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PPG Industries’ aerospace coatings group has developed a “green,” selectively strippable coatings system for jets ordered by the U.K. Royal Air Force (RAF) that the company says combines application and performance benefits with reduced repainting time and associated costs.
The RAF has taken delivery of the first Airbus Military A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft painted with high-solids Desoprime CF/CA 7049 chromate-free primer, F565-4010 selectively strippable intermediate coat, and high-solids Desothane HS/CA 8200 series military and defense topcoats.
Pascal Jungblut, PPG sales manager in Spain, says PPG designed the chromate-free, selectively strippable coatings system for ease of application on the wide-body aircraft’s metal and composite structure, for robust performance, and to shorten the repaint cycle.
“The system simplifies coatings removal and reapplication during repainting, as the topcoat and intermediate coat are easily removed,” he says. “The primer is left intact. The aircraft is washed, and the intermediate coat and topcoat are reapplied.”
Jungblut says the system typically shortens the strip-and-repaint cycle by as many as two days for this type of aircraft.
“We worked with Airbus to develop and qualify this system for these aircraft,” he says. “Our laboratory conducted tests to confirm that this system was strippable.”
Additionally, Jungblut says the high-solids formulation of Desoprime CF/CA 7049 primer and Desothane HS/CA 8200 topcoats results in reduced solvent content and related VOC emissions. Conventional-solids aerospace coatings are about 30 percent solids by volume, while these PPG Aerospace coatings contain 50 percent. Less paint is required for coverage, and aircraft painted with Desothane HS topcoats have longer life so they do not need to be repainted as often, he says.
PPG Aerospace’s selectively strippable coatings system is being used on all 14 RAF aircraft. According to Jungblut, Airbus also uses the company’s coatings on A330 MRTT jets ordered by other air forces, including systems using Desothane military and defense topcoats and Desoprime military and defense primers.