| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free Wastewater Treatment Coating Systems eResource Book

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

$24.5M for Coatings Research Keeps Mach 2.5 Raindrops Fallin’

Friday, August 12, 2011

More items for Quality Control

Comment | More

Supersonic rain experiments and other leading-edge protective coatings testing will continue at the University of Dayton Research Institute, thanks to a new $24.5 million contract from the U.S. Air Force.

The five-year contract allows the university’s researchers to test and evaluate protective paints and coatings for aerospace and other applications.

The responsibility includes continued operation and maintenance of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Coatings Technology Integration Office, Special Test and Research facilities, and water- and sand-erosion labs at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The university team has operated the facility for 10 years.

 Rain Rig


For 35 years, the “rain rig” has been used to evaluate coating durability at the Rain Erosion Test Facility at Wright-Patterson AFB, near Dayton, OH.

Under the new contract, the Research Institute also will operate AFRL’s new Supersonic Rain Erosion (SURE) facility, which will shoot raindrops at speeds up to Mach 2.5 to test the durability of coatings, sealants and other aerospace materials. The new contract replaces and expands on a recently expired five-year, $10.1 million contract.

Through Rain, Sand and Extremes

The UDRI Paint Testing and Coatings Research Group evaluates coatings and solves paint problems for government and industry. The group, which includes 17 coating professionals, is accredited to ISO 17025 and SAE AS 5505 for the application, testing, and performance characterization of organic coatings.

The group’s largest customer is the Air Force CTIO at Wright-Patterson. The office is the Air Force’s central resource for aircraft coating systems and their applications.

 Dust Rig
The “dust rig” is the heart of the Wright-Patterson Particle Erosion Test Facility.

University researchers test and evaluate the performance of coatings and materials used primarily for military and commercial aerospace applications under a variety of conditions, including extreme temperatures and humidity; they also assist in the development of advanced coatings.

In the erosion labs, researchers use simulated rainfall, sand and other materials and processes to test the durability of coatings exposed to water erosion and particle erosion.

Developing the Right Paint Stuff

“Paints, sealants and other coatings contain special properties that protect surfaces from damaging environments,” said Bill Culhane, coatings group leader at the institute.

“By scientifically evaluating coatings, we can verify they are doing their jobs and recommend the best coatings for specific applications and environments. It’s much easier and [more] efficient to protect a surface with the right paint than to replace the surface,” Culhane said.

 Bill Culhane
Bill Culhane’s team develops, tests, evaluates and recommends protective coatings at the University of Dayton Research Institute.

University researchers are also working to transition new coating technologies to market, provide assistance for field coating problems, develop and evaluate paint removal methods for metals and composites, and provide corrosion analysis and prevention recommendations.

Although the labs are located on base, the coatings application and testing facilities are available to industrial customers through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs).

For more information, contact Culhane at 937-255-0197 or


Tagged categories: Coatings technology; Durability; Performance testing; Protective coatings; Research; Weathering

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Fischer Technology Inc.
MP0R with rotating display screen

View your coating thickness readings from any angle with rotating display screen. New graphic display with easy menu navigation. Click for Video
Call 800-243-8417

KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office

• Coating failure analysis
• Independent
  comparative testing
• Accelerated
  weathering testing
• Toxic metals testing
• A2LA Accredited

Elcometer, Inc.
Elcometer 106 Pull-Off Adhesion Tester

Portable, easy to operate; Provides numerical value for adhesion; Comes in carrying case - Ideal for site tests; No power supply necessary.

International Paint LLC

International Paint Engineered Coatings

Learn about our solutions for:
  • Structural Steel
  • Piping & Equipment
  • Storage Tanks
  • Pressure Vessels
  • Secondary Containment

    Wasser High-Tech Coatings Inc.
    Wasser Coatings Protect

    Wasser Coatings offer a complete range of Moisture Cure Urethane (NEPCOAT approved) systems in addition to Polyurea membranes and linings(NSF).

    Thermion Inc
    Buy Back Program

    We are offering $5,000
    credit for your old Model
    This drive system is
    being discontinued by
    the manufacturer.
    More information at

    Hempel (USA) Inc.

    Efficient systems and high quality products to reduce your maintenance costs. Visit Hempel Protective for more information.

    SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings

    Join SSPC and Enhance
    Your Career !

    HoldTight Solutions Inc.

    Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rush inhibitor prevents flash rust by removing surface contaminants.
    Contact us for your nearest distributor. (800) 319.8802

    Technology Publishing

    The Technology Publishing Network

    The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
    Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

    EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
    REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
    MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

    © Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
    2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail