively. Customers count on Donaldson’s comprehensive product line to help them maintain mission readiness. With its proprietary technology and unmatched reputation for quality, service and reliability, Donaldson leads the way in meeting the unique filtration requirements of aerospace and defense customers worldwide.
To learn more about the Donaldson Aerospace & Defense group, visit
About Donaldson’s Aerospace & Defense Group
Donaldson’s Aerospace & Defense Group is a leading worldwide provider of filtration systems for the aerospace and defense industry. Our filtration solutions protect fixed-wing aircraft, rotorcraft, military ground vehicles, electronic equipment, space vehicles, missiles, military shipboard systems and amphibious vehicles. We are committed to advancing filtration technology and providing quality products and prompt customer service. Our group serves customers from sales, engineering and manufacturing locations around the world.
About Donaldson Company
Donaldson is a leading worldwide provider of filtration systems that improve people’s lives, enhance our Customers’ equipment performance and protect our environment. We are a technology-driven Company committed to satisfying our Customers’ needs for filtration solutions through innovative research and development, application expertise and global presence. Our approximately 12,600 employees contribute to the Company’s success by supporting our Customers at our more than 140 sales, manufacturing and distribution locations around the world.
Donaldson is a member of the S&P MidCap 400 and Russell 1000 indices, and our shares trade on the NYSE under the symbol DCI. Additional information is available at

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