Multi-Substrate Paint Adhesion Improvement

NCMS Project #: 140831

Problem: As the U.S. transitions to lightweight materials for industrial applications, a need has arisen to improve coating systems to work with non-traditional joining methods. Lightweight materials like aluminum, composites, and magnesium alloys cannot be fastened in the same way as traditional metals. Both the new materials and their joints must still be coated for substrate protection, appearance, and performance.

When assets undergo maintenance in an industrial or recap/reset depot setting, coating systems are brought back up to specification. Most industrial coatings and military Chemical Agent Resistant Coatings (CARC) were not originally designed to adhere to adhesives and sealants. Furthermore, some CARC coatings are not sufficiently flexible to pass standard adhesion tests when applied to flexible materials. Improvements in adhesion and flexibility are needed to permit CARC and other industrial coatings to work with joined flexible substrates.

Benefit: As future lightweight and mobility initiatives progress, the use of new materials will require CARC-compliant coating systems that also perform on flexible substrates and adhesive joints.

Solution/Approach: The approach will be to first identify a representative set of industrial and military coatings suitable for flexible substrate applications. Baseline testing for these coatings will establish current adhesion and flexibility. Coatings will be modified to improve adhesion and flexibility while maintaining weathering, mechanical and other industry-standard performance indicators. Testing will be required to confirm that 50% flexibility and 5% adhesion improvement are achieved. The project team will use industry standard tests to screen performance and confirm the most promising results against MIL-DTL-53072 and TT-C-490.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Better paint adhesion provides better environmental protection
  • Reduces field sustainment effort and cost
  • Increased time between re-paint requirements reduces maintenance costs

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army TARDEC
  • U.S. Army Research Lab

Industry Participation:

  • PPG Industries, Inc.
  • North Dakota State University
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Maintenance management improvement

Focus Area:

  • Coatings/corrosion prevention