Fabric Punch Tests
What is currently accepted as the approved method for fabric punch tests during an annual certification? I have searched, but only found responses to the strut test.
It is not approved by the FAA but it is acknowledged as a way of determining condition. The FAA says if in question to cut strips of fabric and do a pull test. Ceconite or any other polyester fabric will last a lifetime if the silver is kept intact.
If the IA inspecting your plane is not familiar enough with fabric aircraft to know how to tell if fabric is still serviceable I would recommend he contacts the manufacture of the system that was used to cover the plane and talk with them. Like Steve said there is no FAA approved "punch" test for fabric. Most of us go by "if you cant put your thumb through it's still good" on light aircraft.
Do not use a maule or seabooth tester on fabric that has been used to punch test metal. Using a punch tester on metal throws the calibration out of whack. Think about this... Punch testers test both the strength of the paint and the fabric where what you really want to know is the strength of the fabric. That is why the regs say you need to cut out a strip of fabric-remove the finnish-and pull test the bare fabric.
Last edited by Jason Gerard; 10-17-2010 at 11:41 PM.
As an old good friend once said, "If you are selling the airplane do a punch test on the bottom of the wing. If you are buying the airplane do the punch test on the top of the wing".
Last edited by Throttle Pusher; 10-18-2010 at 10:07 PM.
Thanks guys, and you too Throttle (?) pusher .........