Aircraft components fungi???

Austin Reade reade at
Wed Nov 23 09:27:47 EST 1994

In article <11-20-1994.19533 at harfang> guy at Tremblay) writes:
>Subject: Aircraft components fungi???
>Date: Sun, 20 Nov 94 12:46:13 -0500     
>From: guy at Tremblay)
>Newsgroups: bionet.microbiology
>Message-ID: <11-20-1994.19533 at harfang>
>Lines: 32

>In the ATCC collection of filamentous fungi catalogue, more precisely in the Strains 
>with Special Applications Section there is an application that is bugging me. This is 
>the application:

>Aircraft components
>     testing
>        Aspergillus flavus
>                    "       niger
>                    "       ustus
>                    "       versicolor
>         Chaetomium globosum
>         Fusarium monoliform

>What is this about? Are these fungi that like to take the plane (Hey, I met Rusty the 
>fungi in a 747 back from Jakarta)? Or are they simply organisms used for airplanes 
>testing? If so, what for exactly?

>*    Guy Tremblay            Universite du Quebec a Montreal              *
>*        /\-/\               guy at                      *
>*  \\   ((O O))   //                                                      *
>*   \\\  \\>//  ///          "But you musn't assume that a principle      *  
>*    \\\\///\\////           that works at one level works at all levels" *
>*                             P.W. Anderson                               * 

Fungi can grow on a wide range of what, at first glance, might be considered 
very unlikely substrates.  These include various plastics and aviation 
fuels.  Even if the fungus cannot derive nutrients from the substratum it 
may grow on trace organic contaminants deposited thereon.  The subsequent 
presence of mycelium and metabolic products may then affect the properties 
of the underlying substratum.  Thus plastics may become brittle, optical 
systems can be etched, electronic circuits may be short-circuited or put out 
of adjustment.

The molds listed by ATCC are used in standard methods for testing various 
materials for resistance to deterioration by fungi.  For details see, for 
example, the military standard MIL-STD-810D  Method 508.3.  This was issued 
July 19, 1983, there may be more recent versions.  This standard describes 
the testing methods and some of the reasoning behind them.

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