Andersen Air Force Base
Eaton Tubing Specified for Refueling Trucks at Andersen Air Force Base
A United States territory in the Western Pacific, Guam is an important foundation for American military strategy in the region. It’s home to Andersen Air Force Base (AFB) that has the mission of employing, deploying, integrating, and enabling air and space forces from the most forward U.S. sovereign AFB in the Pacific.
The military equipment lineup at Andersen AFB includes hydrant refueling trucks used to refuel aircraft. Due to the tropical Guam climate and penetrating ultraviolet rays, sensor fuel tubing on the refueling trucks was cracking, causing premature hose failures and hazardous fuel spills. An Air Force equipment specialist called Eaton for help.
Geoff Pantling, market development manager for Eaton’s Hydraulics Industrial Hose Solutions Unit, learned that replacement tubing had stiff requirements.
“The tubing needed to be highly chemical resistant to the jet fuel that it would convey, withstand the hot environment, and be compatible with the fitting system used by the base,” says Pantling.
Pantling determined that KYNAR, a grade of polyvinylidene fluroride (PVDF), would be an excellent compound for the tubing, due to its chemical and heat resistance. Only one problem-it was not available in Eaton’s standard tubing offering.
With an intense interest in serving the customer, Pantling designed two tubing solutions for the application: one containing 100% KYNAR, which would perform well beyond the call of duty, and a KYNAR and polyurethane co-extrusion that would also perform to expectations, but would be less costly.
Sample prototypes of the tubing solutions were made at the Eaton Industrial Hose manufacturing facility in Guelph, Ontario, and shipped to Andersen AFB for on-the-job testing.
Following six months of flawless duty on a refueling truck, Andersen AFB made the decision to replumb all 13 of its refueling trucks with the 100% KYNAR tubing with Aeroquip fittings supplied by Hydraulic Supply Company, and Eaton distributor based in Sunrise, Florida.
“The tubing remained extremely flexible throughout the testing process and in excellent condition, making it the obvious solution,” Pantling says.
“Due to the product’s success, we have been asked to meet with the manufacturer of the refueling trucks and with Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, both of which are interested in our tubing solution.”