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Akzo Nobel Supplies Airbus A380 with Advanced Coatings System

By Tim Wright | January 18, 2006

An advanced-technology aerospace coatings system has been developed by Akzo Nobel for the revolutionary A380 superjumbo.

This coatings system—a second generation Selectively Removable System marketed by Akzo Nobel's Aerospace Coatings (ANAC) business—enables the topcoat to be quickly removed during maintenance intervals and has been approved by Airbus Industries for use on the Airbus A380, with the first completed aircraft to be coated with the new system having left its hangar in Hamburg, Germany.

Specifically designed to reduce the time it takes to prepare and repaint aircraft, the coating system adds an additional layer between the primer and the topcoat. This intermediate layer enables the selective chemical removal of only the topcoat in preparation for repainting, avoiding the need to reapply the primer, resulting in savings in both time and money. Removing coatings from aircraft during maintenance is usually an expensive and time consuming process, but ANAC's Selectively Removable System avoids the need to strip bare metal, cutting downtime by up to 40%.

"The A380 is truly amazing and we are proud to be making such a vital contribution to one of the world's biggest and most technologically advanced commercial aircraft," said Akzo Nobel CEO Hans Wijers, who is also the company's board member responsible for coatings. "As a global leader in aerospace coatings we have a long history of developing groundbreaking products designed to offer customers exceptionaly quality and performance."

Bill McPherson, general manager of the company's marine and protective coatings business, which includes the ANAC activities, added, "We have been working closely with Airbus during the development of this high performance system and the technical achievements involved in this and all other aspects of the A380 project have been remarkable. We are one of a small number of companies approved to supply its exterior coatings and we supply structural coatings for all Airbus aircraft, which means we are at the forefront of helping to redefine passenger air travel for the 21st century."

Every single A380 will, in fact, be partly coated using products supplied by ANAC. Big enough to accommodate 555 people on two decks, the A380—which has a wingspan of nearly 70 meters—is scheduled to enter service later this year.

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