Environmentally Friendly Wing Coating Can Reduce Weight and Cut Costs
December 1, 2006
A new-generation super-flexible wing coating minimizes application and drying times, cuts wing coating weight by more than half and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions by 90% compared to conventional wing coatings, says coating developer Akzo Nobel Aerospace Coatings (ANAC). Approved for use by Airbus on all their current models, including the A-380, Aeroflex HS 113F01 is an “in-spar” coating, which is used on the upper surface of the fixed part of a wing. During flight, this part of the aircraft is subject to considerable movement, which means that a coating must stretch with it to avoid cracking. The more flexible a coating is, the better.
The proprietary resin system in the new coating has been designed to exceed the most stringent industry needs. Not only is it extremely flexible, but it also has enhanced chemical and scratch resistance properties and increased color stability. ANAC reports that the coating also has important cost and environmental benefits - particularly as the minimal surface roughness of the new coating contributes to greater fuel efficiency during flight.
Only one comparatively thin layer (30 to 40 microns) of the new coating is needed to achieve the necessary coverage, and the coating has a “dry to step” time of just three hours, which can considerably reduce labor costs. The low density of the paint film, combined with the low layer thickness, can reduce the total weight of a wing coating system by up to 57%.
A high-solids polyurethane paint, the new product gives off less than 420 grams of harmful VOCs per liter, complying with the European Union’s Solvent Emissions Directive (SED). Depending on the specified layer thickness of the coating, the amount of solvents emitted into the environment is up to 90% less than with a conventional wing coating system, says ANAC.
In-flight experience with the new coating is confirming earlier laboratory tests showing that its “film elongation” properties, both initially and after artificial weathering, are higher than in traditional treatments
“It’s better to apply on health, safety and cost grounds and better in the air,” commented Product Manager Robert Van Kooperen.
For more information about the new coating, call 847.625.3335 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.anac.com.