Powder coatings protect troops and the environment

May 21, 2013

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PPG Industries received a federal grant to develop a powder-based, chemical-agent resistant topcoat for use on military vehicles.

Powder-based paints are attractive for two big reasons: they contain no VOCs since they’re not solvent based. This in turn makes it safer for the people applying it and the people working with the painted equipment. This green painting practice reduces the military’s carbon footprint.

As of now, these coatings have been limited to interior use and some primers on equipment painting since it has been hard for the military to find powder-based paints that meet the chemical-agent resistant coatings (CARC).

If a CARC powder-topcoat was developed, it would increase its use in the field.

What does it mean to be chemical-resistant? This means the coating must resist exposure to other chemical agents and neutralizing cleaning agents, too. After extensive testing, if they prove to meet both of these requirements then they can be considered CARC.

Another important point for the military is having coatings that are camouflage-ready. This means that they need to be UV resistant and non-glossy, to avoid glare so as not to be seen in the field.

All these requirements put together make for a big challenge to take on by paint manufacturers.

PPG has been making powder-based coatings for 30 years now, which gives them a significant edge over others in the industry. Which is why the military has commissioned them to create the powder-based paint that will meet the strict criteria mentioned above.

Though the development of this powder coat is still in the beginning stages, once it is done, it will benefit not just the military, but other industries. The chemical-resistant factor is highly valued in many other industries and will definitely make it ubiquitous in industrial painting contractors circles.

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