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This presentation will cover a scientific approach to formulating aircraft depaint materials for applications of today’s tough depaint requirements. We will cover a systems based approach to the development of aircraft paint removers for both Military and Commercial aircraft coating systems: they are surprisingly quite different. Since the promulgation of the EPA’s AEROSPACE NESHAP in 1996, chemistries like methylene chloride and acid based paint removers are no longer an option. However, the coating systems of today have become even more robust and difficult to remove with advent of adhesion promoters, better coating systems and the increase in use of composite substrates.
The only way to meet current and future aircraft depaint challenges is with the application of a systems approach to product development and a knowledge of aircraft coatings and the substrates to which they are applied. The challenge of not damaging aircraft substrates is job #1. Removing coatings with NESHAP Compliant chemistries is a real challenge and can only be accomplished with a systems approach to the problem. Empirical product development is no longer an option. That’s not to say that subject matter knowledge is not important; it obviously is! However, in the past 30 years Aircraft Coatings has migrated from what used to be (80% art and 20% science) to what today is (80% science and 20% art). No such development has happened in the area of paint removers until now. That is what AEROCHEM, INC applies and what this presentation is all about. Hopefully, at the end of this presentation members of the audience will have a better understanding of the science behind product development challenges and answers for this tough industry problem.