“We are always working to improve our aerospace coatings, and our efforts focus on three key areas: environmental compliance, improving performance and reducing cycle times,” said John Griffin, AkzoNobel’s Aerospace business director.
Environmental regulations continue to become more complex, and Griffin noted that AkzoNobel devotes significant resources to remain compliant with all country and region requirements while also maintaining the products’ performance.
“Eliminating hexavalent chrome is the main focus area, and we continue to make significant progress developing safe and effective corrosion-inhibiting coatings for both exterior and structural applications on aircraft,” said Griffin. “These efforts include our own research, plus collaboration with key universities and leading aerospace companies.”
Improving performance is a key focus for AkzoNobel’s R&D team, and the company is currently working on projects to develop films that are applied in the mold – replacing traditional spray-applied coatings.
“We expect this process will yield a protective coating for structural and non-structural composites that has better adhesion, flexibility and durability compared with traditional spray applied primers and coatings. We also work on new products to speed up production and maintenance processes by using ultra-violet radiation to instantly cure coatings. This is especially valuable for curing clearcoats and can result in further cycle time savings of basecoat/clearcoat systems.”
Mankiewicz carries out extensive market research, to stay aware of customer needs and to detect trends and developments.
“In addition, it is of course especially important for us to keep up to date with present and future chemical regulations,” said Andreas Ossenkopf, director – Head of Aviation at Mankiewicz. “Also in this regard, we invest a lot of energy in research as well as significant sums in R&D and employ a large staff in order to develop the high-tech coating products of the future.
One special focus of its R&D department is working on new, environmentally friendly paint systems.
Daniel Bencun, PPG global director, aerospace coatings noted that the company's customers are looking to increase their throughput as well as improve the overall performance of their aircraft, from appearance to weight to compliance with future regulations on the environment, health and safety.
“At PPG, we tackle all current and future needs and work closely with our customers to develop products that protect and improve the aesthetics of their assets,” said Bencun. “Our new offerings will include pretreatment solutions, performance topcoats and chrome-free primers that are formulated without chrome as an intentionally added ingredient. PPG’s global aerospace business offers coatings, sealants, transparencies, packaging and application systems, and transparent armor, as well as chemical management and other services.”