New generation of aircraft paints
Aircraft paint coatings have to be of a very high quality since they will have to last for a long time under extremely severe temperature and weather conditions. Aircraft paints already met very high standards for many years. A company like the Dutch Sikkens already developed a generation of durable aircraft paints as early as the thirties under their AEROFLEX brandname. Sikkens is now part of the multinational Sigma coatings, but the AEROFLEX paint still lasts!
Recently, new aircraft coatings have been developed that are not only of the same high standards, but are also some 50% lighter than the earlier coatings. A complete paint job of an average airliner will add some 250-300 kg of extra weight and that means that these lighter coatings are also much more cost-effective than the earlier paints! In view of the current high fuel prices, this is a very important factor.
One of these new aircraft coatings was developed by PPG Aerospace under their brandnames DESOPRIME for a lightweight fast-drying primer and DESOTHANE for a poly-urethane based top-coating. These PPG products are now used for the F-16’s used by the famous US aerobatic display team “The Thunderbirds”
Photo credit- USAF
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