Powder Coating and Flame Spraying Technologies for Maintenance and Sustainment

NCMS Project #: 140850

Problem: Because of the inability to achieve the desired finishes, and because of the inability to use large ovens to cure large or odd-sized objects or parts, powder coatings are relegated primarily to interior one-coat finishes. The current industry benchmark for powder coating performance is the automotive industry’s targeted 10-year performance whereas the U.S. Army has systems with intended service lives of 22 plus years. A concern with tactical vehicles is how to reduce life cycle costs of metals finished with powder coatings; results from this effort can then be extended across commercial industries using powder coatings. The military has established a specification for powder coatings, that includes powder coatings for use as a camouflage, chemicalagentresistantfinish coating.

Benefit: The public benefits include:  reducing/eliminating volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions; reducing worker exposure to solvents; adding a touch corrosion resistant layer to the vehicle/equipment substrate; reducing the total annual estimated direct cost of corrosion in the U.S.

Solution/Approach: This project will evaluate the impact of key powder application parameters on the performance of the cured coating vs. MIL-PRF-32348 and will optimize powder application parameters/performance:  particle size, film thickness, voltage, gun and tip type and bake to enable faster adoption of powder technology.

The objective is twofold:

  • Develop robust powder application guidance – particle size, film thickness.
  • Develop flame-sprayed powders which will meet CARC requirements and can be extended to commercial use for a variety of products.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Reduce overall maintenance expenses
  • Improved equipment readiness

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army TARDEC

Industry Participation:

  • PPG Industries, Inc.
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability

Focus Area:

  • Coatings/corrosion prevention