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PPG Pioneers E-Coat Aircraft Primer

Monday, January 9, 2012

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PPG Industries' aerospace coatings group has commercialized the first electrocoat-application primer for global airframe manufacturers and subcontractors to coat parts for commercial, military and general-aviation aircraft.

AEROCRON electrocoat primer, by PPG Aerospace, is designed to provide better corrosion protection than conventional spray primer, said Mark Cancilla, PPG global platform director for aerospace coatings.

 PPG Aerospace

 PPG Aerospace

Electrical current is used to apply Aerocron primer to a conductive part. After pretreatment, the part enters an electrocoat dip tank, where a charge is applied and the necessary amount of primer is deposited onto it. The part moves to the rinse stages and then is thermally cured to achieve final coating properties.

Cancilla says electrocoating enhances part coverage, provides nearly 100% product utilization, reduces primer weight for enhanced aircraft fuel economy, and eliminates worker overspray exposure.

“As electrocoating was for the automotive industry, the process is truly revolutionary for aerospace primer application,” Cancilla said.

E-Coat Meets Aerospace

While anti-corrosion primer is typically sprayed onto metal aircraft structures, in the electrocoating (or electrodeposition) process, metal parts are dipped into an electrically charged tank of primer.

“PPG has been a leader in developing electrocoat products for nearly a half-century, and today its e-coat products protect more automobiles produced worldwide than any other company’s,” said Cancilla.

“With our unparalleled knowledge of the e-coat process and unique understanding of aerospace coatings, PPG developed Aerocron electrocoat primer to meet the application needs of airframe manufacturers, as well as the operating and maintenance requirements of airlines and other aircraft operators.”

Meeting Performance Requirements

Robin Peffer, a PPG senior research chemist who helped develop Aerocron, said PPG’s history of developing corrosion-resistant electrocoat products for automotive and industrial applications paved the way for the aerospace adaptation.

“The value for aerospace is to continue this history of providing protection while meeting the specific performance requirements of aircraft operators,” Peffer said. “Aerocron electrocoat primer coats parts uniformly, even in the recessed areas of complex-shaped parts, and at reduced weight, which translates to long-term aircraft operation savings.”

Andreas Tolz, PPG aerospace coatings technical projects manager for Europe, said the electrocoat process “can be fully automated and offers increased material utilization, making it a good ‘green’ choice” for applicators.

PPG Aerospace makes coatings, paint removers, cleaners, sealants, transparent armor and other products for the military and civilian markets.

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Tagged categories: Corrosion protection; PPG; Primers

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