PITTSBURGH – PPG Industries has received a $1.5 million award from the federal government’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) to develop a chemical-agent-resistant coating (CARC) in powder form for use on military vehicles and support equipment.

Already qualified by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) as a producer of powder primer for CARC systems, PPG is now collaborating with ARL to fulfill the challenge of developing a powder topcoat that will meet military standards for UV durability, matte finish and resistance to chemical agents. The powder topcoat also must be compatible with pretreatment and primer products already developed and approved for CARC applications. To date, no coatings manufacturer has been able to develop a CARC powder topcoat that achieves this required combination of properties using standard powder formulation techniques.

PPG Senior Scientist Lawrence Fitzgerald said, “PPG has developed proprietary processing and resin-synthesis capabilities for powder coatings that we believe will support development of powder CARCs meeting the MIL-PRF-32348 specification.” He added that the project will leverage powder coating technology that earned PPG an R&D 100 Award in 2009.

Powder coatings are attractive to SERDP because they are safer to apply than many liquid alternatives, with no emissions of VOCs or hazardous air pollutants. Plus, the ability to reuse overspray yields a nearly 100-percent utilization rate, so they generate little or no waste.