The Department of Defense (DoD) strives to reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and waste from operations, as directed by Executive Orders 13423 and 13514. Powder chemical agent reactive coatings (CARCs) have been identified by DoD as a cost-effective and sustainable solution critical for future department coating operations. Unfortunately, certain properties required for CARCs—specifically low gloss, ultraviolet (UV) durability, and chemical agent resistance—have been exclusive of one another in powder coatings, and no attempt to formulate a powder coating to date has met all three elements. PPG Industries (PPG) will develop a powder coating meeting MIL-PRF-32348 by combining a unique powder processing method with PPG’s custom resin synthesis capabilities and demonstrated ability to formulate UV-durable, low-gloss powder coatings. This program will be carried out in conjunction with the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Maintenance Center Albany, and NCP Coatings (NCP). The project team will collaborate to ensure that the developed powder will be compatible with existing infrastructure and meet cost requirements. In the later stages of the program, a plan for demonstrating the technology in a depot environment will be identified.
To achieve program objectives, the researchers will develop a prototype chemical agent resistant powder coating that embodies the performance properties described in MIL-PRF-32348. Based on PPG’s experience in formulating low-gloss powder coatings, this program seeks to identify the combination of pigment-based and non-pigment-based flatting approaches that will deliver a low-gloss, UV-durable powder CARC meeting MIL-PRF-32348. The researchers will apply PPG’s unique processing techniques to better disperse flatting pigments during powder manufacturing to achieve more effective flatting using less material. Novel approaches to incompatibility or cure differential will enable us to retain UV durability and film integrity. Finally, the program seeks to identify the proper combination of coating film properties that give chemical agent resistance to quickly customize an effective powder CARC.
Powder coatings are used extensively to protect appliances, automotive bodies, and countless other products where a long-lasting, durable finish is required. In addition to the performance benefits over liquid coatings, powder coatings enable users to meet strict environmental regulations since they contain zero VOCs and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). Powder coatings can also provide a cost benefit over liquid coatings due to higher transfer efficiency, lower defect rates, and lower environmental compliance costs. Finally, job turnaround is faster with powder coatings since parts are complete and ready for use immediately after baking—no extended dry and cure times are required. (Anticipated Project Completion - 2016)