Don't Think "How." Think "Gleicher."

Posted on Thu, Jul 27, 2023

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Innovative Converting Solution Helps U.S. Military Helicopters Operate Longer, Stronger and Safer.
Military helicopters are regularly called upon to rigorously perform frequently under adverse conditions and in hostile situations. Keeping them dependably running and ready at a moment’s notice to execute mission-critical assignments is paramount. When deployed in arid, desert environments, the helicopters and their rotor blades must endure the highly corrosive effects of sand which is blasted into the air by the blades themselves. 
This is especially true when helicopters are traveling at very low altitudes. Low-altitude flight is a major factor in hostage rescue operations, which typically occur under the cover of darkness. Sand striking the leading edge of rotor blades ignites sparks that light up the night sky and create a visible glow from the aircraft, hampering its ability to avoid visible recognition.
Such were the circumstances when a U.S. military contractor turned to Gleicher to devise a solution that would both extend the lifespan of the rotor blades and increase a helicopter’s ability to effectively perform clandestine military operations. 
At the time, no readily available solution existed that would ensure the proper application of a protective liner over the lengthy surface area of a helicopter blade. Even the material manufacturer, in this case, 3M, cast doubt about finding a workable way forward. However, Gleicher’s past experiences with converting applications for large surface areas gave confidence that a way forward would be found. 
Gleicher has a long history of successfully converting liners for difficult and challenging applications. The solution, in this case, involved scoring the liner down the middle without damaging the 3M film itself. This allowed for a two-part assembly process. The installer first removes one-half of the liner and affixes the initial long piece of tape in place. Once completed, the other half of the back liner is removed and the remaining length of the liner is applied, ensuring accurate placement and bubble-free installation of the entire coated tape to the rotor blade. 
Since engineering this unique method of application solution for the U.S. military, Gleicher has adapted the same thinking to numerous other converting scenarios. Scoring the underlying liner in one and sometimes two places enables both end users and OEM manufacturers to facilitate easier removal and more accurate contact of the adhesive to the target substrate.
Small surface area applications can also benefit from this type of Gleicher converting solution. For example, by scoring the back liner of a one-inch diameter disc dot, the end user can remove it and expose one-half of the adhesive on the back of the part for application, then remove the remaining liner to complete the application and form a much more secure seal. This type of construction also minimizes misapplications, do-overs, as well as consumer frustration. 
If you have an adhesive or fastening challenge and keep hearing that it can’t be done, don’t give up. Give Gleicher a call and we’ll get it done.
We welcome the opportunity to answer your questions, take on your most challenging requirements, and design the ideal converting solution for your specific needs. You can reach a Gleicher fastener and adhesive expert with your questions at 888-818-5798 or email

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