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Skydrol® resistant labels

Oliver StocktonWritten by Oliver Stockton, Managing Director, CILS



Say goodbye to expensive metal identification plates

Skydrol® is the brand name synonymous with high performing alternatives to hydraulic mineral oil but up until now has been a problem for durable labels. Historically, expensive metal plates that are inconvenient and time-consuming to produce, have been used to identify products that may come into contact with Skydrol®. But now you can print your own Skydrol® resistant labels much quicker, and more economically, and they don’t need an extra protective laminate. 

Which products come into contact with Skydrol®?

Aircraft ground service equipment such as handheld replenishment pumps and overspill collection kits have always been identified using black, anodized alloy, laser-etched plates, due to their specific resistance to the extremely corrosive nature of Skydrol®.

Computer imprintable durable labels are ideal to batch print variable data but until recently have never survived the environment. Now there is a computer imprintable label that will resist Skydrol®.

What is Skydrol®?

Skydrol® is a trade name for the phosphate ester hydraulic fluid used in the aviation industry on aircraft. There are different grades, currently Skydrol®500B-4, Skydrol LD-4, Skydrol 5, PE-5. Exxon Mobil also makes a similar product called HyJet™.

Phosphate ester is used as a replacement to hydraulic mineral oils in aircraft hydraulic systems, most notably in the braking systems and hydraulic actuators in the undercarriage, it is fire resistant and retains its low viscosity at the low temperatures of high altitude.

Why is Skydrol® a problem for labels?

Ground equipment used in aerospace hydraulic servicing is most likely to come into contact with the Skydrol® and it can strip a ‘standard’ polyurethane paint in minutes and strip the zinc plating on steel ‘wetted’ parts (the surface of components in a pressure sensor exposed to or in direct contact with the medium under pressure).

It will soften Epoxy and damage plastic switches and knobs when transferred via the engineer’s gloved fingers. It will render plastic faced dials illegible and soften/swell low-pressure PVC tubing so it’s not surprising that a durable label needs to be carefully selected.

What is the solution?

In response to the demands of our aerospace customers, we created a white label (CILS- TMWUSPET (LSE)) and a satin silver label (CILS-TSSUSPET(LSE+)) that when printed using the special CILS TTR-RRD ribbon, will resist Skydrol® and similar fluids including:

  • Petrol
  • Diesel
  • Xylene
  • Brake Fluid
  • IPA
  • MEK
  • Toluene
  • White spirit
  • Acetone

These labels will also resist high temperatures with no discoloration after exposure at 302°F for 60 minutes.

Don’t just take our word for it, take a look at our Skydrol® label durability video:

Both CILS-TMWUSPET (LSE) and CILS-TSSUSPET(LSE+) label constructions are printable using a standard thermal transfer printer which gives you complete flexibility to print whatever you want onto your labels, in batches, or one at a time. No more delays waiting for your engraved/etched plates to arrive and Skydrol® resistant labels are far more economical.

To read more more about working with Skydrol®, read John Foster's blog What is Skydrol and what is it used for?

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