What if your propeller shaft corroded? Nowadays, most manufacturers today will fix a propeller shaft that has been damaged by treating it with super alloy oxide, otherwise known as S.A.O. It is recommended by many scientists and engineers worldwide to apply this additive to a damaged propeller shaft when treating it for rusting or corrosion.
Repairing a damaged shaft doesn't have to be costly and could actually be affordable. One thing to consider is the type of corrosion occurring and how much it damages the shaft.
Corrosion occurs when an organic (substance) parts, such as a coating, rust, and eventually form a layer of oxide (metal oxide) on the coating and steel of the shaft. The oxide layer makes the shaft rust and rusts at an accelerated rate as a result of hydrogen bonds between the oxides.
Usually, if the corrosion is not too severe, the shaft can be repaired without any expensive materials such as epoxy resins. Sometimes, however, a small portion of the shaft may be damaged by the entire corroded portion getting re-used. In these cases, it would probably be wise to have the shaft completely replaced.
The first steps in repairing the corroded portion are to cure the corroded metal as it is and complete the curing process by applying some form of sealant to the exposed surface of the shaft, thus preventing further corrosion and preventing the risk of leakage. Sealants include the urethane based sealants that are sold in some stores as well as the polyurethane based sealants which will protect the rest of the shaft and protect the propeller from further damage.
Once the fixing of the shaft is completed, you must inspect the shaft to see if it is "ready to fly". The propeller shaft should not be bent out of shape because bending the shaft will cause the propeller to run slower than it does at normal flight conditions.
A quick way to determine if the shaft is in proper working condition is to remove the main propeller bolts and examine the outer surface of the shaft carefully for any sign of separation. If the shaft is clean and smooth, it is ready to fly.
You should re-install the main propeller bolts and insert a new propeller. Lubricate the propeller assembly, re-seat the main propeller bolts and apply the seals. After the propeller is installed, check the blade of the propeller for alignment and make sure it is in good working condition.
Now, it's time to try to re-assemble the propeller so you can fly it but because it can't fly, it needs to be fixed. Again, if the shaft is not damaged and not in need of repair, you can try to remove the main bolts and inspect the inside of the propeller for any signs of a leak. If the propeller is in perfect working condition, you can re-seat the main bolts and the propeller and then apply the seals.
Again, the fittings should always be tight, which means the blades should be attached in the correct position and the sprockets should be in place. Now that the propeller is properly installed, test it to see if it can fly.
If the propeller shaft is damaged, it can't fly because of its mechanical condition. In this case, if you want to repair or replace the shaft, it would be best to send it to a manufacturer that can repair or replace it.
If you find that your propeller shaft is not damaged, but it has a certain wear level which prevents it from performing at its best, you may consider going to a retailer who specializes in propeller shafts. The cost of these types of shafts are much less than purchasing them from a supplier, so they may be worth considering if the shaft is really in need of repair.