The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Environmental Technology Program and Coating Technology Integration Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, is playing a critical role in the discovery of environmentally-safer inorganic coatings solutions for protecting and extending the life of aluminum landing gear components in U.S. Air Force aircraft.
Working with aircraft maintainers at the Ogden Air Logistics Complex, AFRL researchers identified and tested a variety of non-chromium sealers to anodize aluminum aircraft landing gear components to reduce and prevent corrosion.
AFRL researchers tested various types of sealers by coating test panels and landing gear components and anodizing the components using the same process as maintenance depots. They also performed additional tests that were specific to the needs of OO-ALC.
After testing four different products, AFRL researchers identified a permanganate-based sealer―now being marketed as SafeGard CC-5000 by Sanchem Inc.―that met, and in some cases, exceeded, the necessary criteria. They then presented the data to OO-ALC, where it was approved for use on landing gear wheels, brakes and struts. In September 2015, the sealer was transitioned to OO-ALC and fully incorporated into the coating process.
“The transition and full implementation of this material is critical to the Air Force as it moves toward more environmentally and health-conscious maintenance solutions,” says Dr. Elizabeth Berman, AFRL senior materials research engineer. “The fact that this safer material provides the same protection as the old materials makes it the ideal solution.”
AFRL’s EnviroTech Program executes development and demonstration of alternative environmentally-preferred technologies. Their mission is to develop technologies, progress solutions and highlight technology transition activities for Air Force enterprise use.
Information supplied by Holly Jordan, AFRL Materials and Manufacturing directorate.
Originally published in the February 2016 issue.