U.S. Air Force Qualifies PPG Aerocron Aerospace Ecoat Primer
System installed at Air Force technology center in Georgia for coating parts.
The U.S. Air Force has qualified PPG’s Aerocron aerospace electrocoat primer to provide corrosion resistance and enhanced topcoat adhesion for aircraft parts. The Air Force will initially coat test parts on a PPG ecoat system that it installed at its Advanced Technology and Training Center in Georgia near Warner Robins.
The Air Force has issued Airworthiness Circular AC-19-02 to announce the primer’s qualification for coating parts used on the outer surface of aircraft. The PPG ecoat primer will be added to Air Force Technical Order 1-1-8 – Application and Removal of Organic Coatings, Aerospace and Non-Aerospace Equipment – which will provide more detailed guidance when it is published.
“The U.S. Air Force, in collaboration with PPG, is conducting field evaluations at multiple base locations of aircraft parts coated with PPG Aerocron primer,” says Terry Gabbert, U.S. Air Force government lead for the project. “We are seeing firsthand that PPG ecoated parts are performing as well as or better than spray-primed control parts. With that knowledge and our experience, the Air Force made the decision to qualify PPG Aerocron primer and install the first U.S. Department of Defense ecoat system.”
Duane Utter, PPG global segment manager, says they have worked alongside the Air Force in demonstrating the coating’s performance in the laboratory, as well as in flight tests.
“We appreciate the support and confidence the Air Force has shown in this technology, and we will continue working to meet the military’s corrosion-protection needs,” he says. Compared with typical spray-applied primers, PPG’s ecoat process provides numerous benefits for the aerospace industry, including uniform coating thickness on parts (even in recessed and hidden areas) and robust corrosion performance. A thinner coating layer affords significant weight savings for aircraft fuel economy. High transfer efficiency produces near-zero waste, reduces worker exposure and overspray is eliminated. Thermal curing occurs in about 30 minutes, while spray primers typically require seven days to fully cure.
“Another benefit with the PPG ecoat primer process is that we can get a coated part back to the maintainers more quickly than with other primers, which increases aircraft and equipment availability,” Gabbert says.
A PPG team installed the system at the Advanced Technology and Training Center with the assistance of representatives from the Air Force and the University of Dayton Research Institute. PPG also trained Air Force personnel on the system’s operation.
PPG Aerocron primer is qualified to SAE International’s Aerospace Material Specification 3144 for anodic electrodeposition primer for aircraft applications. Safran and Dassault Aviation have also qualified the ecoat primer for application on structural aircraft parts for corrosion resistance.
PPG’s global aerospace business offers coatings, sealants, transparencies, packaging and application systems, and transparent armor, as well as chemical management and other services. Visit ppgaerospace.com.
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