Eaton awarded additional funding to develop electrical wiring arcing protection circuit breakers for civil, military aircraft
Wed Jan 8, 2003 -
IRVINE, CALIF. -- Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation (NYSE:ETN) announced today that its aerospace business has received an additional $1.9 million contract from the Office of Naval Research for the continued development of the world's first electrical wiring arcing protection for civil and military aircraft.
This new contract is sponsored by several government agencies in addition to the Office of Naval Research. These include the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAVAIR), Wright Patterson Air Force Research Labs and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Technical Center in Atlantic City, N.J.
Under a previous $1 million contract with the FAA and NAVAIR, Eaton’s arc fault circuit breakers were flight tested for 12 months on the Navy’s C (DC-9) test bed aircraft based at the Naval Air Station in Norfolk, Virginia and the FAA Research Center's test bed B727. The arc fault circuit breakers accumulated more than 5,000 hours of operation in multiple circuits.
Under terms of the new contract, Eaton will adapt the company’s flight-tested 115 VAC, 400 Hz arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) technology to include the development of 28 VDC devices, multi-phase circuit breakers for use in fuel systems and the further miniaturization of the technology to accommodate fighter aircraft electrical circuit protection.
The FAA has determined that the deterioration of electrical wiring in aging aircraft -- including cracked insulation, the contamination of wire bundles, normal maintenance wear and damage and thermal cycling -- all contribute to the potential for a 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit arcing event that cannot be detected by standard aviation circuit breakers. These undetected events could ultimately lead to a catastrophic electrical fire.
Arc faults can occur when insulation around cords, wires or cables is damaged or deteriorated. An art fault circuit breaker recognizes the unique characteristics of many types of arcing faults and acts instantly to interrupt the circuit. The arc fault circuit breaker is integrated into a state-of-the-art circuit breaker design.
Eaton's aerospace business unit serves commercial and military aviation, aerospace, military weapons and marine markets worldwide with a broad range of products and integrated systems.
Eaton is a leader in circuit breaker research, innovation and production for residential, industrial and commercial applications. Eaton’s Industrial and Commercial Controls business supplies arc fault circuit breakers under the Cutler-Hammer FIRE-GUARDTM brand name.
For residential applications, the National Electrical CodeTM mandated that arc fault circuit breakers be installed on all 15- and 20-amp circuits in bedroom outlets for new home construction, starting in 2002. The National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) also endorsed the technology for bedroom circuit installation, as well as living areas for both new and existing homes.
Eaton is a global $7.3 billion diversified industrial manufacturer that is a leader in fluid power systems; electrical power quality, distribution and control; automotive engine air management and fuel economy; and intelligent truck systems for fuel economy and safety. Eaton has 48,000 employees and sells products in more than 50 countries.