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AkzoNobel launches peelable coating

By Tim Wright

Published April 7, 2009

A new type of coating—Intergard 10220—originally developed for military use by AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings is likely to have a much wider impact on civil protection techniques and urban environmental projects in the future. Intergard 10220, now on the market, was developed as a temporary peelable camouflage coating with chemical agent absorbent properties as a result of a three-year collaboration project between the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) at Porton Down and AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings.

"Just as the technical imperative created by the space industry saw the launch of many new technologies that have now become part of our everyday lives, so too is the need to create a durable and flexible camouflage for the military may well result in a host of new uses for the peelable coatings elsewhere," said Robert Walker, AkzoNobel Aerospace Coating's business development manager for defense.

The new coating meets the demand for asset protection from visual and heat seeking observation in specific environments. Further improvements to the coating's ability to absorb rather than just resist chemical agents are continuing through this joint venture.

"We have been working with AkzoNobel for many years, mainly in testing chemical agent resistant coatings (CARC) to the relevant defense standards," said Dr. Steven Mitchell of the Hazards Management Team at Dstl. "There are three main areas of collaboration within the chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) defense area. These are CARC coatings, and current generation peelable coatings; and next generation super-absorbent coating systems, which are still at the development stage."

The introduction of Intergard 10220 has solved a number of problems previously encountered in the camouflage of military vehicles, such as paint removal, quick camouflage change, and chemical agent decontamination, according to the company. Traditional systems involved the application and subsequent removal of coatings using solvents, chemicals and abrasion, a messy and time-consuming process which also required the safe disposal of the solvent and solid residues afterward, itself a costly business.

Then came the 'old style' temporary camouflage coatings often referred to as TCC. These required specialist chemicals for removal and specialist equipment to stop leakage into the water table. The Intergard 10220 TPC (Temporary Protective Coating) generation of peelable coatings, on the other hand, can simply be peeled off when necessary either to suit the needs of different terrains, or in order to decontaminate the surface of the vehicle, with any remaining residue removed by a water power washer, the peeled coating can then be collected and incinerated limiting any environmental damage. Overall, the Intergard temporary protective coating offers savings in time, materials and cleaning chemicals, compared to over-coating with conventional paints and temporary camouflage coatings.

The next stage in the joint project is to further develop the coating's absorption rate of chemical agents therefore improving the decontamination properties of peelable coatings. This is currently ongoing.

AkzoNobel report that authorities around the world are looking at the peelable coating's potential role in the protection of vulnerable infrastructure such as stadia or government buildings against all forms of contamination including radiological, chemical and biological.

Police forces too are interested in the implications of peelable coatings with different infra-red signatures for tracking and tracing. "Once the concept is explained and understood, civil authorities have been quick to see uses for the product that not only has the potential to save lives or improve operational efficiency but to cut costs, the sort of win-win situation governments can benefit from," Walker added. "As far as AkzoNobel are concerned, the wider use of this technology helps to justify the development cost and open new markets for us."

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