The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s Center for Corrosion Science and Engineering developed a safer and user-friendly topcoat that was recently applied onto the exterior of Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. The topcoat, which is a one-component (1K) polysiloxane based on organosilane polymers, is a new technology free of isocyanates and other hazardous air polluting (HAP) chemicals. The new topcoat was applied onto a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet. Additionally, the 1K topcoat was applied on Marine Corps UH-1Y Venom and AH-1Z Viper helicopters. The topcoat on these aircraft is scheduled for a 1 to 2-year evaluation period. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, exposure to isocyanates can result in irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing, and HAPs are classified as potential human carcinogens. Isocyanate exposure can also cause sensitization, resulting in severe asthma attacks upon subsequent exposures at even low levels. Replacing isocyanates with polysiloxane provides a safer coating for painters and anyone conducting maintenance in nearby areas. The new 1K topcoat also contains lower levels of volatile organic compounds, which negatively impact air quality when released during spray applications. The topcoat requires no metering or mixing of components thereby reducing time of preparation and providing a more homogeneous color on aircraft. The container is also resealable for future use, which reduces the generation of hazardous waste and disposal costs.
As part of NRL’s large patent portfolio, the polymers and polysiloxane coating technology are covered by U.S. Patents 9139753, 9701868, and 10190020.

Further information: www.nrl.navy.mil/news/releases

Image: NRL