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PPG Industries’ aerospace coatings group has developed a ‘green’ selectively-strippable coatings system for Airbus Military A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) jets ordered by the UK Royal Air Force under the Future Strategic Transport Aircraft (FSTA) programme that combines application and performance benefits with reduced repainting time and associated costs.
The Royal Air Force has taken delivery of the first A330 MRTT aircraft painted with high-solids Desoprime CF/CA 7049 chromate-free primer, F565-4010 selectively-strippable intermediate coat and high-solids Desothane HS/CA 8200 series military and defense topcoats by PPG Aerospace. PPG designed the chromate-free selectively-strippable coatings system for ease of application on the widebody aircraft’s metal and composite structure, for robust performance and to shorten the repaint cycle, according to Pascal Jungblut, PPG Sales Manager, Rubi, Spain.
PPG selectively-strippable coatings systems simplify coatings removal and reapplication during repainting. The topcoat and intermediate coat are easily removed and the primer is left intact. The aircraft is washed and the intermediate coat and topcoat are reapplied. The system typically shortens the strip-and-repaint cycle by up to two days for this type of aircraft, according to Jungblut. "We worked with Airbus to develop and qualify this system for these aircraft,” Jungblut said. "Our laboratory conducted tests to confirm that this system was strippable and we secured the business.”
Additionally, the high-solids formulation of Desoprime CF/CA 7049 primer and Desothane HS/CA 8200 topcoats results in reduced solvent content and related VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions. Conventional-solids aerospace coatings are about 30% solids by volume, while these PPG Aerospace coatings contain 50%. Less paint is required for coverage and aircraft painted with Desothane HS topcoats have a longer life so they do not need to be repainted as often.
PPG Aerospace’s selectively-strippable coatings system is being used on all 14 aircraft for the RAF. PPG Aerospace coatings, including systems using Desothane military and defence topcoats and Desoprime military and defence primers, also are used by Airbus for the A330 MRTT jets ordered by other air forces, Jungblut said.